Contract Status: Driver: 2015; Primary Sponsor: 2015
Tweaker Energy Shot joins Whitt for two races: Cole Whitt and Front Row Motorsports' #35 team will have a jolt of new support for the race at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. Tweaker Energy Shot joins the team as primary sponsor for Sunday's Food City 500. The company will also be the primary sponsor of Whitt's #35 for the Aug. 9 road-course race at Watkins Glen International. Dallas-based Tweaker Energy Shot offers a line of value-priced energy shots sold at convenience and grocery stores, with a distribution network that is expanding across the country. Its five flavors of two-ounce shots combine herbal supplements with caffeine and vitamins to give consumers a new option in energy shots at a value price. The Front Row Motorsports sponsorship is the growing company's first in the Sprint Cup Series. The product has been on the market since 2008 and now boasts a network of more than 450 distributors. It is sold at retail chains including RaceTrac, Casey's, Circle K, Jewel-Osco, Fiesta Marts, Super Value and Hy-Vee.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #35 team paint schemes page.(4-15-2015)
Standard Plumbing Supply sponsoring Whitt at Texas: Standard Plumbing Supply will go racing with Cole Whitt for Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, partnering with the #35 Ford team for one of the fastest events on the series' circuit. The Utah-based company operates wholesale stores at more than 80 locations in eight western states, providing residential and commercial plumbing, heating and cooling, and hydronics products to contractors, cities, states, schools and the public. The family-run company celebrates 63 years of service this year. Whitt enters the Texas Motor Speedway race weekend with three consecutive top-25 finishes with his #35 team.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #35 team paint schemes page.(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)
Sprouts Farmers Market on the #35 at Phoenix: Cole Whitt comments on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"We will have a new sponsor with us this week in Phoenix, Sprouts Farmers Market. It's a great partner for me because I believe in eating healthy and they're committed to providing healthy food to their customers. Sprouts has a lot of locations in the Phoenix area, so I'll be sure to stop at one on my way to the track."(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #35 team paint schemes page.(3-12-2015)
Rinnai on board the #35 with Whitt for Atlanta: Cole Whitt, driver of the #35 Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters Ford, comments on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "Atlanta is still a pretty new track to me, but I'm looking forward to going there. I expect it to have a lot of speed. But we'll definitely have tire fall-off. It's one of the coolest things about Atlanta. We fall off so much there. There are cars that could be a half second faster than somebody for one lap. But then five laps into a run, they could be a full second slower than you. It's probably the track we go to that has the biggest swing as far as tires. We're happy to have Rinnai on our #35 Ford Fusion for the Atlanta race. Rinnai is the number-one selling brand of tankless water heaters in the U.S. and Canada, and we're proud to showcase them to the NASCAR audience."(Breaking Limits/FRM), see an image of the scheme on the #35 Team Schemes page.(2-26-2015)
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)
McClure Returns to #35 Ford with Front Row Motorsports: Eric McClure, driver of the #35 Hefty Ultimate/Reynolds Wrap Ford, comments on returning to Front Row Motorsports at Talladega Superspeedway: "I am very appreciative of the opportunity Bob (Jenkins) and Front Row Motorsports have given me to drive the #35 car at Talladega. After having a fast car at Daytona (International Speedway in February), the disappointment of missing that race still lingers a bit for me. I am optimistic we can make the show at Talladega and have the chance to compete for a great finish." McClure has two Sprint Cup starts at Talladega (2004, 2006)(Front Row Motorsports)(5-2-2014)
Reutimann gets new crew chief: According to MRN's Dustin Long, Derrick Finley is new crew chief for David Reutimann in #35 for Front Row. Todd Anderson no longer with team.(4-25-2014)
Reutimann in the #35 at Bristol: Front Row Motorsports announced on Twitter Monday morning that David Reutiman will be behind the wheel of the #35 this weekend at Bristol - "We'll have three Davids to take on Goliath at @BMSupdates. Welcome, David Reutimann, to the #35 MDS Ford for this weekend."(3-10-2014)
Koch attempting to make second Cup race: Blake Koch, driver of the #35 MDS Transport Ford comments on racing at Phoenix International Raceway: "I'm really excited to get into the Cup car. I'm looking at this as a great opportunity and an audition, too, to go to Phoenix and, first off, make the race and then, second, finish the best we can and learn as much as we can. And then go to Vegas and do the same thing. And we'll see where it takes me from there. I'm definitely very grateful for this opportunity and I'm going to give it all I've got. It's tough to get here and it's tough to stay here. Seats don't open very often. So, this could be a dream come true." Koch has one other Sprint Cup start (Charlotte, October 2013) in his racing career. He has nine career starts at Phoenix in the Nationwide and K&N West series.(Front Row Motorsports)(2-26-2014)
Koch says he will drive the #35 in two races: Blake Koch announced on Twitter that he will drive the #35 Front Row Motorsports Ford at Phoenix and Las Vegas in March. Eric McClure will drive the #35 in the Daytona 500. After Las Vegas, no word who will drive the car. Koch made his Sprint Cup Series debut in 2013, running at Charlotte in October for the #95 Leavine Family Racing team, finishing 38th.
From Blake Koch's Twitter: So pumped I get the opportunity to drive the @NASCAR Cup car at Phx & Vegas for @FrontRowNASCAR in the MDS 35 FORD. Huge deal for me.
From Front Row Motorsports Facebook: Mystery driver revealed! Blake Koch will be at the wheel of the #35 MDS Ford at Phoenix and Vegas. Welcome to the team, Blake!(2-17-2014)
McClure joins Front Row for Daytona 500 UPDATE: Eric McClure has been announced as the driver of the #35 Front Row Motorsports Ford for the Daytona 500. Hefty and ReynoldsWrap will be the sponsor.(Front Row Motorsports Twitter & Eric McClure Twitter), McClure has three Sprint Cup Series starts, one each in 2004 (Talladega), 2005 (Las Vegas) and 2006 (Talladega) with a best finished of 26th at Talladega in 2004.
UPDATE: Eric McClure will make a return to NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, joining Front Row Motorsports for the season-opening Daytona 500 in the #35 Ford Fusion. The veteran driver will carry the support of Hefty/Reynolds Wrap as primary sponsor in what would be his first start in "The Great American Race." The Sprint Cup team announced the one-race McClure-Hefty/Reynolds Wrap partnership at the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour in Charlotte, N.C., as the team discussed its expanding partner program and on-track performance growth. McClure is an 11-year veteran of NASCAR's Nationwide Series. He earned a career-best eighth-place finish at Daytona International Speedway last February in the Nationwide Series' season opener. The 35-year-old Chilhowie, Va., native also has three career Sprint Cup starts. The Daytona 500 would be his first Cup start for Front Row Motorsports. "This is an exciting time for me and certainly our sponsoring brands as well," said McClure. "In our sport, and for my family, there is nothing greater than the Daytona 500 and this opportunity will enhance our program in a unique way. Front Row and I have a history together; they have always represented their partners and ours in a professional manner. They are very strong on the superspeedways and I enjoy this type of racing more than any other. Racing in the Daytona 500 has always been a dream of mine and I look forward to getting to Daytona, working with this team, and trying to achieve this goal."(Breaking Limits/FRM)(1-29-2014)
Wise completes Ironman: Josh Wise competed in the Ironman Cozumel on Sunday. A complete Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a full (26.2 mile) marathon. His total time was 11 hours and 55 seconds, placing him 427th overall and 65 in his division. More than 2500 people started the event. Wise completed a half Ironman in Wisconsin back in July.(12-2-2013)
Wise leaves Front Row Motorsports UPDATE: Front Row Motorsports posted the following message to their Facebook page Tuesday morning, "Because a lot of you have been asking about the status of the #35 car and Josh Wise, we wanted to give you an update. Josh has accepted an offer to drive for another team in 2014, and we absolutely wish him the best in that new role. He's been a good team member and we've appreciated his contributions over the past two seasons. We do plan to continue running the #35 car in 2014, although the program for that car is still in development. It is our expectation to use more than one driver in that role, and we are currently looking at driver candidates and potential partners to help fund and finalize that program."(11-26-2013)
UPDATE: Josh Wise tweeted Tuesday morning, "Super thankful for @FrontRowNASCAR and my two years there! Was time to make a change and I'm really excited about 2014! I will keep you all posted on my 2014 plans in the coming days".(11-27-2013)
New sponsor for Wise at Richmond: #35-Josh Wise will take a new primary partner to Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night, introducing NASCAR fans to The Pete Store, LLC. The Pete Store is a Peterbilt dealer group with nine full-service locations from Delaware to Georgia, and is the provider of Front Row Motorsports' race haulers. The company has been an associate sponsor with Front Row for previous races, but Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400 will be The Pete Store's first primary sponsorship with the team. The three-quarter-mile raceway takes the 30-year-old Wise back to his early racing days when he competed on Saturday nights under the lights of neighborhood short tracks. Currently in the Sprint Cup Series, Wise has three career starts at Richmond. He finished 28th in his last trip to the track in April (TRM), see an image of the scheme on the #35 Team Schemes page.(9-5-2013)
Associate sponsor joins Wise at Bristol: Tennessee insurance agency Price & Ramey Group will join Front Row Motorsports for Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway as an associate sponsor. The logo of the Kingsport-based company will be on the deck lid of Josh Wise's #35 Carson-Newman University Ford Fusion for the primetime night race at the half-mile oval. Price & Ramey is a multi-line independent insurance agency serving families, individuals and businesses throughout the East Tennessee region with five locations since 1914. The Front Row car will also highlight area Carson-Newman supporters Ted Russell Automotive Group, Premier Building Maintenance Corporation and Aramark (FRM)(8-24-2013)
Carson-Newman University on the #35 at Bristol: Carson-Newman University is ready to make some noise this semester -- at Bristol Motor Speedway with an 850-horsepower Sprint Cup car. The Jefferson City, Tenn., school will make its NASCAR debut on the #35 Ford of Josh Wise at the half-mile oval in Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race. The Front Row car will also highlight area C-N supporters Ted Russell Automotive Group, Premier Building Maintenance Corporation and Aramark. To kick off the Bristol race week, the university will play host to a NASCAR celebrity roast benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dumplin Valley. The Tuesday night event will feature a panel consisting of NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and current drivers David Ragan, David Gilliland, Wise and Michael McDowell. Tickets can be purchased at bgcnascarcelebrityroast.eventbrite.com. Wise will appear at the speedway's Welcome Village stage on race day at 3:45 pm.(FRM), see an image of the scheme on the #35 Team Schemes page.(8-20-2013)
McDowell in the #35 at Watkins Glen: Michael McDowell will bring his extensive road course-racing background to Front Row Motorsports for the Watkins Glen International race weekend, as he'll get the nod to pilot the #35 Dockside Logistics Ford in the Sprint Cup Series' second road race of the season. McDowell, whose racing career was built on twist-and-turn tracks in the open-wheel and sports-car ranks before moving to stock cars, will compete under the Front Row banner for the first time. Dockside Logistics' return to the #35 Ford comes as the company expands with a new shipping facility in Savannah, Ga.(Front Row Motorsports)(8-7-2013)
Josh Wise to compete in Triathlon UPDATE: On Sunday, the only fuel that will get NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Josh Wise to the finish line will come from within his own body. Normally sitting inside the #35 MDS Transport Ford on Sundays, the 30-year-old driver for Front Row Motorsports and triathlete will instead be swimming, cycling and running in his first half Ironman triathlon in Racine, Wis. Longer than a standard triathlon, the 70.3-mile half Ironman will include a 1.2-mile swim in Lake Michigan, a 56-mile bike course and a 13.1-mile run. The idea of competing in triathlons started in a light-hearted conversation with fellow NASCAR driver Scott Speed. "Scott got me into road cycling a few years ago, and we started joking about how we were going to add swimming and running and do a triathlon," Wise said. "And it turned into us actually doing a sprint triathlon last summer. It was a blast." Wise has been training for the July 21 event in Racine for about a year. At the most intense part of his training, Wise was swimming five miles, biking 150 miles and running 20 miles per week.(Front Row Motorsports)(7-20-2013)
UPDATE: Wise finished the Triahlon in 5:21:06. His swim time was 35:35, bike time 2:41:08 and run time 1:56:28. He was 64th in his age group and 394th overall. There were nearly 2300 participants.(7-22-2013)
Front Row & Carson-Newman University partner up for Bristol: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team Front Row Motorsports and Carson-Newman University (C-N) have forged a one-race partnership featuring the University on Front Row's #35 Ford Fusion. The Carson-Newman car will be driven by Josh Wise during the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 24. "We are very excited about this unique opportunity that specific University donors and Front Row Motorsports have afforded us," said Carson-Newman President Randall O'Brien. O'Brien says he is impressed with both the integrity and humbleness in which Front Row owner and Dandridge, Tenn., resident Bob Jenkins operates his team. "To be able to partner with Mr. Jenkins and his organization in showcasing Christian higher education on a national stage - well, it just doesn't get much better than that," O'Brien said. "One of the most gratifying parts of running a Sprint Cup team is bringing new partners into the sport," said Jenkins. "And when it's an organization as respected as Carson-Newman, it's even better. Throw in that it's one of the biggest races of the year and that's going to make it a pretty special weekend." The Front Row car will also highlight several area C-N supporters including Knoxville's Ted Russell Automotive Group and Premier Building Maintenance Corporation, as well as Oak Ridge's Denton Financial Group. Planning is also under way for a Carson-Newman/Front Row VIP event that will take place on C-N's Jefferson City campus during the week leading up to the race. Proceeds from the event will go to the local Boys & Girls Clubs of Dumplin Valley. Details will be announced at a later date.(FRM)(6-18-2013)
Blockbuster returns to sponsor #35 at PIR: After running his first Daytona 500 last weekend, Josh Wise will strap in for the 312-lap Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway this Sunday. Although the one-mile, low-banked oval starkly differs from Daytona International Speedway, one thing will carry over from the first race to the second - Wise's partnership with Blockbuster. The entertainment company will return for a second race with the #35 Front Row Motorsports team after earning attention in Daytona Beach last week when Wise secured his first career starting spot in the "Great American Race." Wise was running a strong race at Daytona until he got collected in a nine-car, domino-effect accident on Lap 138. He looks to bounce back in Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500. Blockbuster is celebrating its partnership with Wise and Front Row Motorsports with special offers for NASCAR fans at www.Blockbuster.com/car35.(Front Row Motorsports / Breaking Limits)(3-1-2013)
Blockbuster Goes Racing with Front Row and Wise: Blockbuster will sponsor the #35 Front Row Motorsports Ford of Josh Wise for the Sprint Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 24. Blockbuster, the well-known provider of home movie and video game rental services, will partner with Front Row Motorsports for the first time. The partnership will promote the brand to the millions of fans who tune in or attend "The Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway. One of the most recognizable entertainment names in the world, Blockbuster provides movie and game rentals and sales to millions worldwide by mail, in stores, by digital download and through the DISH Network. "Blockbuster is excited to be part of the Front Row Motorsports team and NASCAR's 'Great American Race,'" said Mitch Weinraub, Product VP at Blockbuster, LLC. "We are proud to play a lead role in bringing Josh Wise, a new and promising driver, to the premier racing circuit." The race will also mark the first time that Front Row Motorsports and Wise will race the new #35 entry [they ran #26 in 2012]. Wise, entering his second full-time Sprint Cup season, will aim to secure the Blockbuster Ford Fusion in the Daytona 500 starting line-up during Thursday's second qualifying Duel. "It's pretty cool to have Blockbuster on the car for such a huge event," Wise said. "With the new cars and the new qualifying format that NASCAR has implemented, all eyes are going to be on Daytona this week. We're happy that Blockbuster realized the potential of partnering with Front Row Motorsports for the biggest race of the year."(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(2-21-2103)
Cajun Industries Takes a Ride with Wise: Cajun Industries will join Front Row Motorsports and Josh Wise as an associate sponsor on the #35 Ford Fusion for the 55th annual Daytona 500. The Baton Rouge, La.-based company provides services in all aspects of the construction industry and has earned elite honors for its post-Hurricane Katrina work in New Orleans. Cajun has worked with Wise in the past and recognizes the value of partnering with Front Row Motorsports for NASCAR's biggest event.
"Cajun Industries is proud to partner with Front Row Motorsports and Josh Wise for the Daytona 500," remarked Ken Jacob, President of Cajun Industries. "We've gotten to know Josh well over the past few years, and he is great to work with on and off the track. Josh is a talented driver, and I'm excited to continue our relationship with him and partner for NASCAR's most prestigious race."
Cajun provides a broad range of services, including heavy civil, mechanical and deep foundation construction, in numerous states. The 40-year-old company earned multiple industry awards for its draining and rebuilding work in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, including the Alliant Build America Award from the Associated General Contractors of America, known as the "Oscars of the construction industry."
Cajun's logo will appear on the #35 Ford's lower hood and lower rear quarter panels for Thursday's Duel 150 qualifying race and Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500. Primary sponsorship for the #35 Daytona 500 entry will be announced soon.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(2-18-2013)
New car number for Josh Wise: Front Row Motorsports announced on their Facebook page that Josh Wise will run the car number 35 in 2013 and beyond after running the #26 in 2012.(FRM)(2-5-2013)
Wise to run more full races: Since Front Row Motorsports runs a start-and-park entry for #26-Josh Wise. FRM's Jerry Freeze was asked how he felt about Bruton Smith's comments that the practice is bad for the sport. Freeze says that FRM uses Wise's #26 team, which often runs a third or half of the races, to give FRM an opportunity to a.) fund the other two cars better, b.) give Wise, a driver they really like, some seat time, and c.) develop other team members that they can move to the #34 and #38 teams. Freeze and Gilliland both say that no team wants to show up to a race and not run competitively, but they have to sometimes. Freeze also says that as long as there are more spots to fill in a race than funded cars, the practice will happen - if NASCAR wants to ban start-and-parks he says they should decrease the number of cars allowed in races. Freeze does say they plan to run Wise in eight to 15 full races this season, up from the single race the #26 finished in 2012.(WSB Radio)(1-25-2013)
Front Row Motorsports hires new crew chiefs: Front Row Motorsports' opening-day line-up is complete with the hiring of Frank Kerr as crew chief of David Gilliland's #38 Ford and Steven Lane as crew chief of Josh Wise's #26 Ford. The two NASCAR veterans joined the Statesville, N.C.-based Sprint Cup Series team this week. Kerr was most recently at #47-JTG Daugherty Racing [Kerr also crew chiefed on the #44 Xxxtreme Motorsports Chevy team at the end of 2012 when David Reuitman qualified the #44 at Phoenix], where he served as crew chief for Bobby Labonte in 2011 and Marcos Ambrose in 2009 and 2010. The former sprint-car champion has been a staple of the Sprint Cup garage since 2000 and has worked with drivers including David Reutimann, Robby Gordon and Stacy Compton. He'll be rejoined with #38-Gilliland, who worked briefly with Kerr in a Nationwide Series ride in 2005 and now enters his fourth year with Front Row. "I'm looking forward to working with this young team," Kerr said. "As an organization they've only been on track for a few short years, but there's a lot of experience in the shop, in the leadership and behind the wheel. I'm looking forward to helping them continue to grow."
Lane is a 12-year veteran atop the pit box, leading teams for organizations including Petty Enterprises and Chip Ganassi Racing in his Sprint Cup career and working with drivers such as Kyle Petty, Dario Franchitti and David Stremme. Joining the #26 team marks a return to Front Row Motorsports for Lane, who led the team's first full-time Sprint Cup campaign in 2009 with John Andretti behind the wheel of the team's flagship #34 car. He also served as crew chief for Travis Kvapil, who drove the #34 Ford in 2010. Lane will be paired with Wise in an expanded, full-time schedule for the young driver of the #26 Ford. "This will definitely feel like a homecoming of sorts, back with Front Row and back with Ford," Lane said. "It was a great experience to help get Front Row's first full-time Cup team off the ground back in 2009, and this will be a similar experience working with Josh as he expands his role with the team."
Jay Guy returns as crew chief for David Ragan's #34 team to round out Front Row's crew-chief line-up entering the 2013 season. The new hirings allow Derrick Finley to return full-time to his role of competition director for the young team. Finley had also been serving as Gilliland's crew chief since October. "It's great to have three veteran guys leading our race teams and have Derrick back exclusively in his competition director role as we start the season with the new Ford Fusions," said team owner Bob Jenkins. "Just like every other team, we're going to have a lot of benchmarking, analysis and building to do this season and it'll help us to have a solid, experienced group leading that effort with each guy having a focused role." The team will continue its pre-season testing of the new Fusions Jan. 17 and 18 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in preparation for the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 21.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(1-17-2013)
2013 silly season notes for #26-Josh Wise / Front Row Motorsports:: in mid-December, Front Row Motorsports announced it had re-signed driver Josh Wise to run their #26 Ford for the 2013 season. Wise ran of the 2012 Rookie of the Year but lost out to #33-Stephen Leicht. The #26 was a start and park for the majority of the season. Wise attempted to make 35 of the 36 races, qualifying for 30 of those but only finishing one race. Wise will return to the #26 Ford for all 36 Sprint Cup races with sponsorship from MDS Transport after completing the 2012 season in a part-time capacity with Front Row. The team plans to increase the 29-year-old driver's time on track in 2013 with a more competitive schedule of race entries. Charles Dickey was Wise's crew chief in 2012, but the team hired Frankie Kerr, formerly of JTG Daughtery and Xxxtreme Motorsports, to be the crew chief in 2013. FRM will also field two full-time teams, the #34 and #38 Fords. Wise was the sole driver testing at Daytona, running the #39 Ford there. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-15-2013)
Front Row Motorsports announces 2013 plans: Renewals of long-time partnerships will have Front Row Motorsports poised to run its most competitive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season ever in 2013, with the team announcing new agreements with drivers David Ragan, David Gilliland and Josh Wise. The team will also continue its relationships with manufacturing partner Ford Racing and engine builder Roush Yates Racing Engines.
Front Row Motorsports enters its fourth year teaming with Gilliland, Ford and Roush Yates - relationships that have brought stability and growth to the still-young team entering its fifth full-time season in the Sprint Cup Series. Race winner Ragan joined the line-up for the 2012 season, helping the team earn its best average finishes and the best year-end point rankings for the #34 and #38 entries in Front Row history.
The 2012 season saw Ragan and Gilliland combine for one top-five, two top-10, four top-15 and eight top-20 finishes, and an average finish of 27th. Ragan finished the season 28th in the driver point standings and Gilliland ended the season in 30th. The team continued to show its strength on superspeedways, where Ford and Roush Yates power helped Ragan and Gilliland earn their best results of the season. The 26-year-old Ragan will return to the cockpit of the #34 entry and the 36-year-old Gilliland will once again pilot the #38. Wise will return to the #26 Ford for all 36 Sprint Cup races with sponsorship from MDS Transport after completing the 2012 season in a part-time capacity with Front Row. The team plans to increase the 29-year-old driver's time on track in 2013 with a more competitive schedule of race entries.
Team owner Bob Jenkins sees how the stability of key partnerships helps the team improve each year. "You often see a lot of young teams going through a lot of changes trying to make it in the Sprint Cup Series," Jenkins said. "We've been fortunate that we've had a lot of stable partners, people who believe in our approach and are seeing year-to-year improvements as a result of that approach. David Gilliland has been a rock for us for three years and David Ragan brought race-winning experience to us last year and returns for 2013. That stability is huge for a young, developing team, and I know we'll continue to improve and have even better results this upcoming season."
Jay Guy will return as crew chief for Ragan's #34 team and Derrick Finley will continue to lead Gilliland's #38 crew. The drivers recognize and appreciate the importance of continuity from year to year within the organization.
"There's always a learning curve whenever something new is thrown into the mix, whether it's a new driver, new crew chief, new car or new team members," Ragan said. "We have a new Ford Fusion for 2013, which I'm really excited about, so it will be really important and really helpful that all the other variables aren't changing. My crew chief, Jay Guy, and I built a great working relationship last year and that will help us be better this coming year."
"I'm excited to start my fourth year with Front Row Motorsports," Gilliland said. "We've gotten better each and every season and I'm eager to get the season going with Derrick (Finley) again. Bob Jenkins has put a lot into this team since he started with a part-time team back in '05. He's growing it the way he should and the results are showing." Front Row Motorsports will be on track for the first time in the new Sprint Cup Series Ford Fusions Jan. 10 to 12 when the team participates in Pre-Season Thunder, the annual three-day test session at Daytona International Speedway to prepare for the season-opening Daytona 500 in February. The team is finalizing sponsorship agreements for the 2013 season with announcements expected soon.(Front Row Motorsports)(12-13-2012)
Front Row Motorsports Among America's Fastest Growing Companies: Front Row Motorsports (FRM), which fields the #26, #34 and #38 Fords in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was named to Inc. Magazine's list of the 5,000 fastest growing privately held companies in the United States. FRM earned a rank of No. 800 on the list. This marks the first time a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team has made the Inc. 5000 list. Front Row Motorsports has welcomed twelve new primary sponsors this season: Glory Foods, ModSpace, Maximum Human Performance, Scorpion Coatings, Barrett-Jackson, House-Autry Mills, Big Machine Label Group, Classic Media (Where's Waldo), Green1 Performance, Peanut Patch, 1-800LoanMart, and U.S. Shredder and Castings Group. Five of those twelve partnerships have turned into multi-race programs. The team's sponsorship portfolio is representative of nearly $172 billion of the U.S. economy. "Our team is focused on constant improvement both on the racetrack and in the marketplace" said team General Manager, Jerry Freeze, who has been with FRM since 2009. "Being named to the Inc. 5000 is certainly a victory for us off the track and shows that we are capable of winning in corporate America. We're an interesting case study to look at - we've raced at least two teams full-time in the Sprint Cup Series since 2009. We're a team that came into the sport right as the economy started to take a turn for the worse. We've weathered the storm, so to speak. Being named to the Inc. 5000 is a nice way to be recognized for our hard work and resiliency" said Freeze. The team's driver lineup currently includes #38-David Gilliland, #34-David Ragan and #26-Josh Wise.(FRM)(8-23-2012)
Front Row Motorsports surprise paralyzed veteran: A visit and tour of Front Row Motorsports' NASCAR facilities in Statesville on Monday turned into an emotional, surprise gifting for a military veteran from Charlotte who was paralyzed from the waist down in an April accident. Chuck Wesson, formerly a Sgt. 1st Class of the U.S. Army, lost all feeling and movement in his legs after a hit-and-run driver struck him from behind, breaking his back, on a city street outside of Fort Campbell, an army base located astraddle the Kentucky-Tennessee border where Wesson was stationed. While the 34-year-old Wesson has been rehabbing the past several months, he got hooked up with the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a nonprofit organization that works to foster a sense of community and bring aid to wounded soldiers. He said a WWP representative found him the first day he started rehab, about a week-and-a-half after surgery. Unbeknownst to Wesson, WWP had been working behind the scenes the past month planning something special for him. WWP invited Wesson to Front Row Motorsports, which employs NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racers #34-David Ragan, #38-David Gilliland and #26-Josh Wise, for what Wesson was told would be lunch and a tour of the facility, where around 20 race cars are stored and maintained. But the real surprise was the unveiling of the gift of a hand-cycle, a three-wheeled apparatus operated by the arms, to Wesson. Wesson was led around Front Row Motorsports' shop by Ragan, who connected with WWP last fall. WWP organized a quail hunt for a group of six wounded veterans for which Ragan donated the use of his land and time in southern Georgia.(Statesville Record & Landmark)(7-17-2012)
1-800LoanMart sponsoring Wise for 5 races: 1-800LoanMart will join Front Row Motorsports for five races this season as primary sponsor of the #26 Ford driven by Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Josh Wise. The lender will make its first appearance on Wise's Ford Fusion this weekend for the Kobalt Tools 400 on the fast oval of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The new partner will also appear as primary sponsor of the #26 for races at Auto Club Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Chicagoland Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. 1-800LoanMart will also be an associate sponsor on Front Row Motorsports' #38 Ford, driven by David Gilliland, for those same five race weekends. The Encino, Calif.-based lender, which launched in 2001, specializes in car title loans, serving customers in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Illinois, and Missouri. Similar to Jenkins' race team, the company started small, growing from 40 employees in 2008 to more than 200 today.(Front Row/Breaking Limits)(3-8-2012)
Hill, Wise running for Rookie of the Year: Josh Wise and Timmy Hill are not sure exactly how many races they'll compete in during the 2012 Sprint Cup season, but they plan to be racing each other for Sprint Cup's top rookie honors. Both Wise and Hill have registered for the rookie program and took their first Cup laps of the season this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Wise, who drove in 31 Nationwide races for three teams including JR Motorsports last year and has four career starts in the Cup Series, is driving the #26 car for Front Row Motorsports, which Tony Raines qualified in for the Daytona 500. #37-Hill, the 2011 Nationwide rookie of the year, is looking to make his Cup debut after failing to qualify Saturday at Phoenix. He is driving a car fielded by Rick Ware Racing and Max Q Motorsports in a deal that came together the last few weeks. Both Wise and Hill are not certain how many races they'll compete in this season. Wise and Front Row need sponsorship for that car to run the full events. Hill hopes to be in the car every race but knows that if he misses some, the team might put someone else in the car to try to get it in the top 35.(Scene Daily)(3-5-2012)
TMone joins Front Row Motorsports at the Daytona 500: TMone, a U.S. Call Center Insourcing firm, will join Front Row Motorsports for the 54th Annual Daytona 500. TMone, pronounced T-M-one, will be an associate sponsor of the #26 Front Row Motorsports Rick Santorum for President Campaign Ford driven by Tony Raines. TMone, a significant creator of jobs, who will be an associate sponsor for the #30 Toyota driven by David Stremme, the #32 Ford driven by Terry Labonte and the #36 Chevy by Dave Blaney in the Daytona 500. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa TMone's service delivery centers are strategically centric to the Midwest and Great Plaines of the United States. Since its inception in 2003, TMone's diverse capabilities, operational expertise and results driven culture provide clients with best in class technology while providing cost effective solutions for complex business processes including the insourcing of residential and commercial new customer acquisition/retention. "TMone is glad to be back onboard with Front Row Motorsports and their incredible restrictor plate program this weekend for this annual epic event," said Anthony Marlowe, TMone's Co-Founder and President. "TMone is proud to support NASCAR teams for the 2nd year in a row and be a consistent advocate for creating insourced jobs in America."(Breaking Limits / Front Row Motorsports)(2-27-2012)
Raines gets a sponsor for Daytona 500: The Rick Santorum for President campaign will sponsor Front Row Motorsports' #26 Ford Fusion for the Daytona 500, looking to reach potential voters among the millions of fans tuning in to the Great American Race. Veteran driver Tony Raines will be behind the wheel of the #26 entry after qualifying on speed for the starting field last Sunday in the feel-good, underdog story of the day. The Republican candidate's campaign messaging will be on the hood and quarter panels of Raines' Ford Fusion for Sunday's season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the 2.5-mile superspeedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. The former U.S. Senator looks to draw more attention to his "Made-in-the-USA" platform as he heads into the February 28 Michigan primary election. "NASCAR and the Daytona 500 are about as American as you can get - and it's great to have my campaign represented by one of these incredible machines," said Santorum. "The race weekend is a wonderful tradition that we're excited to be a part of as we spread our message. I like how Tony Raines turned some heads last weekend with his qualifying run and we'd like to keep turning heads, too. I think we're both looking for a win in the end." With the Santorum campaign coming aboard the #26 Ford, Front Row Motorsports will have three sponsored entries in Sunday's Daytona 500. "We're glad to partner with the Santorum campaign," said team owner Bob Jenkins. "We know there will be millions of eyes on these cars on Sunday and we know we can help get their message out. It's a pretty tight battle for the Republican nomination right now, and the former Senator is right in the thick of it. We hope we're in the thick of it come Sunday out on the racetrack, too." For more information on the Rick Santorum for President campaign, visit www.ricksantorum.com.(Front Row Motorsports / Breaking Limits) see image of the scheme on the #26 Team Schemes page.(2-25-2012)
Front Row to field 3rd car at Daytona UPDATES: Landon Cassill, the Iowa youngster who formerly was a Hendrick Motorsports development driver and made a bunch more fans in 2011 through his near-full season of work in James Finch's Phoenix Racing Chevrolet, has an opportunity for the Daytona 500 in a Ford. To kick off his own 2012, Cassill will drive a third Front Row Motorsports Ford later this month at Speedweeks. Cassill's #26 Fusion will have backing from Morristown Driver's Service, an over-the-road trucking company based in Tennessee. Owner Bob Jenkins' third car last year wore #55, but Michael Waltrip Racing took that number in conjunction with its sponsor, Aaron's 55th anniversary, for the 2012 season.(NASCAR.com)(2-2-2012)
UPDATE: The story has been updated: Thursday morning, [Cassill] let Front Row general manager Jerry Freeze know he couldn't do it. "We gave [Cassill] an out if he got a full-time racing deal," Freeze said. "And it sounds like he has one. No idea on who we'll get for now."(2-2-2012)
UPDATE 2: If the NASCAR tea leaves are true, Cassill may race for the new ownership group that purchased the assets from Red Bull Racing and has set up shop in the old Randy Moss/Morgan Dollar Motorsports building in Statesville, N.C. Front Row Motorsports General Manager Jerry Friese said FRM intends to run three cars in the Daytona 500 and expects to name a driver that will join David Gilliland and David Ragan next week. The short list likely includes Travis Kvapil and Tony Raines. Both drivers have raced for the organization before.(Fox Sports)(2-3-2012)
David Ragan to Front Row Motorsports: UPDATE: David Ragan, who spent the past five seasons driving for Roush Fenway Racing, will drive for Front Row Motorsports in the Sprint Cup series in 2012. An official announcement is scheduled for early next week, sources said. It remains unclear which team Ragan will drive for at Front Row, which fielded Ford teams last season for #34-David Gilliland and #38-Travis Kvapil [and a limited schedule with the #55].(Charlotte Observer)(1-14-2012)
UPDATE: Front Row Motorsports will follow up its best season in the team's young history by bolstering its line-up for 2012, adding race winner David Ragan to drive the #34 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Front Row veteran David Gilliland will build off an impressive 2011 season, returning to the team behind the wheel of the team's second entry, the #38 Ford. Ragan joins Front Row after completing a 2011 season that delivered his first Cup win (Daytona International Speedway in July), two poles, and four top-five and eight top-10 finishes. The 26-year-old Unadilla, Ga., native is already a NASCAR veteran, first joining the national stock-car ranks at the age of 18 and quickly ascending to premier-level Sprint Cup racing. His #34 team is locked in to the starting line-up entering the 2012 season, including a guaranteed starting spot in the prestigious Daytona 500 next month. Gilliland returns for his third season with Front Row and his seventh in the Cup series. The 35-year-old Riverside, Calif., native will return to the #38, the number he drove as a Sprint Cup rookie as well as the car he drove in his first season with Front Row. The #38 team is also locked in to the field entering 2012. Last season, Gilliland raced his way to a third-place finish in the Daytona 500 to start off an impressive 2011 run, in which he proved to be a force on superspeedways and road courses. Sponsorship for the Front Row Motorsports entries is being finalized and will be announced soon.(Breaking Limits/Front Row)
AND Jay Guy will be the crew chief for David Ragan and the #34 team, Competition Director Derrick Finley will fill in as crew chief on an interim basis for the #38 team and David Gilliland. The team continues to look for a permanent replacement for former crew chief Peter Sospenzo, who is no longer with the team.(1-16-2012)
Front Row still working on driver lineup: Last season, Front Row Motorsports team owner Bob Jenkins and general manager Jerry Freeze put together a team of #34-David Gilliland, #38-Travis Kvapil and #55-J.J. Yeley and were able to deliver solid efforts for the NASCAR team located in Statesville, NC. Gilliland drove in all 36 Cup races last year in the #34 Taco Bell Ford with one top-five finish -- an impressive third-place in the season-opening Daytona 500 -- and two top-10 finishes. Kvapil competed in 29 races in the #38 Long John Silver's Ford [and a few in the #55] car but did not crack the top 10. Yeley ran a limited schedule for the team [in the #38 and #55. None of the three drivers are under contract for 2012, but Freeze said the team intends to have all three back because they are the type of drivers the team needs at this stage of its development. "All three drivers have been really good for Front Row Motorsports," Freeze said. "They all fit the same profile. They are drivers with five or six years of Cup experience. They were all champions in another form of racing but haven't made their mark yet in Sprint Cup racing. They are all really hungry to make their mark. We aren't quite set to announce our formal driver lineup yet ... but our plan is to run the #34 and the #38 car along with a third car [which won't use #55 at MWR is running that car number in 2012] that will make some other appearances for us."
There are several high-profile drivers without a ride, and Freeze said with their uncertain lineup, Front Row Motorsports has explored the free-agent market. "We've talked to [David] Ragan and [David] Reutimann," Freeze admitted. "Ragan has been in the Ford family and we talked to him after the season was over out of respect for Ford because they really liked him and wanted to see if there was a fit there. We've talked to David Reutimann, too. If there is a place where he might fit along with a sponsor, we could be an option there. But it's been more casual conversations with those guys and our focus has been on David and J.J. and Travis and [working] on the packages that we have discussed with them."(in part from Sports Illustrated)(12-26-2011)
Front Row Motorsports driver lineup for 2012 not set: [Front Row Motorsports owner Bob] Jenkins has been pouring millions into Front Row as it seeks major sponsorship. Staying in the top 35 could help, as could recruitment of a driver such as David Ragan (who is under the Ford umbrella but was phased out at Roush Fenway), David Reutimann or Brian Vickers. [Team manager Jerry] Freeze said he expected the team's crewmembers and drivers to be settled by early January (#34-David Gilliland, #38-Travis Kvapil and #55-J.J. Yeley are not under contract for 2012). "It's such an unusual time to have a fairly good crop of drivers that are out there and available," Freeze said. "Not to mention the guys that drove for us last year."(USA Today)(11-29-2011)
Ingersoll Rand to Sponsor Kvapil at Charlotte: Ingersoll Rand, a global leader in vehicle service tools, equipment and compressed air technology has announced a primary sponsorship in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ingersoll Rand is proud to sponsor Front Row Motorsports' #55 Ford Fusion at the Bank of America 500 on October 15th 2011 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, as part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The car will be driven by 2003 Craftsman Truck Series Champion Travis Kvapil. "Ingersoll Rand has been in the pits for over 50 years with our legendary Thunder Gun Impactool," says Nate Schmid, Marketing Manager for Vehicle Services with Ingersoll Rand. "We are very proud to be returning to the track as a primary sponsor." The company is also an associate sponsor of the #34 Ford Fusion, driven by David Gilliland, 2004 NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series Rookie of the Year and son of NASCAR veteran Butch Gilliland. Both cars will be racing in the Bank of America 500 on Saturday, October 15th 2011 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Ingersoll Rand)(10-11-2011)
Yeley returns to the #38 at Chicago: J.J. Yeley will get the call to drive the #38 Long John Silver's Ford once again, this time at the 1.5-mile tri-oval of Chicagoland Speedway. The GEICO 400 race weekend will be Yeley's third time piloting the #38 Ford Fusion since joining Front Row Motorsports in July. The #38 team is 40 points outside the top 35 in owner points and wants to eliminate that gap before season's end to guarantee a starting position for the beginning of the 2012 season.(Front Row/Breaking Limits), Travis Kvapil will move to the #55 Ford.(9-13-2011)
Yeley / Kvapil swap rides at Atlanta: Front Row Motorsports' #38 Ford will have a different look at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend, hitting the track with a new sponsor and a different driver. Front Row driver J.J. Yeley will take the wheel of the #38 Vampt Ford for Sunday's AdvoCare 500, introducing the NASCAR audience to Vampt malt beverages. Vampt Beverage Corp.'s initial product offering includes two agave-infused, ready-to-drink malt beverages - Vampt Smooth Talker and Vampt Midnight Warrior - available in select markets, including Atlanta this fall. The one-race deal has Yeley swapping rides with teammate Travis Kvapil, who will drive the #55 Front Row Motorsports Ford for the weekend.(FrontRowMotorsports / Breaking Limits)(8-31-2011)
Vampt Beverage Sponsorship for Yeley at Atlanta: Fans of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be introduced to the Vampt Beverage Corp. brand and its "GET VAMPT" call-to-action on Labor Day weekend when J.J. Yeley drives Front Row Motorsports' #38 Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Vampt will be the primary sponsor of Yeley and the #38 Vampt Ford Fusion for the AdvoCare 500 race weekend September 2 through 4, 2011. The deal, which was brokered by Genuine Partners, marks Vampt Beverage Corp.'s first foray into NASCAR sponsorship. Vampt's initial product offering includes two agave-infused, ready-to-drink malt beverages - Vampt Smooth Talker and and Vampt Midnight Warrior - available in select markets, including Atlanta this fall.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(8-25-2011)
Yeley to Front Row Motorsports: UPDATE: During SPEED's coverage of final practice at New Hampshire, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds reported that J.J. Yeley will be with Front Row Motorsports the remainder of the year. He will drive #55, the team's fourth car starting at Indianapolis.(7-16-2011)
UPDATE: J.J. Yeley will join Front Row Motorsports for the remainder of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, splitting time between the #55 Ford and the #38 Ford. The seven-year Sprint Cup veteran filled in for Travis Kvapil in the #38 Long John Silver's Ford at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last weekend, finishing 23rd. Yeley had been driving for Whitney Motorsports for the first half of the 2011 season. He joins fellow veteran drivers Kvapil and David Gilliland as teammates at Front Row. Yeley will be in the #55 Ford for the series' next race July 31 at Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(7-18-2011)
Yeley driving the #38 in New Hampshire: J.J. Yeley will bring his strong record at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to Front Row Motorsports this weekend when he pilots the #38 Long John Silver's Ford. Travis Kvapil, the car's usual driver, will be racing in the Camping World Truck Series in Iowa. Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 will be Yeley's first time driving for Front Row Motorsports. The #38 Ford moved up one position in owners' points (37th) after Kvapil's 29th-place run at Kentucky Speedway last weekend. The team is still 16 points outside the top 35, so Yeley will need to qualify for the race on speed.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(7-12-2011)
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