Contract Status: Driver: 2017; Primary Sponsors: 201?
Cassill returning to Front Row Motorsports; Ragan rejoining team: Front Row Motorsports will have two familiar faces behind the wheels of its racecars in 2017. Landon Cassill will return to the team and drive the #34 Ford after an impressive first season with the team in 2016. David Ragan, who drove for the Statesville-based organization from 2012 to 2015 and earned its first win, will rejoin the team to drive the #38 Ford. The team will continue its technical alliance with Roush Fenway Racing and its engine program with Roush Yates Engines.
The 27-year-old Cassill earned seven top-20 finishes in his first season with Front Row. One of the series' steadiest and most reliable competitors, he completed 98 percent of the laps run and was the only premier series driver in 2016 to finish the season with just a single DNF (Did Not Finish). The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native will enter his eighth year competing in NASCAR's premier series.
Ragan is a 10-year veteran of the series who made history for Front Row Motorsports in 2013 when he charged through the front of the field on the final lap to win at Talladega Superspeedway, sending owner Bob Jenkins and his team to Victory Lane for the first time. The 30-year-old Unadilla, Ga., native owns two premier series wins, 15 top-five and 36 top-10 finishes, and two poles.
The team's 2017 partnerships will be announced soon.(Front Row Motorsports)(12-16-2016)
Newmark discusses Roush Fenway's plans: The decline in performance at Roush Fenway Racing is best expressed in one stark statistic. In 2005, half the Chase field consisted of Roush Fenway drivers -- when there were only 10 drivers in the Chase. In 2016, there were no RFR entries in a 16-driver Chase field. How does that happen? RFR has been asking itself the same question while attempting to right the ship. Once the dominant organization in the Ford camp, Roush will drop to third in the pecking order upon the arrival of Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017.
RFR President Steve Newmark called the downsizing at RFR a strategic move - albeit an extremely tough decision. The company considered more than a dozen options before arriving at its current organizational chart. "The whole goal and the whole objective of doing whatever we did is to make sure we would improve our performance and make our race cars faster," Newmark told Motorsport.com. "Obviously, there are different opinions on how you do that and ultimately what we decided is we need to be more of an engineering, laser-focussed company. We've always been good at production and manufacturing. I think sometimes you fall back on what you're comfortable with.
Over the last two weeks, close to 30 Roush employees have been displaced - some in house, some such as veteran crew chief Bob Osborne who had been overseeing Chris Buescher's campaign at Front Row Motorsports. Together, the pair made the Chase. Buescher, Roush's most talented prospect in its driver stable, is now on loan to JTG Daugherty Racing (along with a RFR charter) for 2017.
Roush Fenway Racing will continue its technical alliance with Bob Jenkins and Front Row Motorsports. Newmark says the multi-year deal with FRM is one of the best collaborations Roush has had over the years. Although it's unlikely that one of the RFR prospects will replace Buescher in the #34 Ford. "They have some great folks there and we''ll continue to work with them next year," Newmark said. "We have dialogue with Bob quite a bit, but I don't think that (driver development) will be part of the relationship next year." That's not to say that Ryan Reed or Darrell "Bubba" Wallace couldn't see seat time in a Cup car in 2017. However, Newmark says the company's immediate focus remains on getting Bayne and Stenhouse up to speed.(Motorsport)(12-8-2016)
Cassill returning to Front Row UPDATE: Landon Cassill will return to the Cup Series for Front Row Motorsports in 2017. The 27-year-old has competed full-time in the Cup Series for the past six seasons, finishing a career-high 29th in the championship standings in 2016. At Bristol in the spring, the #38 car was out front for 20 laps, the most laps he has ever led in a single race. Cassill is seeking to secure sponsorship for next year, much like he did in 2016, in hopes of moving forward after a career year. "We're continuing to work forward on everything with Front Row Motorsports," Cassill said. "I don't see any changes being made, but everything will be getting buttoned up in the next few weeks I'm sure." Cassill had a career-high seven top-20 finishes in 2016, led by veteran crew chief Donnie Wingo. With a best finish of 11th at Talladega, the Iowa native is tired of being underrated, instead wishing he was "overrated." Cassill wants to climb the ladder with FRM, moving them up the ranks to be a more competitive team in 2017. Jerry Freeze, General Manager at Front Row Motorsports, confirmed to Frontstretch that Cassill will return in 2017, admitting that the organization's plans are not completely laid out for 2017. "I think so, too," Freeze said of Cassill remaining with the team. "We still have to get everything worked out with all the partners, but we are really close."(Frontstretch)(11-26-2016)
UPDATE: The contract for (Lamdon) Cassill to return (to Front Row Motorports) for next season is not official. Cassill said this week that it's in the process of being finalized and "should be in the next week or so that it's all buttoned up, but they've made it clear this is what they're working towards and what they want to do, and I'm completely fine with that." Cassill is currently the only driver in FRM's stable for NASCAR's premier series after (Chris) Buescher was announced to be moving to JTG-Daugherty Racing with a leased charter from Roush Fenway Racing. What FRM does with the #34 still is to be determined, but Cassill said his entry looks to be in good shape sponsor-wise headed into 2017. A return to FRM is ideal for Cassill because, he said, he's seen what his team has done with technology and information from the alliance with RFR, and in turn what he's then been able to do with that behind the wheel.(The Gazette)(12-4-2016)
Snap Fitness sponsoring Cassill in 4 races: Snap Fitness, the world's premier 24/7 fitness provider, announced that it will sponsor NASCAR driver Landon Cassill for the third-straight season. Cassill will continue to represent Snap Fitness as a brand champion - only this season, he'll be driving a new car for a new team. Earlier this year, Cassill joined Front Row Motorsports and will drive the #38 Ford for the 2016 Sprint Cup season. Watch the Snap Fitness car in action with Cassill at the wheel during the following races this year: March 13 - Good Sam 500 at Phoenix, April 17 - Food City 500 at Bristol, July 24 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sept. 4 at Darlington Raceway.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #38 team paint schemes page.(3-7-2016)
Cassill to Front Row Motorsports UPDATE2: hearing that Landon Cassill is close to signing to drive the #38 Front Row Motorsports Ford, bringing Snap Fitness as a sponsor for a few races. Cassill raced the #40 Chevy for Hillman Racing in 2015. Hillman Racing was recently bought out by Premium Motorsports, with the intent of using the #40 owners points and running one full time team in 2016. Front Row Motorsports is looking like it will scale back from three teams (#34, #35 and #38 Fords) to two teams. Chris Buescher will run the #34 Front Row Motorsports Ford in 2016.(1-18-2016)
UPDATE: Six-year NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran Landon Cassill will join the Front Row Motorsports line-up to drive the #38 Ford for the 2016 season. The 26-year-old Cassill has 187 Sprint Cup starts under his belt, most recently competing for Hillman Racing in 2015. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native has raced in all three of NASCAR's national series, earning XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2008. Cassill will join rookie teammate #34-Chris Buescher at Front Row Motorsports, which will field two full-time Sprint Cup entries in 2016. "I feel like Front Row Motorsports is a great fit for me," Cassill said. "I've got several years of experience in the series now, and being a part of this team will help me take the next step in my career. I'm grateful to Bob Jenkins and Ford Motor Company for the opportunity and can't wait to get in the car." Cassill's Sprint Cup career-best finish is a fourth-place run at Talladega Superspeedway (2014), a track where Front Row Motorsports has also excelled. "We've always been impressed with Landon and what he can do behind the wheel," said team owner Bob Jenkins. "He's got a lot of natural talent. You could see that at every level of racing he's competed in throughout his career. We're happy to have that talent in one of our race cars this year." Sponsorship programs for the #38 team will be announced soon.(FRM)(1-20-2016)
UPDATE2: Even with the late start in the off-season, Cassill has already been to the race shop - prior to the official announcement of him joining Front Row - to start getting acclimated with his new team and crew chief Donnie Wingo. "Honestly it's really cool because he's (Wingo) still got the same core group of guys that he had last year so they are just really plugging me in," Cassill said. "It's up to me to adapt to how they work and give them what we need to give me fast racecars."(Motor Racing Network)(1-21-2016)
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Sunday, February 19, 2017, 3:00pm/et
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, February 25, 2017, TBA
Born in JANUARY
21 Ernie Saxton, Roman Pemberton, John Willenborg, Robert Hughes, Bud Harless, Mike Kempton
22 Mike Bugarewicz, Ashton Lewis Jr., Sean Pragano, Emma Blaney, Josh Pate, Grant Enfinger, Ray Clark, Bob Pronger, Danny Graves, Red Ortwein, Jeff McClure
23 Cole Custer, Matt Eversole, Austin Theriault, Bill Patterson, Daryl Rasnake, Boris Said Jr., Emanuel Zervakis, Major Melton, Jerry Grant, Art Dugan, Don Whittington, Terry Byers
24 Greg Wallace, Scott Speed, Bob Schacht, Mike Harmon, Austin Cameron, Bill Hyde, Gary Collins
25 Buddy Baker, Mike Broadwater, Harry Ranier, Chuck Hill, Neil Roberts, Shep Langdon, Joel Davis, Harry Dinwiddie, T.W. Taylor, Dale Quarterley
26 Sharon Leavine, Scott Wimmer, Paul Newman, Troy Welty, Al Bonnell, Red Tomlinson, Tony Nelson, Dave Pletcher
27 Taylor Cohen, Lake Speed, Jr., Jerry Robertson, Mike "Bubba" Hart, Gary Bradberry, George Follmer, Phil Good, Jerry Robertson
28 Bernece Wood, Phillipe Lopez, Jimmy Cox, David Green, Randy Renfrow, Mark DeMarco, Kenneth Lankford, Timothy Morgan, Chase Miller, Ray Chase, R.L. Combs, Robbie Robinson, Eddie MacDonald(GA), Jim Robinson
29 John Witske, Tommy Houston, Keegan Rice, Frank Mathalia, George Bush(NY), Bill Stickler, Frank Sessoms, Bob England, David Murry, Charlie Rudolph, Jeff Davis
30 Joe Falk, Rico Abreu, Wally Rogers, Wendy Venturini, Chad Boat, Andy Eversole, Don Cecchini, Ralph Zrimsek, Roy Hall, Al Smith, Norm Nelson
31 Kevin Patrick Dowd, Ed Samples, Brownie King, Shana Mayfield, Rick Wilson, Scott Lagasse Jr., Nolan Swift, Rex Hathcock, Tony Mullett, Jerick Johnson, Chris Winchell, Dub Utsman, Tommy Lane, Bobby Booth, G.T. Tallas