Races [16-18] that Love's Travel Stops is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Daytona - 2/21
Las Vegas - 3/6
Auto Club - 3/20
Texas - 4/9
Bristol - 4/17
Talladega - 5/1, w/CSX
Sonoma - 6/26
Daytona - 7/2, camo
Kentucky - 7/9
Bristol - 8/20
Chicago - 9/18
Charlotte - 10/8
Kansas - 10/16
Talladega - 10/23
Texas - 11/6
Homestead - 11/20
Races  that CSX Transportation is scheduled / has been the primary sponsor in 2016:
Atlanta - 2/28
Martinsville - 4/3
Charlotte - 5/29, Patriotic
Michigan - 6/12
New Hampshire - 7/17
Watkins Glen - 8/7
Richmond - 9/10
one more TBA
Races that Dockside Logistics has been the primary sponsor in 2016:
Phoenix - 3/13
Kansas - 5/7
Dover - 5/15
Pocono - 6/5
Indianapolis - 7/24
Pocono - 7/31 (WON; run on 8/1)
Races that A&W All American Food has been the primary sponsor in 2016:
Richmond - 4/24
Contract Status: Driver: 2016; Primary Sponsors: Love Travel Stops 2016; CSX 2016
Buescher unlikely to move to Roush next season: #34-Chris Buescher's improbable and highly unusual first Sprint Cup victory at Pocono Raceway two weeks ago had little impact on how Roush Fenway Racing executives evaluate their prospect and 2015 Xfinity Series champion. The team already believed the 23-year-old was capable of winning at NASCAR's highest level, president Steve Newmark told USA TODAY Sports, so winning in his work-study program at Front Row Motorsports on a fuel strategy gambit in a race halted prematurely because of rain and fog provided no new evidence. But even though Buescher now has more wins that the entirety of Roush Fenway's three-car Sprint Cup contingent and a simpler route to Chase for the Sprint Cup qualification than Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle or Ricky Stenhouse Jr., he is currently unlikely to be brought back aboard his parent team next season.
"I don't think that particular win monumentally changes the direction that we want to go with him," Newmark said. "Our hope is to be in a position at some point to bring Chris back into Roush Fenway equipment at the Cup level. Right now we've got a great partnership with Front Row. I think they were excited that that possibility was available because we felt Chris was ready to get to the Cup level after his Xfinity championship last year and thought that would be really good experience. And it's proven to be that."
It is unlikely, Newmark said, that Roush Fenway will expand to four cars for 2017 because of multiple factors. Sponsorship is always involved, and, he added, "we need to keep getting better on the race track."(USA Today)(8-12-2016)
Chris Buescher confident he'll make the Chase: #34-Chris Buescher is still on the outside looking in, but probably not for long. After last Sunday's unexpected NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Pocono Raceway, Buescher is still 31st in the standings, six points behind 30th-place David Ragan. In order to qualify for the Chase, Buescher must be in the top 30 after the 26th race of the season, scheduled for Sept. 10 at Richmond. Buescher is confident he can meet the challenge. "If we look at it now, we're in good shape to be heading forward," Buescher said on Friday at Watkins Glen International, site of Sunday's Cheez-It 355. "Our cars have been a lot better each and every weekend. The last six or seven or eight weeks, we've been unloading with a lot better speed and finishing better and staying running better in the race. And when we look ahead, after this weekend we're going to a lot of places for the second time finally, so we have a good notebook between (crew chief) Bob (Osborne) and myself. With our first year working together, we feel like we have better chemistry now and can pick up speed in the next five races leading up to the Chase." For one thing, there are no more superspeedway races before the Chase starts. Buescher crashed out of all three restrictor-plate events this season, with his only other DNF coming at Kentucky. Henceforth, Buescher also will get better equipment on a consistent basis from Roush Fenway Racing, which farmed him out to Front Row Motorsports for his rookie year in the Sprint Cup series. "As we go forward, we have had pretty awesome support from Roush Fenway this year," Buescher said. "A lot of the races we have been kind of half-and-half on what we're doing, but as we look at the Chase coming up here, I think we'll be able to try to step up our program as much as possible. I know when we landed from Utah (where Buescher attended a refresher course on road racing earlier this week), our 34 team was still in the shop at 10:30 at night to make sure we had the best piece possible for the Glen this weekend. I know the team is working as hard as they possibly can to make sure we're running better."(NASCAR Wire Service)(8-7-2016)
Rookies make history: Last weekend Sunoco Rookie of the year candidates won all three NASCAR national series races for the first time in history - Chris Buescher (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series), 23, Erik Jones (NASCAR XFINITY Series), 20, and William Byron (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), 18. Their average age is 20.33.(NASCAR)(8-5-2016)
4th ever win for car #34: When Chris Buescher won the Pennsylvania 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on August 1, 2016, it was only the 4th time a car running the #34 won a Sprint Cup Series race. The last win in #34 was when David Ragan won the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega on May 5, 2013 for the third win. The other two wins were big milestones in NASCAR history. NASCAR Hall of Famer driver Wendell Scott won at Jacksonville on December 1, 1963, the only African-American to win a Cup race. The first win by the #34 was by Jim Roper at Charlotte in June 1949, the first ever NASCAR race. For more info on car number wins and some history, see Jayski.com's Wins by Car Number page.(8-2-2016)
Buescher was an historical longshot win: The fog rolled into Pocono Raceway hard Monday during the Pennsylvania 400 and when visibility became a problem, NASCAR brought out the caution flag on lap 133. Rookie Chris Buescher, after a series of pit stops happened to be the leader when the yellow flag came out. And then the red flag appeared with only 22 laps remaining, giving him some hope as he was close to running out of fuel. When the fog didn't lift and another storm-front ran through the area, NASCAR called the race official giving Buescher his first career Sprint Cup win. His 1,000-to-1 odds to win before the race make him the longest shot to ever win a NASCAR race in Las Vegas sports book history.(Roberts NASCAR Notes)(8-2-2016)
Chris Buescher wins at Pocono: #34-Chris Buescher won the rain-delayed Pennsylvania 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway for his 1st win of the season, 1st win at Pocono, and 1st career win. This is the second win for Front Row Racing. The race was called with 22 laps remaining after fog rolled into the track that made it impossible to continue. Buescher had stayed out under green and was in the lead when the caution fell with 28 laps to go. He led 12 of the 138 laps. The race was red flagged for more than an hour before the race was called.
The race was run on Monday after rain postponed it Sunday.
#2-Keselowski finished 2nd followed by #7-Smith, #4-Harvick, #14-Stewart, #42-Larson, #11-Hamlin, #19-Edwards, #18-Busch, and #41-Busch.
Pole sitter, #78-Truex, Jr. hit the wall early in the race after a tire went down from a broken valve stem. He finished 38th.
Jeff Gordon, subbing for #88-Earnhardt, Jr., finished 28th.
There were 19 lead changes among 11 drivers and 7 cautions for 31 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 127.581 mph.
Scheduled Race Re-Air: None
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
Lap Summary Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
Pit Stop Times (pdf)
Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Pocono Race & Points Report (pdf).(8-1-2016)
Four Rookies wreck at Kentucky, comments from each: Four of the five rookie of the year candidates had issues in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night: #21-Blaney, #24=Elliott, #34-Buscher and #44-Scott were involved in accidents. On lap 89, #21-Ryan Blaney got stuck in the middle between #24-Elliott on the top and #16-Biffle who was below the #21. Blaney and Elliott made contact, sending both backing into the wall. Then, on Lap 93, #44-Scott got loose, then made contact with #42-Larson, sending the #44 sliding. #34-Buescher had no place to go and hit the #44 Ford sending it into the inside wall. #47-Allmendinger and #95-Dillon were also involved. Comments/Quotes from each:
Q) YOUR CREW IS MAKING REPAIRS, BUT TAKE ME THROUGH WHAT HAPPENED. DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE GOING THREE-WIDE?
Elliott: "Yeah, kind of at the last second I heard them say three, and I really didn't know how that was going to work. And there's really not enough room. I felt like I was I was about at the top of the gray; or the bottom of the gray; as about at the top as I could be without getting up in the mess. I tried to give as much room as I could do as possible. That's racing, I guess. We'll just try to go get 'em next week. The good news is we had a fast NAPA Chevy; the bad news is that we've had three bad weeks in a row. So, for us; we've just got to go back and get the job done, bottom line. So, we'll try again next week."
Q) WE JUST SAW ANOTHER BIG WRECK THAT TOOK OUT A LOT OF CARS. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO TRY AND MAKE THE REPAIRS AND GET BACK OUT?
Elliott: "Well, it's definitely important. It's not as important as winning. That's the most important thing, for us, at this point. That's our goal. Just because we had a bad night tonight doesn't mean our goal has changed. So, we'll try to get 'em next week."
Q) WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOW THAT ALL TRANSPIRED?
Elliott: "Just being top of (Turn) 3 and there is really not enough room to be three-wide, so I heard at the last second we were three-wide and I had a feeling that we were just because we got bottled up there off of (Turn) 2. I tried to give as much room as I possibly could to stay at the top of the black and out of the grey. I didn't know how much further out I could get without wrecking myself without any help. I guess Ryan (Blaney) just got loose and got us, but that is racing. The good news is we had another fast car, the bad news that is the third bad week in a row. We will try to regroup and go get 'em wherever we go next."
Q) WHAT HAPPENED?
Elliott: "Just got three-wide, had a bad corner there in (Turn) 2 and got us bottled up. Once that happened guys obviously tried to pounce and make things happen. For me, I was kind of the guy on the outside lane. I tried to get out as far as I felt like I could without getting up in the grey. I know every time somebody has got in the grey this weekend it has been bad news. I was trying to stay out of that myself. I guess Ryan (Blaney) got loose in the middle and that is an easy thing to do. It's slick." Q) HOW SLICK WAS IT? WAS THE DRIVING TONIGHT AS CRAZY AS EVERYBODY THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE?
Elliott: "It's just such a fine line. There is just not a lot of room for error. The groove is so narrow that if you make a mistake you just kind of have to stop in your tracks. You can't necessarily slide up and gather yourself back up in a wider spot. You just kind of have to try to keep it wherever you are and obviously the people coming behind you. That is part of it I guess and like I said we will try to come back and have a better week next week."(Team Chevy)
#21-Ryan Blaney: "That restart was pretty hectic from the beginning with the 78 getting loose and it kind of put everybody in a bad spot, and it wound up with us being in the middle of three-wide into three. It's so hard to get into that corner all night with a car close to behind you and outside of you, and no one lifting either, and it's just an unfortunate spot we got put in and I hate to see two really good cars tore up. We were both very fast tonight (24 and 21) and it's just a really unfortunate deal, but we'll try to get it fixed and get back out there and make some laps."
#34-Chris Buescher: "I was really happy with our Love's Ford Fusion. Our fire-off speed was excellent and this was the best car we've had all year. The guys did a heck of a job. Unfortunately, the call was made to run practice during our qualifying time and we started by points. We've had three of these situations at superspeedways already this year and just didn't put us in a good place for the start and the pit selection wasn't good because of it, and we ended up in a bad spot because of it. We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Q) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE TRACK TONIGHT?
Buescher: "They did a good job with the repave. The track is a lot of fun to drive. Everybody keeps begging for less and less downforce, and we keep seeing more and more incidents because of it. I think it has made better racing at a lot of race tracks, but it's not easy to get into turn three here side-by-side."
#44-Brian Scott: "The 11 was pretty tight on my door and I had the 42 up my bumper there on that restart and these cars are pretty difficult to drive when you're in that type of situation. I was expecting it and when it happened I thought I had it saved. I was just trying to gather it back up and lose the spots we were gonna lose, but go on and then some cars barreled in pretty fast from behind and caused a pile up. It started with me. It's a product of new paves. You just don't have any room and everybody holds each other really tight, and it's just difficult. This low downforce package is racing really well, but it doesn't really matter what downforce package you have when you've got two cars really tight on you from behind and on the side you just have no air on your car and there was nothing I could do."(Ford Performance)(7-9-2016)
NASCAR teams join forces with Hope For The Warriors: Several NASCAR teams and drivers will join Hope For the Warriors this Memorial Day weekend to honor several fallen service members during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. With the NASCAR Salutes initiative driving a patriotic theme for the weekend, Hope For The Warriors has capitalized on its relationships within the NASCAR garage to let several Gold Star families know that their loved ones are still remembered this Memorial Day weekend. The initiative incorporates drivers from Richard Childress Racing, BK Racing and Front Row Motorsports, who have partnered with Hope For The Warriors, to not only honor the fallen service members, but also to host the Gold Star families at Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. The Gold Star families will gather for a private dinner on Saturday night before heading to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday morning. On race day, Newman, Buescher, DiBenedetto and David Ragan have each agreed to do private meet and greets with the group. The families will have an opportunity to attend the drivers meeting and pose for photos with the drivers and cars while lined up on the grid during prerace. On a near weekly basis, Hope For The Warriors brings service members to the track through their Drive For Hope program, which focuses on engaging transitioning service members in a unique social setting while giving them an opportunity to learn about prospective careers, make networking connections and realize different ways their skills can transition as they reintegrate into the civilian sector.(PR)(5-27-2016)
Buescher, CSX Honor Memory of U.S. Marine Killed in Iraq: On Memorial Day weekend, Chris Buescher and sponsor CSX will race in the name of a U.S. Marine killed while on patrol during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The #34 Ford will pay tribute to SSgt. Eric McIntosh, a 29-year-old Infantry Unit Leader who died conducting combat operations in Iraq in 2006. SSgt. McIntosh's name will be displayed across the top of the windshield of Buescher's #34 for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte as part of NASCAR's tribute to America's fallen military. SSgt. McIntosh was one month into his second tour of duty in Iraq when he was killed by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Anbar province. He was survived by his wife, mother, sister and brother. CSX has a proud history of service in hiring individuals with military experience to operate the nation's largest eastern railroad. One in five CSX employees has served in the armed forces, and the railroad was presented the GI Jobs Most Military Friendly 2015 and ESGR Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve Freedom Award. Additionally, CSX donated 200 grandstand tickets to the Charlotte Motor Speedway "Let the Troops Race" program so active military members can watch the race in person (Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #34 team paint schemes page.(5-25-2016)
NASCAR will examine Talladega accidents; Dale Jr's steering wheel: NASCAR is looking into what led cars to get airborne Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway and will investigate what caused Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s steering wheel to detach after his second wreck, a NASCAR executive told "The Morning Drive" on Monday. "Some really intense racing all throughout the day, and some things we didn't like with cars getting up in the air and we're already fast at work at the R&D Center, looking at all the video we have," Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "We'll reach out to the teams to see what we can do to immediately take some action to work towards correcting that." Chris Buescher's car tumbled down the backstretch after being hit by another car, and Matt Kenseth's car was sent airborne after contact turned his car sideways and the air picked his vehicle up. Neither driver was injured in the separate incidents. "You never want to see that," O'Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about those incidents. "So you immediately work on is everybody safe, did the safety equipment do it's job and what we can learn from that. The immediate steps are to review all the media shots that we have of those incidents, work with the race teams and then look at what may or may not be different from when we've been not only at Talladega but any other race track.
"That will be all of our process in sitting down and reviewing that," O'Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. That also will include looking at what happened to Earnhardt's steering wheel. Earnhardt's teammate, Jimmie Johnson, had a steering wheel come off at Phoenix, leading to his crash in qualifying there. O'Donnell was asked if Earnhardt's issue was isolated or something more.
"Even if it is an isolated incident, we'll look at it," O'Donnell said. "It could be something that could cause issues down the road if it was a trend. We'll talk to (Earnhardt) and his team and make sure hopefully that was just what you said initially an isolated incident and go from there, but if there is anything we can take from that, we will certainly communicate that to all the teams. It's not something you want to see, especially potentially at speed."(NBC Sports)(5-2-2016)
Love's and CSX team up with Buescher at Talladega: Chris Buescher's #34 Ford Fusion will have the support of his two biggest partners at Talladega Superspeedway's Geico 500. Love's Travel Stops and CSX will serve as co-primary sponsors of the Front Row Motorsports entry for the May 1 Sprint Cup Series race, promoting safety on the roads and around railroad tracks. Love's and CSX are the #34 team's principal sponsors for the 2016 season, combining for 26 of the series' 36 points races. The Talladega race will serve as an opportunity for the two transportation-based companies to come together to promote a unified message during one of the season's most anticipated and action-packed races. CSX has used its Front Row Motorsports partnership for four straight seasons to promote its message to 'Play It Safe' around railroad tracks. And, with more than 370 locations in 40 states, Love's has a customer base of recreational and professional drivers around the country who encounter railroad crossings every day.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #34 team paint schemes page.(4-27-2016)
Buescher unsure of 2017 plans; Erik Jones has a plan: Rookie Xfinity Series driver Erik Jones said Joe Gibbs Racing knows what they plan to do with him in 2017. "There's a plan in place that will be in motion here later in the year," Jones said Wednesday at Texas Motor Speedway's Media Day at Gilley's. "There's a plan in place and really, my performance this year isn't going to be indicative of where that's going to end up." Jones didn't give specifics on the team's plan. The 20-year old driver is five races into the Xfinity season with the #20 team for JGR after winning last year's Camping World Truck Series title for Kyle Busch Motorsports. All four Sprint Cup rides at JGR are filled, but the team formed a technical alliance with Furniture Row Racing before this season. Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser has expressed interest in fielding a second car. "It's the first time in my career where I've been in a position like this, where I am set in my future at this point at least, and that's a great feeling as a young driver, not to really have to really fight every week," Jones said.
It's a slightly different story for defending Xfinity Series champion Chris Buescher. The Texas native is in his first full-time Sprint Cup season, driving the #34 Ford in a partnership between Roush Fenway Racing and Front Row Motorsports. The 23-year-old driver doesn't know yet where he'll be competing in 2017 but said the possibility remains that he could be right where he is a year from now. "We don't have anything figured out yet beyond this year," Buescher said. "I'm still under contract with Roush as a development driver. I do not know what next year holds. It could be the same, could be different. We haven't gotten that far, we've barely gotten far enough as to discuss how this year is all going to work out." Buescher would be surprised if he learned his fate any time soon.(NBC Sports)(3-31-2016)
CSX Extends with #34 Ford to Promote Safety in 2016: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie Chris Buescher will promote railroad safety with CSX in 2016, with the transportation company returning its "Play It Safe" messaging to the Front Row Motorsports #34 Ford Fusion for a fourth consecutive season. The 2015 XFINITY Series Champion and 2016 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year candidate will serve as an ambassador to 18- to 34-year-old males among NASCAR's fan base, the demographic mostly likely to be involved in a train collision and the targeted audience of CSX's safety campaign. Buescher will drive the CSX "Play It Safe" Ford for eight races, including events at Atlanta, Watkins Glen and the fall race at Richmond. "I got to work with CSX a little bit last year when I drove the #34, and I really respect what they're doing with their NASCAR program," the 23-year-old driver said. "It's all about safety and spreading the message to race fans. If we can reach people and prevent even one collision, it'll be a successful campaign." CSX, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based railroad, has partnered with Front Row Motorsports for the past three Sprint Cup Series seasons to spread the message to "Play It Safe" around railroad tracks and to "Brake for Trains."
"We are thrilled to have a champion driver like Chris Buescher in the CSX 'Play It Safe' car in our fourth season with Front Row Motorsports," said John Claybrooks, CSX Director, Brand and Marketing Communications. "They both understand our cause and safety message as we strive to keep people safe around railroad tracks." As one of the nation's leading transportation suppliers, with a network covering 21,000 miles of railroad tracks in 23 states, CSX is committed to educating the public on railroad safety in the communities it serves. "At CSX, safety is a way of life, and our NASCAR sponsorship continues to help CSX promote railroad safety education across our network," says Jim Marks, CSX Vice President of Safety. "We can reach a large, key demographic to remind race fans to not stop, walk or play on the tracks or near crossings and encourage them to use safe driving practices at railroad crossings."(Front Row Motorsports)(1-27-2016)
Love's Travel Stops to sponsor Buescher for 18 races: Love's Travel Stops will extend its partnership with Front Row Motorsports in 2016, joining Chris Buescher in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie campaign in the #34 Ford Fusion. Love's Travel Stops will sponsor 18 races in 2016, including the season-opening Daytona 500, both races at its home track of Texas Motor Speedway and the finale at Homestead Miami Speedway. The Oklahoma City, Okla.-based company has grown its NASCAR marketing program in its three years as a Front Row Motorsports partner and incorporated its employee, customers and business partners into the success of the program. Love's Travel Stops is family-owned and operated with more than 360 locations in 40 states. During its 50-plus years of sharing the road with drivers, Love's has grown to become one of America's favorite travel stops offering clean, modern facilities stocked with fuel, food and supplies for travelers. "At Love's, we are passionate about improving our business and make changes to enhance our customers experience," said Dave Frankenfield, director of marketing for Love's. "Bob Jenkins and the Front Row Motorsports team share the same passion and have implemented several strategic changes this season to improve the team's competitiveness. We are jazzed about the team's new alliance and the opportunity to sponsor Chris Buescher in his Sprint Cup rookie campaign."(Front Row Motorsports)(1-13-2016)
Roush Fenway makes crew chief changes: Roush Fenway Racing solidified its crew chief lineup for 2016 on Friday. Team sources confirmed to Motorsport.com that veteran Bob Osborne will oversee Chris Buescher's development during his Sprint Cup rookie season at Front Row Motorsports, piloting the #34. Osborne, 41, returned to the pit box last season as Trevor Bayne's crew chief following a three-year sabbatical due to health-related issues. The Penn State graduate enjoyed tremendous success with Carl Edwards. Together the pair posted 18 wins, 86 top-fives and 142 top-10 finishes and nearly won the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship. Buescher, the current Xfinity Series champion, was expected to make the move to Cup with Scott Graves, who has since left the RFR for Joe Gibbs Racing. However, given Osborne's experience at the Cup level as well as his 17 seasons with Roush, Buescher couldn't ask for a better crew chief to ease him through the transition in his rookie season. Matt Puccia, 38, will direct Bayne's effort and the #6 team. Puccia joined Roush in 2004. His first stint as a Roush crew chief came two years later with Edwards in the truck series. He's spent the last five seasons with Greg Biffle in Cup. Initially, Puccia was potentially slated for the #6 Xfinity team with Darrell "Bubba" Wallace. However, the organization elected to stay the course with Seth Barbour who replaced Chad Norris in the crew chief role following the Watkins Glen race in August. Wallace, 22, finished seventh in the point standings in his first full season on the NXS tour.(Motorsport)(1-8-2016)
No #35 FRM team in 2016?: noticed on Front Row Motorsports website (TeamFRM.com) that under the teams tab, there is no #35 team is listed and under the drivers tab, neither Cole Whitt nor David Gilliland are listed as drivers. Front Row Motorsports announced on Dec. 10th, that Chris Buescher will take over the #34 Ford ride in 2016 and that they could down size from three teams to two. Gilliland drove for FRM from 2010 until this past season (in the #34, #37 and #38 Fords). Gilliland recently tweeted: "Not really sure what's gonna happen next year. [Front Row] has been great to me. I wish them nothing but the best." Cole Whitt ran the #35 Ford in all 36 races during the 2015 season. No word on Whitt's plans or plans for his crew chief Randy Cox.(1-1-2016)
Chris Buescher joining Front Row; team forming alliance with Roush: Roush Fenway Racing has announced an enhanced technical alliance with Front Row Motorsports, with the championship organization now providing engineering, equipment and driver support to Front Row in 2016. As a key part of the alliance, 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Champion and Roush Fenway driver Chris Buescher will drive the #34 Front Row Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series during the 2016 season, with the team receiving full engineering and pit support from Roush Fenway.
"We are thrilled to announce this alliance," said Roush Fenway President Steve Newmark. "Not only will it foster increased communication within the Ford camp, it will allow our newest champion Chris Buescher to continue to hone his skills with substantial seat time behind the wheel in the Sprint Cup Series in top-grade equipment. We look forward to working more closely with Front Row on many levels and we believe it is a relationship that will be mutually beneficial for both parties," added Newmark.
Buescher, in only his second season of full-time NASCAR racing in 2015, powered his way to the XFINITY Championship and added to his list of accomplishments that already included becoming the youngest driver to ever win an ARCA title in 2012. Buescher scored his first NASCAR win last season at Mid-Ohio and followed up his rookie-year performance with wins at Iowa and Dover this season en route to the championship. Buescher never ranked lower than third in the driver championship standings, and the Prosper, Texas native completed the season with zero DNFs (Did Not Finish). He finished inside of the top-20 in all of the 33 races on the season, completing 99.9 percent of the laps during the 2015 campaign, while leading a total of 263 laps.
Plans for Front Row Motorsports' second Sprint Cup Series entry will be announced at a later date.(Roush Fenway Racing)(12-10-2015)
Chris Buescher....no plans races with Front Row in 2016 UPDATES: Chris Buescher holds an 18-point lead in the NASCAR XFINITY point standings going into the Ford EcoBoost 300. Buescher held a Q&A session in the Homestead, one question asked was:
Q) YOU RAN SOME CUP RACES WITH FRONT ROW [Racing #34 Ford] EARLIER THIS YEAR. ANY PLANS TO DO THAT NEXT SEASON?
Buescher: "We don't have anything planned for next year. I did get to run, I think it was six races what it ended up being, and I had a blast doing it. It was an awesome bunch of guys over there, had a lot of fun, and learned a lot as well. I realized real quickly how busy double-duty could get for a weekend in running back and forth between the garages. That made me give a lot more respect to the guys that do it every weekend and are constantly running because when you get out of the car, I remember Fontana was the first one. You get out of the car and there's five minutes between XFINITY practice and a Cup practice and the garages seemed like they were a mile away there. It was a busy weekend. I was wore out by the end of it, but there's no plans to do it next year, but what I got out of it this year was invaluable."(Ford Performance NSCS Notes and Quotes)(11-21-2015)
UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing owner, Jack Roush and XFINITY Series Champ Chris Buescher, answered questions at Homestead during the XFINITY Driver's Championship Press Conference, a few were about Sprint Cup Series plans:
Q) SPEAKING OF THE RIGHT OF PASSAGE, WHAT ARE THE PLANS FOR CHRIS NEXT YEAR?
Jack Roush: "We are still not sure what his arrangement will be next year. He will be involved in a Cup car to some extent but whether it is a part time program or full program we are still in the midst of finalizing the conditions of that. We have a number of possibilities but we aren't ready to announce that today."
Q) JACK SAID HE'S NOT SURE ABOUT WHAT YOU'LL DO NEXT YEAR. WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED TO LEARN BEFORE BEING A FULL-TIME CUP DRIVER?
Chris Buescher: "I think if you look and realize that Cup drivers come down to the XFINITY level every race there's always something to be learned. They know that and that's why they do it. To me, that's part of just seat time. You've got to learn everything you can every race. There's always something different about a race track. There are similarities between the two race cars now. Like Jack was talking about with the rules as close as they are now, there are things we can bounce back and forth. There's always something to learn. Every time you get in a race car you figure out something. I've been clear. I'm not in a rush. If it comes around, that's the first I've heard of it by the way, so it's kind of like the radio interview where Jack said something four months ago and I found out from my dad. If that's what it brings, then I'll do my best to prepare for it and be ready and if not, we'll go try and double up on these XFINITY championships. Right now, we're living in the moment. It's a big weight off our shoulders. We get to calm down a little bit and get to celebrate and enjoy the banquet - do some off-shore fishing while we're out here in Florida - and we'll go back and gear up for 2016."(Ford Racing)(11-22-2015)
UPDATE 2:, Since the finale, Buescher has been made aware that possibilities have developed for the 2016 season, with options in both series. "I look forward to the possibilities," Buescher said. "I know in the past week that some things have developed, but I honestly don't know what. They have told me we have some options, and we'll talk to you about it after this is over to just try and not distract from the task at hand. We didn't want to add stress to the weekend, or stress to the banquet." Buescher added the plan was to celebrate the championship as well as the Thanksgiving holiday before returning to Roush Fenway Racing where the parties involved will go about nailing down the specifics.(Popular Speed)(11-30-2015)
Moffitt named NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year: Lost in the shuffle of all that transpired in Sunday night's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, #34-Brett Moffitt was named the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year for 2015. Moffitt competed in 31 of the 36 Sprint Cup Series events this season, driving for Michael Waltrip Racing and Front Row Motorsports throughout the year. Moffett made his first start of the season, eighth of his career, at Atlanta Motor Speedway last March 1, driving the #55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. In that event, Moffitt started 22nd and finished eighth for a career-best and what turned out to be his highest finish of the season. "Atlanta was definitely the highlight of my year," Moffitt said Sunday at Homestead. "Going into 2015, that was the one race I had on my schedule with Michael Waltrip Racing, and they gave me the opportunity. Michael, the folks at Aaron's and Rob Kauffman (who owned MWR with Michael Waltrip) believed in me enough to fill in for Brian (Vickers) that race, and to go out there and finish eighth place was huge. You know, the time I didn't even know what I was doing behind the wheel of a race car it seemed like."
Moffitt would pilot the #55 MWR Toyota until Richmond in April. Once David Ragan took over driving duties at MWR, Moffitt returned to Front Row Motorsports for the remainder of the 2015 season. "As a rookie, being with Front Row Motorsports was a really good home," he said. "I learned a lot throughout the year, getting to race with 43 of the best drivers in the world is a learning curve, especially I have very limited XFINITY and truck experience, so a lot of these tracks were the first time for me. Just being able to get on the racetrack, being around them, trying to learn from them, it's added up to a lot." With only one scheduled race at the start of the season -- Atlanta with MWR -- Moffitt did not declare himself eligible for the Rookie of the Year award until later in the season, when it became apparent he would run the majority of the season. "Once we reached a point where I knew I was going to do at least seven races and wouldn't be eligible in 2016 to run for Rookie of the Year, at that point we said, why not sign up for it and hope things work out, and they did," he said. "And that's really where Bob and everyone at Front Row Motorsports kind of made this happen, and they stuck their neck out on the line and hired a rookie, and it paid off."
Despite a consistent year that ended in with the rookie title, Moffitt's 2016 plans are still up in the air. "Right now my slate is empty," he said. "I mean, we're working hard, but it's hard to secure the funding to be able to run in any of the top three series. If anything would come forward, I'd be more than willing to work with any series, whether it was truck, XFINITY or another Cup ride."(FoxSports), see Rookie Standings, History, Stats and more on the 2015 Rookie of the Year page.(11-24-2015)
Buescher expects another full season of XFINITY: Chris Buesher was asked about his plans for 2016 on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway:
Buescher: "Nothing is set... I look toward next year and more than likely we will be doing another year of XFINITY and I am good with that. I think as you look through, there have been a handful of names that have been rushed up ahead and tried to be put into something that they may have thought they were ready for but it is a very big jump up to the next level. I am glad I got the handful of starts I did with Front Row earlier this year. It made you realize really quickly the competition level and intensity of the racing is a lot different, especially as you close in on the later stages of a race. There is a lot of things that go with moving up, it isn't just a matter of pure speed. There are a lot of things to learn and if you aren't ready and don't perform at that level as soon as you move up it is very easy to get forgotten about, get labeled and not have that chance again as you go forward. If we run another year in the XFINITY in 2016 I am all for it. I am in no rush. I turned 23 a couple weeks ago so I am one of the older guys in XFINITY I feel like now but I am in no rush. I feel good about where we are at."(Ford Racing)(11-6-2015)
Roush says Buescher ready for Cup: Thursday morning, Chris Buescher received a phone call from his father, who had questions about what Jack Roush had said about his son in an interview Wednesday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "How come you haven't told me any of this?" he asked. "Because I didn't know any of this," Chris responded. "Well, you need to go listen to this." When Buescher did, he heard Roush, his Xfinity Series team owner, say he is "ready" for the Sprint Cup. Roush said it would be "sooner, rather than later" when the 22-year-old leading the Xfinity points standings with 13 races left would be in a Sprint Cup ride full time. "I stop short of saying it's 2016, but there is a consideration, discussion going on about the prospect of getting him in a car," Roush said told Sirius XM host Claire B. Lang. "If not one of my cars, one of the other Ford cars that would be competitive and competing in 2016. He may very well be in one of my Sprint Cup cars. It's just a matter of sponsorship and business considerations." Buescher has spent time with one of those Ford teams this years, racing for Front Row Motorsports in six events, most recently a 37th Sunday at Watkins Glen International. In 2015, Buescher has two Xfinity wins and nine top-five finishes, in addition to his 2014 win at Mid-Ohio which he will attempt to defend this weekend.
In an April interview with NASCAR Talk at Texas Motor Speedway, Roush said Buescher winning a championship "would certainly grease the skids for him. He's two to three years out at the very most." Roush then left open the possibility of fielding a fourth Sprint Cup car. "We've got three Cup cars, so we got another open slot. The 99's number is not being used right now, and I'd like to put it back on the race track," Roush said, referring to the number used by Carl Edwards since 2004 before joining Joe Gibbs Racing this season. "We'll let the 99 have a little air and then we'll create an opportunity for it as well."(NBC Sports)(8-14-2015)
Buescher back in the #34 at Watkins Glen: Chris Buescher will return to the #34 Ford next week to go road-course racing at Watkins Glen International. It will be the Xfinity Series points leader's sixth Sprint Cup race with Front Row Motorsports.(FRM Facebook)(7-30-2015)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Michigan International Speedway
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, August 27, 2016, 11:30am/et
TV: CNBC, August 27, 11:30am/et
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