Officials from Rick Ware Racing (RWR) announced that Richfield, Wisc. native Josh Bilicki has joined their Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) team for this summer's two road course races.
Bilicki, 21, will drive the team's #51 Chevrolet at Sonoma (Calf.) Raceway on June 25 and complete the road course sweep at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International six weeks later on Aug 6.
Before leaping to the NASCAR XFINITY Series last season with Obaika Racing, Bilicki honed his skills on road courses throughout the country successfully building a resume in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), TA2 Series, NASA Pro Racing, among others.
In addition to his XFINITY Series efforts last season, the Trans Am Series competitor also continued to race in several road racing sanctions at his home track of Road America (Wisc.) in Elkhart Lake producing several podium finishes.
Shifting his concentration to stock cars this season, Bilicki remains a part of the Obaika Racing organization, but hopes to showcase his capabilities in the Cup Series with the growing Rick Ware Racing team.
"Words can't describe how excited I am to be making my NASCAR Monster Energy Cup debut with Rick Ware Racing," said Bilicki. "First, I can't thank Rick enough for giving me this opportunity to get behind the wheel of the No. 51 RWR Chevrolet. Rick, like myself, comes from a road course background, so I feel like this is a very natural fit.
"I've been around the team for several of this season's Cup races and the team is very impressive and are improving every week. I hope to earn some respect from my competitors and turn heads in the process."
Bilicki, also an occasional competitor in the IMSA Continental Tire Series says competing at the sport's pinnacle level is a humbling opportunity, but with the goal of finishing Sonoma and Watkins Glen the primary objective, he hopes a good showing will earn him other opportunities in the sport.
"I've worked a long time with the dream to compete in NASCAR," Bilicki added. "We have some reasonable goals and expectations. If we're able to accomplish those, we'll leave the track feeling like we scored the victory. I'm still learning a lot about these stock cars, but I'm hoping my road course instincts will allow us a chance to exceed our hopes."
Team principal Rick Ware said Bilicki's focus and attention to details in his transition to NASCAR has paid off with the chance to race for the team.
"I've been around a lot of road course drivers and you either have it or you don't," Ware said. "He does. I've been fortunate enough to watch Josh compete on occasion and I think he's going to impress people with not only his patience, but his car control and for getting an extra position or two from a performance standpoint.
"We're hoping Josh can help give us a solid overview of our road course program and makes us better for 2018 and beyond."
Marketing partners for Bilicki's Cup Series attempts will be announced at a later date.
Outside of racing, Bilicki is an avid road racing instructor at Road America.
-- Rick Ware Racing