Races  that KFC is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2015:
Daytona - 2/22, David Ragan
Races  that CSX Transportation is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2015:
Atlanta - 3/1, Joe Nemechek
Bristol - 4/19, Chris Buescher
Talladega - 5/3, Buescher (added)
Charlotte - 5/24, Brett Moffitt
Daytona - 7/5
Indianapolis - 7/26
Races  that Shaw's Southern Belle Seafood is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2015:
Las Vegas - 3/8, Moffitt
Races that Dockside Logistics has been the primary sponsor in 2015:
Phoenix - 3/15, Brett Moffitt
Auto Club - 3/22, Buescher
Texas - 4/11, Buescher
Kansas - 5/9, Moffitt
Dover - 5/31, Moffitt
Races  that Farm Rich is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2015:
Races that A&W All-America has been the primary sponsor in 2015:
Martinsville - 3/29, Buescher
Contract Status: Drivers: 2015; Primary Sponsors: race-to-race
Moffitt Named Primary Driver of #34: Front Row Motorsports will keep 22-year-old Brett Moffitt behind the wheel of its #34 Ford Fusion. The team has named the Grimes, Iowa, native as the primary driver of its #34 entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including multiple races with primary sponsorship from CSX and its "Play It Safe" initiative. The arrangement will provide consistency behind the wheel of the #34, whose seat was filled by multiple drivers over the past 10 races. Moffitt has already driven the #34 for three races this season, including Saturday at Kansas Speedway. Front Row Motorsports had initially filled the seat vacated by David Ragan on a week-to-week basis while the Sprint Cup veteran filled in for an injured Kyle Busch in the #18 car. Now that Ragan has moved to the #55 of Michael Waltrip Racing for the remainder of the 2015 season, Front Row is grateful to have the full-time availability of the up-and-comer Moffitt.
"I am excited for the opportunity to be in a Sprint Cup car on a weekly basis," Moffitt said. "The most important thing for me at this point of my career is seat time, going to some of these tracks that are new to me, and racing around 42 other drivers in race conditions. And the more time I spend in the 34 car and with this team, the more competitive we'll get. And I think that consistency will lead to some good finishes."
"We're glad to be able to move forward knowing who is going to be in the car on a consistent basis," said team owner Bob Jenkins. "Brett's already got some great experience under his belt, and I think having the same driver-crew chief team working together regularly will bring some stability to our No. 34 team and help Brett with his development as well."
The arrangement provides CSX another young driver to help deliver its railroad safety message to the targeted audience of 18- to 34-year-old males. Moffitt and the #34 team will promote the familiar "Play It Safe" message at multiple Sprint Cup races, including the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte on May 24. "We're excited to have such a promising new driver who, at 22, fits squarely in the demographic of drivers and pedestrians we're trying to reach with our important safety message," said John Claybrooks, CSX Director of Brand, Digital Media & Marketing Communications. "Brett brings renewed dynamism and competitive energy to the program." Moffitt, a 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate, has 16 Sprint Cup career starts with a top finish of eighth earlier this season at Atlanta.(Front Row Motorsports / Breaking Limits)(5-13-2015)
Moffitt returns to the #34 at Kansas: NASCAR's latest round of musical chairs left Brett Moffitt without a ride after the engines shut down Sunday in Richmond. But the Grimes [Iowa] native is prepared to get back in the game next weekend when they're fired up again in Kansas. Moffitt confirmed Tuesday in a text message that he'll be behind the wheel of the Front Row Motorsports #34 Ford for the May 9 Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. It'll be his second stint this season in the ride that was originally supposed to belong to David Ragan, who will take over the #55 next week after piloting the #18 Joe Gibbs Toyota for nine races in place of injured Kyle Busch. The latest flurry of changes came after Joe Gibbs Racing opted to put 18-year-old Erik Jones in the #18 for his first Cup start at Kansas. It's unclear who will drive the #34 after next weekend's race. Front Row Motorsports has not announced its driver lineup beyond this weekend's race at Talladega.(Des Moines Register)(4-29-2015)
Ragan in the #55 rest of the year, starting at Kansas: Michael Waltrip Racing announced that David Ragan will drive the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine for the remainder of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, beginning May 9 at Kansas Speedway. Brian Vickers had planned to race the Toyota fulltime in 2015, but heart surgery in December forced the Thomasville, N.C., native to miss the first two races of the season. Vickers returned at Las Vegas on March 7, but was sidelined two weeks later by recurring blood clots in his lungs. No timetable has been set for his return.
"Life has thrown a lot at MWR the first part of this racing season, but our team has stood tall and worked through it," said Michael Waltrip. "Our original plans for the #55 team have been challenged since December and we felt it was important for our employees and our sponsors to solidify the remainder of the 2015 season. The opportunity to bring David Ragan into the team is incredible for a number of reasons. He will bring experience, consistency and a lot of confidence based on how he has been running with our Toyota teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing. He also puts the #55 team and Aaron's right back into the Chase for the Sprint Cup contention, which is a very positive turn of events for that team. There is absolutely no question about Brian Vickers' ability, but there remains a question of his availability. We are going to remain very close with Brian while he works on his plan to return. We have told him that MWR is here when he has a clear picture about what the future holds, but we don't need to add any timeline pressures. He is working with a lot of medical advisors and once he has established his plan, we will sit down and discuss next steps. I'm really proud of the incredible job Brett Moffitt has done for us in the 55. He has been a big part of this organization for the last couple of years and he will continue in that role. With the limited number of starts Brett has in this industry, he has proven that he has the talent to be a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and we are still committed to helping him get that opportunity."(MWR)
Front Row Statement: "We are grateful to David Ragan for his contributions to the growth of Front Row Motorsports and his commitment to our partners over the past three years. He led us on our first trip to Victory Lane, and that's a moment we'll never forget. We wish him the best with his new team. As previously announced, Chris Buescher will be the driver of the #34 at Talladega this weekend. We are working on finalizing the driver line-up for races to follow and will announce those plans soon."(Front Row Motorsports)(4-28-2015)
Michael Waltrip in the #55 at Talladega; then Ragan UPDATES: Two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip will drive the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3. Waltrip, founder and co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, replaces 22-year-old Brett Moffitt who has driven MWR's #55 since the March 22nd race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. "Talladega is a place where I know we will be very competitive," said Waltrip who owns four restrictor plate victories including a Talladega win in the fall of 2003. "This will be my 58th Sprint Cup start at Talladega so believe me when I tell you Talladega is some of the best racing in the world and I'm glad I'll get to be part of it again in the Aaron's Dream Machine." The May 3 and Oct. 25 Talladega races are the only remaining races Waltrip is scheduled to drive this season.(Michael Waltrip Racing)(4-23-2015)
UPDATE: The team is believed to be trying to sign David Ragan to drive the #55 beginning next month at Kansas. Ragan is currently the replacement driver for Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing, but JGR is leaning toward putting 18-year-old development driver Erik Jones in the car until Busch returns. That would free Ragan, who has subbed for Busch since the second week of the season. Waltrip wasn't prepared Thursday to discuss anything beyond next week at Talladega. "We're making plans now and we wanted a more long-term solution for the situation by this point, but we just haven't been able to put all the pieces together yet," he said. He also said it's unclear when - or if - Vickers will be back. "I can't answer that," Waltrip said of Vickers, who is in a contract year with the team. "He certainly wants to be back, but he's on thinners. Until he comes up with a long-term solution to that, that challenges us in answering if he'll be back."(Associated Press)(4-24-2015)
UPDATE 2: David Ragan, who entered the season planning to run with Front Row Motorsports, is expected to move to Michael Waltrip Racing's #55 Toyota beginning with the May 9 race at Kansas Speedway, multiple sources confirmed to the Observer on Friday. He would replace rookie Brett Moffitt in the #55, who has been filling in most of the team's races since the team's regular driver, Brian Vickers, was sidelined once again with blood clots. Ragan would remain with the team for the rest of the 2015 season, sources said. Saturday's race is expected to be the last for Moffitt with MWR in the Cup series, but the organization remains committed to obtaining sponsorship in order to run him in a third team and he remains under contract with MWR. An official announcement is expected sometime next week, sources said. Ragan's move will require another fill-in driver for JGR in the #18 as Busch is not yet set to return to competition. Sources said JGR will move Xfinity and Truck series driver Erik Jones into the #18 beginning with the Kansas race. An official with Joe Gibbs Racing said "nothing has been confirmed" thus far about any changes to their driver lineup. With Ragan moving to the #55 for the remainder of the season, Front Row Motorsports will need to find a more permanent replacement for Ragan in its #34 Ford. Roush Fenway Racing has been loaning Xfinity driver Chris Buescher to the team when the schedule doesn't disrupt his run for Xfinity Series championship. That arrangement could well continue, with other drivers used when Buscher's schedule doesn't allow double-duty, sources said. A FRM spokesman said at this time, the organization was still expecting Ragan to return to the team whenever his tenure at JGR is completed.(Charlotte Observer)(4-24-2015)
UPDATE 3: If the deal is finalized, Vickers, who announced in March that he would have to miss at least three months while he takes blood thinners to treat blood clots that had developed in his lungs, would be left to find another ride if he is able to return this season, [a] source said. That could include the possibility of MWR fielding a third car, pending sponsorship, after Vickers is ready to return.(ESPN.com)
AND Asked about reports that he would be moving to MWR: "I know I'm going to be in the 18 car for a little while," Ragan said. "This week and Talladega are obviously two very important weeks we're looking forward to. I'm focused on that and I just don't really have any comment.")USA Today)(4-25-2015)
Sorenson to drive the #34 at Richmond: Front Row Motorsports tweeted Friday morning that Reed Sorenson will drive the #34 Ford next weekend at Richmond. Sorenson started the year with the #29 team of RAB Racing. He finished 32nd at Daytona. The team did not qualify at Atlanta, Las Vegas, or Fontana, with drew from Phoenix, and have not attempted a race since.(4-17-2019)
Skuttle Tight, CSX join Ragan for Hamlin Showdown: David Ragan will be among the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars racing for a cause at the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown April 23 at South Boston Speedway. Skuttle Tight and CSX will be on Ragan's #77 Ford as primary sponsors, and Farmer Machine Company will be represented as an associate partner. The 200-lap, annual Late Model event at the 0.4-mile oval serves as a fundraiser for the Denny Hamlin Foundation, which raises awareness and funds for the specific needs of children with Cystic Fibrosis. Skuttle Tight is a Willmar, Minn.-based manufacturer that offers insulated attic-entry systems that replace older attic hatches and access panels that can cause drafts. CSX, a transportation company with 21,000 miles of railroad tracks in 23 states, has partnered with Ragan for three race seasons to promote its safety campaign to "Play It Safe" around railroad tracks. Farmer Machine is a Virginia-based heavy fabrication company and a supplier for CSX. Ragan has participated in the Showdown for three consecutive years, finishing as high as second in 2013.(Breaking Limits)(4-17-2015)
Buescher to remain in the #34 at Bristol & Talladega: Chris Buescher carries some good news with him to his home track of Texas Motor Speedway this week. The 22-year-old driver will pilot the #34 CSX "Play It Safe" Ford for fan-favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19 and Talladega Superspeedway on May 3. The arrangement will extend Buescher's run with Front Row Motorsports' #34 team to five races. He has been filling the seat for Front Row regular David Ragan, who continues to sub for the injured Kyle Busch in the #18 car. Buescher is welcomed by CSX as an additional spokesperson for the transportation company's safety campaign, which reminds people to "Play It Safe" around railroad tracks and to brake for trains. CSX, with its network covering 21,000 miles of railroad tracks in 23 states, has partnered with Front Row Motorsports and the #34 team for three consecutive seasons, targeting males age 18 to 34 with its safety message.(Front Row Motorsports)(4-10-2015)
Widow Wax joins Front Row Motorsports: Widow Wax Products joins Front Row Motorsports as an official car detailing partner for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The Woodward, Okla.-based company works closely with paint manufacturers, and other OEM suppliers to develop some of the industry's most advanced detailing products in the marketplace. Widow Wax is fully committed to manufacture these products with the environment in mind, as it strives to offer products that are safe for customers and the environment, manufactured and packaged at its 65,000-square-foot facility right here in the USA.(Front Row Motorsports)(3-26-2015)
Chris Buescher to replace Moffitt in the #34: Front Row Motorsports announced that Chris Buescher will replace Brett Moffit in the #34 Ford this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Buescher drives full time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for Roush Fenway Racing.(3-20-2015)
Moffitt replacing Vickers in the #55 at Auto Club Speedway: Brett Moffitt will drive Michael Waltrip Racing's #55 Toyota in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The team's regular driver Brian Vickers informed MWR he has experienced a reoccurrence of blood clots, which will require the 31-year-old driver to begin taking blood-thinning medication and he is not able to race while on the medicine. "First and foremost our thoughts are with Brian and his family," said MWR founder and co-owner Michael Waltrip. "He isn't just our race car driver, he is our friend and we know the NASCAR community will continue to rally around Brian. We are fortunate to have Brett Moffitt in our system and marveled at his great drive in Atlanta three weeks ago, so we know he can get the job done in the #55 this weekend. As this news is very fresh and the situation is very fluid, we can only plan for this weekend at this point." Vickers missed the season's first two races recovering from December heart surgery. He finished 15th at Las Vegas and 41st at Phoenix. "Thankfully, because I recognized the signs and symptoms, the doctors caught this early and I'm going to be ok. I had finished my treatment for the clot I had in my leg back in 2013 and I haven't needed to be on a blood thinner for a clot in my leg or lung since," said Vickers. "Now I won't be able to race because I'll need to be back on a blood thinner. I'm going to follow doctor's orders and do everything I need to do to get well." "Believe it or not, it's Blood Clot Awareness Month and I was supposed to be at the track this weekend doing some work with my partners at Janssen focused on getting the word out. I'm disappointed I can't be there but if there is a silver lining in all of this, hopefully what's happened to me will help to raise awareness on this important health issue," said Vickers.(MWR)(3-20-2015)
Moffitt to Drive #34 FRM Ford for three races: Twenty-two-year-old up-and-coming driver Brett Moffitt will pilot Front Row Motorsports' #34 Ford Fusion for the next three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. The young driver, who finished eighth in Sunday's race at Atlanta, will drive the #34 Shaw's Southern Belle Seafood Ford this week at Las Vegas. He will also be behind the wheel of the #34 at Phoenix on March 15 and Auto Club Speedway on March 22. Moffitt fills the seat temporarily vacated by Front Row Motorsports veteran David Ragan, who is subbing for the injured Kyle Busch in the #18 car. Moffitt turned heads in Sunday's 500-mile race in Atlanta, earning a top-10 finish in just his eighth Sprint Cup Series start. The young driver is a nine-time winner in K&N Pro Series East competition and currently serves as a test driver for Toyota Racing Development (TRD) and Michael Waltrip Racing. He made starts in the NASCAR XFINITY (2012) and Camping World Truck (2013) series before making his Sprint Cup Series debut last June at Dover. Sunday's Kobalt 400 will be Moffitt's ninth Sprint Cup Series start and his second of 2015.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to run some races for Front Row," Moffitt said. "After last weekend, I'm obviously eager to get back into a car and keep racing. I'm grateful to Bob Jenkins and his team for giving me the chance to do that. I'll do my best to get some good finishes for them. I'm also thankful that Michael Waltrip Racing is allowing me to pursue this opportunity. I think it's going to benefit everyone in the end."
Team owner Bob Jenkins believes Moffitt brings valuable experience -- plus an eagerness to continue learning -- to the #34 team. "We know Brett doesn't have a ton of Sprint Cup experience, but he's got a lot of hours behind the wheel in testing time, and he was certainly impressive Sunday in Atlanta," Jenkins said. "For only his eighth start, he showed a lot of poise, patience and maturity that you don't often see in drivers that age."
Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman is supportive of the arrangement. "As we anticipated, there has been heightened interest for Brett Moffitt's services after his solid performance last weekend in Atlanta," Kauffman said. "While he is committed to MWR, we are happy for him to gain further valuable experience and help Bob Jenkins, Jerry Freeze and the team at Front Row Motorsports over the next few races. Bob and Front Row were very gracious with our Toyota teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing after Kyle Busch's unfortunate injuries by allowing David Ragan to vacate the #34 to drive the #18. We will continue to work on future opportunities for Brett."
Shaw's Southern Belle Seafood joins Moffitt as a first-time partner with Front Row Motorsports for the Las Vegas event. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based, "Made in the USA" premium seafood company makes award-winning crab cakes and stuffed crabs, sold in fine supermarkets across the country. The Shaw family has owned and operated the business, using recipes from original Southern Belle "Mama Shaw," since 1934.(FRM), see an image of the scheme on the #34 Team Schemes page.(3-4-2015)
Nemechek to Drive #34 CSX 'Play It Safe' Ford at Atlanta: Joe Nemechek, a 23-year Sprint Cup Series veteran and 1992 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion, will drive the #34 CSX "Play It Safe" Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will be Nemechek's 39th Sprint Cup Series start at Atlanta and his first event with Front Row Motorsports. The Atlanta race marks the debut of the 2015 CSX primary paint scheme on the #34 Ford. The company is using the NASCAR program to once again promote its safety message to "Play It Safe" around railroad tracks among the millennial generation of 18- to 34-year-old males, the demographic mostly likely to be involved in a crossing collision and to trespass on tracks. "David (Ragan) has been and still is an outstanding spokesperson for our campaign. Our goal with the 'Play it Safe' program is to save lives by reminding motorists and pedestrians not try to beat a train at a grade crossing or walk along railroad tracks. It's a message so important that everyone can be a part of promoting it," says John Claybrooks, CSX Director of Brand, Digital Media & Marketing Communications. "We look forward to Joe carrying this important message for us as well." Nemechek has three top-five and seven top-10 finishes at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(FRM/Breaking Limits)(2-27-2015)
If Ragan wins, he can get in the Chase: David Ragan doesn't know how long he'll get to drive the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Toyota, but he'll relish every opportunity he can to compete for one of NASCAR's elite teams. Front Row has loaned Ragan to JGR as the replacement for the injured Kyle Busch, who has had surgery on a compound fracture in his right leg and on a broken left foot suffered in a crash Saturday during the Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
JGR officials have not said how long Busch will be out. While no more surgeries are scheduled, Busch must be able to work pedals with both his feet because he likes to brake with his left foot. He remained hospitalized in a Charlotte area hospital Thursday. Ragan will drive the car for the next "several weeks," and JGR officials will re-evaluate the program at some point to see if they want to give development driver Erik Jones a shot. "As far as the length of time Kyle will be out, I don't think anyone really knows that yet," Ragan said Thursday after a test day at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "I know for the next several weeks, I'll be in the 18 car. I don't know that we have really a hard time frame on it just yet. There's a lot of moving parts and pieces and certainly it all goes back to how quickly Kyle can heal up and get back driving for them."
If Ragan can win a race, he would be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup as long as he finishes the regular season in the top 30 in the standings. Ragan is expected to have returned to Front Row well before the Chase starts in September, creating a possible windfall for Front Row Motorsports to have a driver in the Chase.(ESPN)
AND Supposedly the plan is for Ragan to drive the car for nine races before Camping World Truck Series driver Erik Jones would take the wheel of the #18 in the May 9 race at Kansas Speedway. Ragan then would return to the #34.(NBC Sports)(2-27-2015)
Who will drive the #34? UPDATE: Front Row Motorsports needed a replacement, but... David Reutimann is kicking himself. The former Sprint Cup driver had the opportunity to race for Front Row Motorsports this weekend in the #34 Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway. However, Reutimann, who is traveling in California, told Motorsport.com on Tuesday he had not renewed his NASCAR license for 2015. Reutimann says he hopes to return to racing at some point. Renewing his NASCAR license and getting his physical would be a good place to start.
Bobby Labonte has been mentioned as a fill in for David Ragan this weekend. Sources confirmed that the team has talked to the 2000 NASCAR champ. With 48 entries for the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Labonte's past champion's provisional would come in handy.(Motorsport)(2-24-2015)
UPDATE: Front Row Motorsports tweeted: "Happy to have Joe Nemechek on board this weekend, driving the #34 @CSX #PlayItSafe Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(2-25-2015)
Ragan to sub for Kyle Busch? UPDATE: #34-David Ragan has been contacted by Joe Gibbs Racing about driving the #18 Toyota while Kyle Busch recovers from a compound fracture in his right leg. JGR is considering a plan that would share the ride between Ragan and Camping World Truck Series driver Erik Jones, who is under contract to the team, while Busch recovers from his injury. There is no timetable on the return for Busch, who spent a third consecutive night in a Daytona Beach hospital after being hurt in a Saturday crash during the Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona.
Ragan has driven the #34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series the past four seasons. He has two victories in Cup, at Daytona in 2011 for Roush Fenway Racing and at Talladega in 2013 for Front Row. Ragan met with JGR officials Tuesday morning at the team's Huntserville, N.C., headquarters. Team owner Joe Gibbs met Monday morning with Jones, who has four career victories in the truck series, about taking over the No. 18, but there are concerns about how it might impact the 18-year-old's future sponsorship prospects if he struggled in Busch's absence.
Jones races full time for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the truck series and is running 10 races in the Xfinity Series for JGR. He is a likely candidate to take over Busch's part-time schedule in the #54 Toyota on the Xfinity circuit. Among the plans being considered would be to put Ragan in the #18 for several races and then allow Jones some time behind the wheel after he has more Xfinity and truck experience.
It wasn't clear immediately how Ragan's Ford relationship might be affected, but multiple sources said JGR had received approval from Ford and Roush Fenway Racing to put driver Elliott Sadler in the #18 for the Daytona 500 before electing to run truck series champion Matt Crafton. Requests for comment from Ragan and Front Row Motorsports hadn't been returned Tuesday morning.(NBC Sports)(2-24-2015)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces that David Ragan will fill in for Kyle Busch behind the wheel of the #18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning with this weekend's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch was released this morning from Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, FL and transferred to a hospital near his home in Charlotte, North Carolina for further treatment. Busch sustained a compound fracture of the right lower leg in an accident during Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Additionally, Busch suffered a mid-foot fracture of his left foot in the accident. No specific timetable has been announced for Busch's return to the race track. It is expected that Ragan will pilot the #18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota for at least the next several weeks. Ragan's current race team Front Row Motorsports and sponsor CSX accommodated the move by Ragan and Ragan is expected to return to the team later this season. Additional updates on Busch's condition will be provided as necessary. In addition, JGR announces that Erik Jones will pilot the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this weekend in Atlanta. An announcement on who will drive the Monster Energy Camry following Atlanta will be made at a later date.
"We appreciate being able to work with Front Row Motorsports and CSX for David's (Ragan) availability," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We are fortunate to be able to have someone of David's caliber behind the wheel while Kyle recovers. Erik is a big part of our future at JGR and we will be increasing his schedule in the XFINITY Series beginning this weekend in Atlanta and seeking the earliest opportunity to provide him Cup experience. We appreciate all the support we have received from the NASCAR community including our fans and we look forward to getting Kyle back in the car as soon as possible."
"Everyone at Mars is thankful that Kyle is doing well and we continue to wish him a speedy recovery," said William Clements, vice president of sponsorship and sports marketing for Mars Incorporated. "While we can't wait until Kyle returns behind the wheel of the #18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota, we are excited to work with David and we're pleased JGR was able to work it out for him to step in during Kyle's absence."(Joe Gibbs Racing)(2-24-2015)
CSX and Ragan Pair Up for Third Straight Year: Front Row Motorsports and CSX will partner for a third straight season in 2015, returning the railroad's "Play It Safe" public service message to David Ragan's #34 Ford. The partnership will put the CSX Ford on track for eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, which will include the short-track excitement of Bristol Motor Speedway in April, the Fourth of July holiday weekend at Daytona International Speedway, and the historic Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. CSX is one of the nation's leading transportation suppliers, with a network covering 21,000 miles of railroad tracks in 23 states and two Canadian provinces. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based company will once again use Ragan's ability to connect with fans to promote the message to "Play It Safe" around railroad tracks by braking for trains at railroad crossings and staying off railroad tracks. In addition, Ragan will visit several CSX facilities to talk about how safety is stressed in the risky world of automobile racing. Two years into the partnership, CSX and Ragan continue to spread cautious words of advice to NASCAR's fan base, especially the millennial generation of 18- to 34-year-old males, the demographic mostly likely to be involved in a crossing collision and to trespass on tracks.
"I've really enjoyed working with all the great people at CSX," Ragan said. "I've gotten to visit some rail yards and meet the professionals who keep the trains moving and do it with safety as their top priority. We're excited to keep spreading the message about playing it safe around trains and railroad tracks with our #34 CSX Ford program."
"If we save just one life, this program is well worth it," said John Claybrooks, CSX Global Director, Brand & Digital Media. "There are a lot of parallels surrounding the importance of safety on the race track and around railroad tracks. The #34 Ford is a great partner communicating this message thoughtfully and creatively."
Bob Jenkins is proud of how his team is the right fit for CSX's needs. "It will be great to have David and CSX teamed up once again in 2015," Jenkins said. "They've done a lot of great work together, not just at the track, but in schools and rail yards talking with kids and CSX employees. We're really proud of the platform that we've been able to offer to get their message out. It's a great partner success story for our team."
The CSX "Play It Safe" Ford paint scheme will make its first appearance of the 2015 season on March 1 at Ragan's home track of Atlanta Motor Speedway.
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For more than 185 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation's economic expansion and industrial development.(FRM/Breaking Limits), see an image of the scheme on the #34 Team Schemes page.(2-12-2015)
KFC sponsoring Ragan at Daytona: David Ragan will bring a familiar face to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' season-opening Daytona 500. The iconic image of Colonel Harlan Sanders will return to the #34 Ford Fusion as KFC and Front Row Motorsports team up for one of racing's biggest events Feb. 22 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. As NASCAR celebrates the 57th annual running of the "Great American Race," KFC and Ragan will celebrate 75 years of Original Recipe chicken, made from the world-famous recipe created by the Colonel and still used by KFC cooks across its 4,300 U.S.-based restaurants. The Daytona 500 partnership follows a successful pairing last season when Ragan and KFC caused fans to do double-takes as an in-car camera showed a KFC Go Cup of chicken inside the #34 Ford as Ragan raced at nearly 200 miles an hour around Talladega Superspeedway. Ragan returns to the #34 Ford for his fourth year with Front Row Motorsports and his ninth full-time season in the Sprint Cup Series. The 29-year-old driver has two wins in the series, including one at Daytona.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #34 team paint schemes page.(2-6-2015)
Cole Whitt moves to Front Row Motorsports: Up-and-coming driver Cole Whitt will expand the Front Row Motorsports racing stable to three full-time cars in 2015, piloting the #35 Ford with support from Speed Stick for 10 races, including the season-opening Daytona 500. Randy Cox will also join the Front Row team to continue his relationship with Whitt as crew chief. The 23-year-old Whitt will enter his second full-time Sprint Cup Series season after progressively climbing the NASCAR racing ranks of the Nationwide, Camping World Truck and K&N series. The Alpine, Calif., native made his transition to stock cars after an early career in open-wheel racing, which included a 2008 USAC National Midget championship. Speed Stick is also on board to support Whitt during his sophomore season. Speed Stick®, known for its line of high-performing antiperspirants and deodorants, previously sponsored Whitt during his rookie year and connected with fans by documenting the driver's first race at the Daytona 500 through a unique, online video series.Additional Speed Stick brand sponsored races this year will include high-profile events such as the Talladega Superspeedway race in May, the 600-mile event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Bristol Motor Speedway Night Race.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the scheme on the #35 Team Schemes page and see earlier news/updates on Whitt to Front Row on the #26 Team News page.(1-16-2015)
Wingo to crew chief David Gilliland's #38: Veteran crew chief Donnie Wingo will oversee the #38 Love's Travel Stops Ford team and driver David Gilliland at Front Row Motorsports. Gilliland worked most recently with interim crew chief Jay Guy after Frank Kerr was released after Kansas in October. Said Wingo, "I'm looking forward to working with David. I think he has a lot of talent. It's a little different opportunity than what I've had lately, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. I'm looking forwards to working with David. I think he has a lot of talent. He's been great at restrictor plate track and road courses, two areas where I've had success in the past." Wingo, most recently worked with the Wood Brothers and #21 Motorcraft Ford, returned to the Statesville, N.C. shop on Monday where he first enjoyed success with Jimmy Spencer at Haas-Carter Motorsports.(Motorsport), former crew chief Jay Guy left FRM and heads to the #24 JGL Racing Xfinity Series team with driver Eric McClure.(1-5-2015)
Whitt replacing Ragan at Front Row? Denied UPDATES: According to a Tweet by BK Racing's minority owner Anthony Marlowe, Cole Whitt will be taking over the #34 Ford of Front Row Motorosports that has been driven by David Ragan for the previous three years.(11-26-2014)
UPDATE: Anthony Marlowe, who was the co-owner of the #26 team with Cole Whitt at Swan Racing and now is the part-owner at BK Racing, posted an interesting tweet late Tuesday night. Apparently, Whtt's representation sent a letter to BK Racing late last week informing team principals the driver would not be returning in 2015. Whitt moved with Marlowe to BKR before Richmond in April after Swan folded. When Motorsport.com reached out to Ragan on Wednesday morning about Marlowe's tweet, the veteran replied via text, "I don't know. I haven't been told anything is changing on my end."(Motorsport)(11-26-2014)
UPDATE 2: A BK Racing co-owner tweeted congratulations to Cole Whitt on landing the #34 ride at Front Row Motorsports for next season, but a Front Row Motorsports spokesperson said there are "no expected changes with the 34 car." David Ragan drove the #34 car this past season, finishing 32nd in points. Shari Spiewak, a spokesperson for Front Row Motorsports said Wednesday morning that it was anticipated that Ragan will be with the team again in 2015. "The team is working on getting its 2015 plans finalized and, hopefully, should be able to have everything buttoned up in a few weeks," Spiewak told Motor Racing Network. Ian Moye, a spokesperson for BK Racing, said that the team has not announced any of its drivers for next season. Whitt, JJ Yeley and Alex Bowman finished the season with the team this past year.(Motor Racing Network)(11-26-2014)
UPDATE 3: It's not every day that a NASCAR team owner publicly apologizes for an error he made, especially in a large forum such as Twitter. But give BK Racing minority owner Anthony Marlowe credit for making a classy move at righting his wrong by offering exclusively to MotorSportsTalk a heartfelt apology and explanation for his inadvertent actions. Here is Marlowe's entire statement to MotorSportsTalk:
"I did not intend for it to make national news," Marlowe said of his original tweet. "Aside from it being smart alecky, it was just a tweet congratulating a friend, and current supplier of driver services on his ride for next year. We could have had someone else drive the 26 car this year at BKR, but my new partners and I felt (Whitt) deserved a full season after his past NASCAR teams were not committed to him for the long term, along with his auspicious start to the 2014 season. That mission was accomplished. Additionally, we offered Cole (and it has been on the table since July) a multi-year option contract in the Cup series. Needless to say, I wish he would have stuck around and built this franchise with us over the years, but he obviously has and/or somehow created a better opportunity somewhere else."
On David Ragan / The number:
"I should have left the #34 out of it (the tweet). Although I am fairly confident based on my multiple sources that he (Whitt) is going to Front Row, not all of those sources have been so sure it is the #34 car. Regardless if time tells us any of this is true or not, I feel like I owe David Ragan an apology. He is a Cup winner and seemingly great guy. I sincerely regret him being pulled into this."(NBC Sports)(11-28-2014)
Ragan expects to return to Front Row: Richard Petty Motorsports recently signed Sam Hornish Jr. to drive the team's #9 car next season but there was a lot of talk during the weeks leading up to the announcement that David Ragan was the favorite to replace the departing Marcos Ambrose. Ragan says that wasn't the case and despite his sincere desire to join RPM' they never had anything more than preliminary conversations. "I had my contract coming up at the end of the year and we haven't talked a whole lot about the 2015 season'" Ragan told Popular Speed on Wednesday. "My goal was to get myself in a real good competitive situation and I didn't have a contract and I showed them some interest' but that's it." Ragan added that Richard Petty and his co-owners had a game-plan for what they wanted to do with the #9 moving forward and those plans simply didn't include him. With his casual interest in Petty aside' Ragan expressed pride and satisfaction in his relationship with Front Row Motorsports and believes that they will come to an agreement prior to the start of the 2015 season. The team owners' including Bob Jenkins' are working to finalize their sponsorship agreements first and the driver lineup will come next. "I haven't finalized anything with the team yet but we're working on it'" Ragan said. "We've got to get the sponsors lined up. The owners have to get their budgets sorted and the drivers are usually the last things to come together. Hopefully' over the next few weeks' we'll get that sorted. I would definitely love to be back."(Popular Speed)(10-16-2014)
Crew chief changes at Front Row Motorsports: Front Row Motorsports has made some crew chief changes, effective this week for the Bank of AMerica 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Competition Director Derrick Finley will serve as interim crew chief on the #34 team of David Ragan, and crew chief Jay Guy will move to the #38 team of David Gilliland. Former #38 crew chief Frank Kerr is no longer with the organization. Front Row Motorsports is actively looking for a full-time replacement for a crew chief on the #34 team to allow Finley to return to his role of competition director full-time.(FRM PR)(10-7-2014)
NASCAR, Front Row to honor Wendell Scott at Martinsville: NASCAR, Front Row Motorsports, Kyle Busch Motorsports and Martinsville Speedway announced they will honor 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott, the first African-American driver to win a NASCAR premier series event, with a series of tributes during the Martinsville race weekend from Oct. 24-26. Front Row Motorsports will pay homage to Scott, also the first African-American driver to race full-time in NASCAR's premier series, with a full throwback paint scheme on its #34 Ford driven by David Ragan, reminiscent of the blue #34 that he drove to Victory Lane for his first NASCAR premier series victory at Jacksonville Speedway on Dec. 1, 1963. Ragan is one of just three drivers to win in the #34, and the first since Scott. In addition, Kyle Busch Motorsports will change the number of Darrell Wallace Jr.'s truck from 54 to 34 in honor of Scott. A NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate, Wallace became the first African-American to win a NASCAR national series race since Scott's historic 1963 triumph when he captured the checkered flag in last season's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville. Adding to the celebration, Martinsville Speedway and the NHOF will host members of the Scott family during the race weekend and offer special Q&A opportunities for fans on-site.
NASCAR currently awards scholarships in Scott's name through the United Negro College Fund, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund. The Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award is awarded to a diverse or female driver in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series who has demonstrated significant contributions on and off the track. In addition, NASCAR has designated the first race weekend in March as a time to remember Wendell Scott's legacy during a week that marks his first career start. Cars in all series run a decal in honor of his accomplishments within the sport. (NASCAR), see an image of the car on the #34 team paint schemes page.(9-17-2014)
Congrats - David Ragan: David Ragan, driver of the #34 Front Row Motorsports Ford, announced on his Facebook page: God blessed us today with a healthy little girl. (Perfect timing too) Mom and Julia are doing good!(6-12-2014)
Dover International Speedway
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