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Ray Black Jr. joining Rick Ware Racing for full 2018 Cup season

UPDATE: Justin Marks will run the #51 Chevrolet fielded by Rick Ware Racing (RWR) in alliance with Premium Motorsports in the 2018 Daytona 500 on February 18. The Chevrolet entry will be powered by ECR engines and carrying the colors of first-time Daytona 500 primary sponsor Harry's Shaving Products and long-time Marks' supporter Katerra. The #51 owned by Rick Ware will have a guaranteed starting position in the Great American Race as RWR will be running the full 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.[More](2-2-2018)

ORIGINAL POST: Ray Black Jr. is making the next jump of his racing career in 2018, as he will compete full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with Rick Ware Racing.

Both Rick Ware, owner of RWR and Black confirmed to Frontstretch at Homestead-Miami Speedway that the plan is to run the entire 36-race schedule and challenge for Rookie of the Year. The Florida native will pilot the #51 car.

Black made his Cup Series debut in mid-September at Chicagoland Speedway, finishing 40th for RWR. He made two other starts during the playoffs at Texas Motor Speedway and the season finale at Homestead, resulting in 34th and 38th-place finishes, respectively.

The 26-year-old has 89 career starts among the top three national touring series since 2014. In 2015, Black finished 11th in the Camping World Truck Series standings with a fifth-place effort at Daytona. In 2016, he piloted the No. 07 car for SS-Green Light Racing, finishing 19th in points.

The #51 machine will have a guaranteed spot in all 36 races in 2018, as Ware has acquired one of the 36 charters. The team owner would not confirm who he purchased the charter from.

Ware also confirmed that he will be running a part-time #52 machine from anywhere between 10-18 races. He expects BJ McLeod, Cody Ware, Kyle Weatherman and John Graham to all have seat time in the second racecar.

The team owner said that RWR will run all three manufacturers in 2018.

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