NOTE: many of the links in the past news will be old and may not work
decided it was not worth the time to go thru each one on all the Team Past News pages
Special MS stickers on the #34 & #38 at HMS: The #34 Taco Bell Ford of David Ragan and the #38 Long John Silver's Ford of David Gilliland will carry a decal for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society this race weekend. The Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by this unpredictable disease affecting the central nervous system.
Ragan: "We're carrying a decal for the MS Society on our car this week. Our team has a personal connection to multiple sclerosis and we wanted to draw some attention to it and raise awareness about the good work the Society is doing and encourage NASCAR fans to join the movement. And this week it hit even closer to home in our sport hearing about Trevor's (Bayne) diagnosis. We hope everybody will go to nationalMSsociety.org and see how they can help."
Gilliland: "Our car will have a decal for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society this week. We have team members with loved ones affected by this disease and we wanted to show our support and raise some awareness among the NASCAR audience. And now we just heard that Trevor Bayne has been diagnosed with it, so we aren't the only team affected by it. We obviously wish him the best and expect he'll be on track rubbing fenders with us for a long time. Advances in treatments have come a long way and with more support, there might actually be a cure someday for everyone affected."(FRM)(11-14-2013)
Ragan, Gilliland returning to Front Row: Front Row Motorsports will build off another season of significant growth and new team records in 2013 - one that included the team's first win - with the return of drivers #34-David Ragan and #38-David Gilliland in 2014. "This has been a milestone year for us, and we're extremely happy that two of the guys who helped get us here will be back next year," said team owner Bob Jenkins. "We're improving our race program, attracting more sponsors and setting and achieving higher and higher goals each year. Having David and David, our one-two punch, back in those cars next year is central to continuing our growth and improvement." The 2014 season will be Front Row Motorsports' fifth year teaming with Gilliland and its third with Ragan. The 27-year-old Ragan will return to the cockpit of the #34 entry and the 37-year-old Gilliland will once again pilot the #38. In addition to achieving new heights on track, Front Row Motorsports is also enjoying a successful season of new sponsorship partners working with the team in 2013 – relationships that are not only expected to return in 2014 but expand. The team is currently working with partner organizations to finalize those programs for next season and looks forward to announcing them in the coming weeks.(Front Row Motorsports)(10-16-2013)
Milestone starts this weekend: #14-Mark Martin, #20-Matt Kenseth and #38-David Gilliland will all hit milestones this weekend - 875th NSCS start for Martin, 500th NSCS start for Kenseth and 250th start for Gilliland. Martin, who is subbing for Tony Stewart, is fifth on the all-time series starts list behind only Richard Petty (1,185), Ricky Rudd (906), Terry Labonte (885) and Dave Marcis (883).(NASCAR)
AND Current points leader, Matt Kenseth, is set to earn a career milestone this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when he looks to make his 500th Sprint Cup Series start in Sunday's Sylvania 300. Kenseth made his debut in the series in 1998, and has spent 14 full seasons at NASCAR's top level. Kenseth will be driving a special 500th start paint scheme aboard his #20 Home Depot Husky Toyota for this weekend's race events in Loudon, and will be looking to earn his seventh win of the season in this milestone start.(Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image of the car on the #20 team paint schemes page.(9-19-2013)
Penske deal with Front Row at Richmond to help Logano? UPDATES - Gordon added to Chase: Penske Racing may have cut a deal with Front Row Motorsports in the closing laps at Richmond for track position to help get #22-Joey Logano in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. In radio communications reviewed Wednesday by The Associated Press for Front Row driver #38-David Gilliland, his spotter informs the team of a request to let Logano pass him in the final laps of Saturday night's race. Logano was trying to claim a spot in the 12-driver Chase field. Both Penske and Front Row are Ford teams and thus considered partners. A voice on the radio, believed to be crew chief Frank Kerr, asks who the request is coming from. The spotter replies: "We've got the big dog and all his cronies." Kerr then says: "Travis knows what I've been asking for," an apparent reference to Penske Racing competition director Travis Geisler. Logano passed Gilliland on a restart and finished 22nd, one spot ahead of Gilliland and good enough for a berth in the Chase field. "Good job, good job, man," the spotter says after the race. "Hopefully we'll get something out of that." Statistics analyzed by AP also show Gilliland's lap times dropped off by almost 1 second from the times he was running prior to the radio communication.(Associated Press)(9-11-2013)
UPDATE: "NASCAR is aware of reports about the #22 and #38 radio communications at Richmond International Raceway and is looking into it, but has yet to see anything in full context that requires any action."(NASCAR)(9-11-2013)
UPDATE 2: Thursday morning release from NASCAR: "NASCAR is continuing to gather all the facts from last Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway. NASCAR will have no further comment until all the facts have been examined. "(NASCAR)(9-12-2013)
UPDATE 3: NASCAR officials met with Front Row Motorsports crew chief Frank Kerr and spotter David Keith at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday morning to discuss Saturday’s incidents at Richmond International Raceway. A separate meeting was held with Penske Racing vice president Bud Denker, competition director Travis Geisler, vice president of operations Michael Nelson, crew chief Todd Gordon and spotter Tab Boyd. Both teams reviewed radio communications and tape from the Richmond NASCAR Sprint Cup race. FRM general manager Jerry Freeze and Penske Racing's Denker said the teams would not comment until after a decision was made by NASCAR. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said no decision had been made on whether a 13th team would be added to the Chase for the Sprint Cup.(Fox Sports)(9-13-2013)
UPDATE 4: Following a comprehensive review of all available audio and video communications from last Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, along with interviews with team personnel, NASCAR announced Friday the following decision:
• Both the Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing organizations have been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for violating Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing).
• A 13th car – the #24 – would be added to this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
“Based on all of our findings this week, we determined both Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing organizations would be placed on probation for the remainder of this season,” said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Additionally, based upon the totality of our findings, to be totally fair and equitable we decided that adding a 13th car to this year’s Chase is the appropriate action.
“Beginning with our decision Monday, which resulted in an unprecedented team penalty, and continuing with further examination of actions involving two other race teams, it is clear to us that attempts to manipulate the results impacted the Chase field.
“The integrity of our sport remains the cornerstone of NASCAR, and our actions this week speak to our commitment to ensure a level playing field for all competitors.”
Additionally, NASCAR will conduct a mandatory meeting with drivers, owners, crew chiefs and other team personnel [Saturday at 3:00pm/et] to address this issue moving forward.(NASCAR)
AND see a full transcript of the announcement on the Second NASCAR Richmond Penalty Transcript Page.(9-13-2013)
Gilliland gets associate sponsor for Sonoma: The #38 Long John Silver's team will welcome Pick-N-Pull as an associate sponsor on its Ford Fusion for the race weekend. The California-based company is a chain of self-service auto parts stores providing recycled original equipment manufacturer parts.(Front Row Motorsports)(6-19-2013)
Front Row Motorsports Earns First Win in 1-2 Ragan-Gilliland Finish: Front Row Motorsports earned its first NASCAR victory Sunday night at Talladega Superspeedway when #38-David Gilliland pushed teammate #34-David Ragan to the checkers in a dramatic last-lap surge to cap off a wild and rain-interrupted race. Ragan earned Bob Jenkins' young team its first Sprint Cup Series win and Gilliland finished second for the best – and most dramatic – finish in team history. The ending came in the form of a green-white-checkered finish, in which Ragan and Gilliland restarted in 10th and 11th respectively. In two laps, the pair freight-trained through the traffic in their Roush Yates-powered Ford Fusions to emerge at the front of the pack – seemingly out of nowhere and to the surprise and delight of the rain-soaked crowd.
The win is the second Sprint Cup victory for Ragan, and the runner-up finish ties Gilliland's best career result. The milestone event put partners Farm Rich (#34) and Love's Travel Stops (#38) in the spotlight in their first season working with Front Row Motorsports.
"This is a true David vs. Goliath moment here," Ragan said. "This is special to get Front Row Motorsports their first win. It feels like I've never been in Victory Lane before, I'm so excited. We're a small team. We build our own chassis, our own bodies, and it's such a special moment for our team and all of our partners. This is big." For Jenkins, whose passion for racing led him to purchase a small NASCAR team in 2004, the Victory Lane champagne was long, and patiently, awaited.
"I've got guys at the shop that have the heart to win races," Jenkins said. "We just haven't always had the resources. So the challenge for me is, as we build cars, to make them better every week and to put ourselves in a position to win a race and that's really what happened (Sunday). It's just so satisfying to see that over the last nine years, we've gotten a little bit better every single year, and I felt the progress and I knew it was just a matter of time before we'd win one of these things."
"My crew chief, Frank Kerr, said, 'You've got to have the restart of your life,' and we had a good one," remarked Gilliland. "It's a huge day obviously for any team to get first and second, but for Front Row Motorsports and our little team, and what we do it with, we're really proud of that." Gilliland owned the team's previous best finish, a third-place showing in the 2011 Daytona 500. #35-Josh Wise earned a commendable finish Sunday in his first full Sprint Cup race at Talladega, bringing home a top-20 finish after crossing the line 19th.(Front Row Motorsports)(5-6-2013)
Love's Travel Stops return to the #38: #38-David Gilliland had a fast Love's Travel Stops Ford at Daytona International Speedway in February, but "The Big One" kept him from showing what he and his car were capable of. The driver of the #38 Ford Fusion now wants to finish what he started with his Love's car when the Sprint Cup Series goes to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for Sunday's Aaron's 499. The black, red and yellow paint scheme of Love's Travel Stops will be back for its third race with Front Row Motorsports, promoting the MyLoveRewards loyalty program. The travel center company is family-owned and operated with more than 290 locations in 39 states and is currently ranked No. 9 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies. Gilliland has earned one top-five and two top-10 finishes and one pole position in his 11 Sprint Cup starts at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. His best finish was fourth in 2007.(FRM), see an image of the car on the #38 Team Schemes page.(5-3-2013)
EZCORP sponsoring Gilliland: Specialty consumer finance company EZCORP announced its move into one of the nation's premier racing circuits. EZCORP will join the "Wild Asphalt Circus" at Texas Motor Speedway, partnering with David Gilliland and the Front Row Motorsports #38 Ford for the April 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. "We're extremely excited about our partnership in the NASCAR event at Texas Motor Speedway," said EZCORP Chief Marketing Officer Dan Surdell. "We've been looking at racing as a marketing tool for some time and this is a perfect opportunity to showcase our brand among a very loyal racing fan base. Austin-based EZCORP is a leading provider of instant cash solutions, operating more than 1,350 pawn, buy/sell and personal financial services stores in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. The publicly traded company provides pawn loans, consumer loans and fee-based credit services to customers seeking loans.(Front Row Motorsports)(4-9-2013)
Love's Travel Stops Partners with Front Row for 3 Races: Front Row Motorsports will take the green flag on the 2013 season with another new partner. Love's Travel Stops will sponsor Front Row Motorsports for three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500. The travel center's colors will adorn David Gilliland's #38 Ford for Daytona 500, David Ragan's #34 Ford at Texas in April, and a third race to be determined. Love's Travel Stops, based in Oklahoma City, Okla., is family-owned and operated with more than 290 locations in 39 states and is currently ranked No. 7 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits), see an image of the #38 scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(2-9-2013)
2013 silly season notes for #38-David Gilliland / Front Row Motorsports David Gilliland signed for the 2013 season to run the #38 FRM Ford, a one year deal, his 4th year with FRM. No sponsors announced yet, usually owner Bob Jenkins pit one of his franchise restuarants on the car, like Long John Silver's. Frank Kerr was hired as Gilliland'd crew chief. Hiring Kerr allows Derrick Finley to return full-time to his role of competition director. The team will also continue its relationships with manufacturing partner Ford Racing and engine builder Roush Yates Racing Engines. FRM with continue to be a three-car team with #26-Josh Wise and #34-David Ragan. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(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)
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)
Dueling Davids Can Earn One Million Dollars: At a press conference earlier Thursday, Glory Foods, along with and NASCAR drivers #34-David Ragan and #38-David Gilliland, both of Front Row Motorsports, presented $50,000 to Feeding America to benefit its child hunger relief efforts. The donation is a part of the "Race To Feeding America" campaign, which officially launched July 30. Today's monetary gift, along with the contribution of more than 54,600 pounds of canned goods thus far, will help the campaign exceed its goal of more than 500,000 meals to Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic-hunger relief charity. On Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Gilliland and Ragan will have a spirited head-to-head challenge to see if either can take the checkered flag to donate $1 million from Glory Foods, Inc. to Feeding America. The Bank of America 500 will be the "Race To Feeding America" finale race, rounding out a total of four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in which Glory Foods sponsored the #34 of Ragan either the #38 of Gilliland in 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in Daytona in July, Bristol in August and Atlanta in Spet. NASCAR fans can help by visiting the campaign's official website, www.racetofeedingamerica.org, or donate to member food banks of Feeding America in their communities.(FRM), see images of the cars on the #34 Team Schemes page and #38 Team Schemes page.(10-12-2012)
Glory Foods to Sponsor Gilliland & Ragan at Charlotte: There will be two Glory Foods-sponsored Fords at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Glory Foods will sponsor the Front Row Motorsports entries of David Ragan and the #34 team and also David Gilliland and the #38 team. The sponsorship is aimed to bring awareness to the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, Feeding America. Glory Foods has partnered with Feeding America this year to support the cause against child hunger. As part of the "Race to Feeding America" campaign, Glory Foods will donate $1 million to Feeding America if either David Ragan or David Gilliland wins Saturday night's 500-mile race. Gilliland and Ragan have already helped Glory Foods donate 43,000 pounds of canned goods to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, a Feeding America Food Bank in Charlotte. This weekend's race is the third sponsorship by Glory Foods with the race team and the "Race to Feeding America" campaign. Glory Foods previously sponsored the #34 team at both Bristol and Atlanta this fall with David Ragan behind the wheel. Ragan is now ready to race for the million dollar donation, an amount that would provide 8 million meals to children in need.(Breaking Limits)(10-10-2012)
Peanut Patch Boiled Peanuts returns to the #38: With two top-10 finishes, a fourth-place finish and a pole at Talladega, David Gilliland has no worries bringing a green-themed Ford to the Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for Sunday's 500-mile race event. Gilliland will pilot the #38 Peanut Patch Boiled Peanuts Ford. This is the second time that the Margaret Holmes-brand will sponsor Front Row Motorsports this season. The team is looking for a good run on Sunday to help bring the team momentum into the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway where another Margaret Holmes brand, Glory Foods, will sponsor both David Ragan and Gilliland in the same race.(Breaking Limits/Front Row), see an image of the car on the #38 team paint schemes page.(10-4-2012)
1-800LoanMart returns to sponsor Gilliland: California native David Gilliland comes to Chicagoland Speedway this weekend with some friends from his home state. Encino, Calif.-based 1-800LoanMart will be the primary sponsor of the #38 Front Row Motorsports Ford during this weekend's Geico 400. The company signed as a multiple-race sponsor with the growing organization earlier this season. Like Front Row Motorsports, 1-800LoanMart is still growing and looking to become a leader in its category. 1-800-LoanMart specializes in car title loans and serves customers in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Illinois and Missouri.(Breaking Limits/Front Row), see an image of the car on the #38 team paint schemes page.(9-12-2012)
Pursuit Channel/Mossy Oak to Sponsor Gilliland at Richmond: Front Row Motorsports will welcome yet another new partner to its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series program as David Gilliland will pilot the #38 Pursuit Channel / Mossy Oak Ford in the September 8 Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The sponsorship is fitting, as Pursuit Channel is in 38 million homes. Pursuit Channel's goal is to create a network that is in touch with outdoor enthusiasts from all walks of life. Outdoor enthusiasts can find Pursuit on DIRECTV channel 604 and DISH channel 240. Rusty Faulk, CEO of Pursuit Channel is happy to be partnered with Front Row Motorsports. "NASCAR fans index strongly with our target audience," said Faulk. David Gilliland is a tremendous racecar driver and representative for our brand. He appreciates the outdoors lifestyle. He enjoys hunting and fishing and is a personality our viewers can identify with at multiple levels. Mossy Oak is one of our strongest partners and we are happy we were able to team up with them on our program with Front Row Motorsports and David Gilliland." Pursuit Channel is the only outdoor network delivered in satellite providers DISH and DIRECTV's BASIC package, channels received by every subscriber regardless of their level of service. With a solid, growing portfolio of cable and high power TV stations, the network now reaches more than 38 million households.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #38 Team Schemes page.(9-7-2012)
#38 crewman OK after lift gate accident: Aaron Pierrat, gasman of the #38 Front Row Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team of David Gilliland, suffered a fall while loading the car onto the hauler after Sunday's Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He was alert and responsive throughout the initial on-site evaluation by the emergency response team, and was taken to the hospital for further examination. He was released early Monday morning and x-rays revealed that his back and hip were not broken during the fall. He is back at his home in North Carolina, where he is resting and will undergo further assessment this week.(Front Row Motorsports Facebook)(9-5-2012)
House-Autry Mills to sponsor Gilliland at Atlanta: House-Autry Mills, which will be the primary sponsor of David Gilliland's #38 Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend, has launched the House-Autry Racing Sweepstakes. Fans can enter to win David Gilliland's race-used Firesuit and a House-Autry gift pack. House-Autry's product line includes chicken, seafood and pork breaders, cornbread, hushpuppy and biscuit mixes, and sauces to complement your favorite fried and baked foods. The sweepstakes runs through October 31st. Fans can enter at Facebook.com/HouseAutryMills.(FRM), see images of the car on the #38 Team Schemes page.(8-30-2012)
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)
ModSpace Returns to #38 Ford at Watkins Glen: David Gilliland is happy to have ModSpace back on the hood of his #38 Ford this weekend at the Watkins Glen road course. With the sponsor on the hood this season, Gilliland has had his best results, including a season-best 21st last weekend at Pocono Raceway. This weekend will be the sixth time the Front Row Motorsports sponsor will ride with Gilliland.(Front Row Motorsports)(8-9-2012)
Glory Foods, Inc. Lauches "Race To Feeding America" Campaign: Representatives of Glory Foods, Inc., have announced the company's sponsorship of a series of NASCAR races in which food and funds will be donated through its "Race To Feeding America" campaign to Feeding America – the nation's premier domestic hunger-relief charity – to support child hunger efforts. An initial donation of 43,000 pounds of canned goods from Glory Foods was made to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, a Feeding America food bank in Charlotte, N.C. Charna said Glory Foods is sponsoring Front Row Motorsports entries in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in Atlanta, Bristol, Tenn., and Charlotte and will donate to Feeding America enough money and canned food products to exceed its campaign goal of 500,000 meals to children nationwide. Glory Foods' sponsorship program includes primary sponsorship of two Front Row Motorsports entries: the #34 of David Ragan and the #38 of David Gilliland. The sponsorship includes a special head-to-head challenge for the Oct. 13 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "My teammate, David Gilliland, and I want to heighten awareness about the issue of child hunger right here in our own country," Ragan said. "In doing so, I hope we all become better stewards to children, one meal at a time." If either driver wins in Charlotte, Glory Foods will donate $1 million to Feeding America. As a thank you to fans for their coming support, they will be able to enter a sweepstakes at www.racetofeedingamerica.org to win two hot passes to the 2013 Coca-Cola 600 in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Glory Foods)(8-8-2012)
Big Machine Records Partners With Front Row Motorsports: Nashville-based Big Machine Records has reached a partnership agreement with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team Front Row Motorsports. The sponsorship program will include a social media promotion and primary sponsorship of David Gilliland's #38 car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Gilliland's entry will feature the likes of five Big Machine recording artists: The Band Perry, Justin Moore, The Mavericks, Greg Bates and RaeLynn. Big Machine is also serving as a sponsor of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway event; 'Your Hero's Name Here 400' at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com. All five bands and artists that will be featured on the #38 Ford will also participate in the weekend's at-track festivities. "I'm a big country music fan," said Gilliland. He continued, "It's really exciting to have some of the biggest names in country music on our #38 car at Indianapolis. I'm a big fan of all of Big Machine's artists. My daughter has recently turned me on to Taylor Swift and my wife and I have been longtime Rascal Flatts fans." Front Row Motorsports Director of Marketing Mike Laheta is happy to welcome Big Machine Records to the team's lineup of sponsors. He commented, "We have some terrific partners at Front Row Motorsports. Big Machine Records is a great addition to our growing sponsorship base." As part of the sponsorship program, Front Row Motorsports and Big Machine Records will be partnering to run the Racecars and Country Stars social media promotion, in which fans will be able to enter to win a David Gilliland race-used firesuit and prizes from Big Machine's recording artists. More information on the promotion will be available in the coming weeks.
"I've always loved racing," commented Scott Borchetta, CEO of Big Machine Records, who has experienced the sport as a short-track racer, where he won three championships, and most recently, as a sponsor of some of racing's biggest names. "I've had the chance to sponsor a few great cars before and our company enjoys being part of the race weekends here at Indianapolis. Front Row Motorsports came to us with a value-laden program that included a compelling idea for a social media promotion and we decided to take advantage of the opportunity."
Big Machine Records has already been to victory lane at Indianapolis twice, taking home Indianapolis 500 wins as a sponsor in 2011 with the late Dan Wheldon and again in 2012 with Dario Franchitti. The July 29th race will be Gilliland's 5th career start at the historic racetrack. Big Machine Label Group includes Country music labels Big Machine Records, The Valory Music Co., and Republic Nashville. Its artist roster includes Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Reba, Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride, The Band Perry, Eden's Edge, Ella Mae Bowen, Justin Moore, Brantley Gilbert, Jewel, The Mavericks, Thomas Rhett, Eli Young Band, Sunny Sweeny, Greg Bates and RaeLynn.(FRM), see an image of the scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(7-17-2012)
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)
Gilliland picks up Atlanta sponsor: House-Autry Mills is the latest company to join the sponsorship portfolio of Front Row Motorsports. House-Autry has been 'the choice of Southern cooks since 1812' and is celebrating its 200th anniversary through a sponsorship program with Front Row Motorsports. The maker of breaders, mixes and sauces will appear as the primary sponsor of David Gilliland's #38 Ford in the Labor Day weekend event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This will mark the company's first foray into NASCAR. "We're very happy to be a part of Front Row Motorsports," said House-Autry President, Craig Hagood. "I'm confident that David Gilliland will be a great ambassador for our brand. He is not only a talented racecar driver, but a great, all-around guy. When we were looking for a team and a driver to pair up with, we looked for a driver that had a strong family connection. David grew up in a racing family, served as a crew chief to his father, won a NASCAR Nationwide Series race with what was primarily a family-run team, and is now very involved in the racing career of his son Todd."(Front Row Motorsports)(7-5-2012)
Glory Foods joins #38 team: Once again, Front Row Motorsports will introduce another brand into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Glory Foods, a southern-style food company owned by team partner McCall Farms, will serve as Gilliland's primary sponsor of his #38 Ford during this weekend's Coke Zero 400 at the Daytona International Superspeedway. Gilliland's Ford will be easy to spot with a purple-based scheme that race will under the lights this Saturday night.(Front Row Motorsports)(7-4-2012)
Gilliland wins K&N West Series race at Sonoma: David Gilliland took the lead on lap 44 and never looked back, taking the victory in the Pick-n-Pull Racing to Stop Hunger 200 NASCAR K&N West Series race on Saturday in Sonoma. It was the second-career West Series win for Gilliland on the Sonoma Valley road course, the first coming in 2007. David's father, Butch, has won four times in Sonoma and flew in from Dubai to attend Saturday's race. Butch was also inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame on Thursday night. "It's been a great week for me," David said. "To have my father fly in from Dubai where he lives now and then to win this race was pretty awesome." Gilliland was followed by Derek Thorn, Greg Pursley, Jim Ingebright and Dylan Kwasniewski. Gilliand is pulling double-duty this weekend as he will jump into his regular ride [#38 Front Row Motorsports Ford] for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350. He will start 27th; he placed second in Sonoma in 2008. "I'm really looking forward to tomorrow," he said. "Hopefully you'll see me in this same place."(Sonoma)(6-24-2012)
Long John Silver's colors return to the #38: This weekend, the Long John Silver's colors and 'We Speak Fish' tagline will once again return to the #38 Ford of David Gilliland. Gilliland will carry the familiar Front Row Motorsports colors for this weekend's Quicken Loans 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. Gilliland comes into Michigan after having his best result on a non-plate race last weekend at Pocono. His 23rd-place finish not only gave him his fourth top-25 finish this season, but also positive momentum and team confidence. Gilliland has 11 career starts at the two-mile, Michigan oval, with a career best finish of 17th.(FRM), see images of the scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(6-12-2012)
Mod Space sponsoring Gilliland: It's always nice to stay close to home. That is exactly what Front Row Motorsports sponsor, Berwyn, Pa.-based ModSpace, will be doing this weekend. The company will be on the hood and sides of the #38 Ford driven by David Gilliland this weekend at the Pocono Raceway. Gilliland welcomes the company back on the car after a 26th-place finish the last time ModSpace was on the car two weeks ago at Charlotte. The team ran strong all night in one of NASCAR's toughest races.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits), see an image of the car on the #38 team paint schemes page.(6-5-2012)
McCall Farms signs multi-race sponsorship extension with Front Row: Coming off of a successful foray into NASCAR team sponsorship at Darlington Raceway, McCall Farms has partnered with Front Row Motorsports for six additional races of primary sponsorship in the 2012 season. The sponsorship will feature three McCall Farms brands: Margaret Holmes, Peanut Patch, and Glory Foods. While McCall Farms will continue to utilize #34-David Ragan as the representative for its Margaret Holmes and Peanut Patch brands, the company will also utilize David Gilliland and his #38 Ford to carry the colors of its Glory Foods brand. David Ragan will sport Margaret Holmes colors in three remaining 2012 events: Bristol Motor Speedway (8/25), Atlanta Motor Speedway (9/2), and Charlotte Motor Speedway (10/13). David Gilliland will race the #38 Glory Foods entry for three races as well: Daytona International Speedway (7/7), Talladega Superspeedway (10/7), and Charlotte Motor Speedway (10/13). McCall Farms' program will feature Front Row Motorsports driver displays at retail, special edition product packaging, driver appearances, client hospitality, in-race-market signage, social media promotions, a national sweepstakes, a significant cause marketing program and an employee appreciation day at the company's Effingham, S.C. headquarters.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(5-30-2012)
ModSpace Returns to Gilliland's #38 at Charlotte: Modular construction provider ModSpace will once again be featured on the #38 Front Row Motorsports Ford this weekend during the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. It's the second time that driver David Gilliland will carry the colors as a primary so far this season. The Berwyn, Penn.-based company works closely with team owner Bob Jenkins and his quick-service restaurant company to build new Taco Bell and Long John Silver's locations. ModSpace provides modular buildings, portable storage and services for temporary or permanent space needs. Building on more than 40 years of experience, ModSpace serves a diverse set of customers and markets - including commercial, construction, education, government, healthcare, industrial/energy and special events - through an extensive nationwide branch network throughout the United States and Canada. ModSpace has constructed buildings for renowned clients ranging from the Professional Golf Association (PGA) to General Motors, IBM and the U.S. Army. For more information on the company and its projects, visit www.ModSpace.com. "ModSpace is very honored to be the primary sponsor on the #38 car this weekend," stated William Mann, Vice President of Motorsports for ModSpace. "With this race being held on Memorial Day weekend, it is our salute to the troops. This team has worked so hard this season and we hope to see them in Victory Lane Sunday."(FrontRowMotorsports/Breaking Limits)(5-24-2012)
Al's Liner to sponsor Gilliland in Sprint Showdown: After serving as the primary sponsor of David Ragan's #34 Ford at Daytona and Texas, Al's Liner will now serve as the primary sponsor of Front Row Motorsports' #38 Ford driven by David Gilliland, in Saturday's Sprint All-Star Showdown. Clayton Tomasino, President and Owner of Al's Liner and Scorpion Coatings commented on his company picking up an additional race, saying, "NASCAR has been a great B2B tool for us so far. Front Row Motorsports is a terrific partner for our Al's Liner and Scorpion Brands. We will be pulling for David Gilliland to race his way into the All-Star Race and join teammate David Ragan." Racing into the All-Star Race is the goal for Gilliland, who finished eighth in last year's Showdown. "Being a part of the All-Star Race would be very special to me. I'm happy to have.(Front Row Motorsports)(5-15-2012)
Fans can have name on the #38 Ford at Kansas: Front Row Motorsports and the Belmont Abbey College NASCAR Kinetics Team are giving fans the unique opportunity to have their names displayed on David Gilliland's #38 Ford Fusion. All fans who attend the school's NASCAR Race Viewing Party on Saturday, April 14 at NASCAR Speedpark in Concord, NC, will be able to have their name placed on the decklid of the #38 car the following weekend at Kansas. The decklid will also feature the respective logos of Belmont Abbey College and the NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion Program. See more at Front Row Motorsports.(FRM)(4-13-2012)
Gilliland Debuts ModSpace Paint Scheme at Texas: David Gilliland is ready to get back to racing after NASCAR's off week, returning to one of his favorite tracks with a new primary paint scheme. The driver of the #38 Ford will show off the blue-and-green colors of ModSpace this week as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Fort Worth, Texas, for Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500. ModSpace partners with United Rentals and Chipewyan Prairie First Nation to support the #38 car in Gilliland's 12th career start at the high-speed oval. The Texas race weekend marks the first of several primary sponsorships with ModSpace on Gilliland's Ford. The modular construction provider is also a season-long associate on both the #38 car and David Ragan's #34. "ModSpace is very excited to be the primary sponsor alongside United Rentals of this weekend's event at Texas," said William Mann, Vice President of Motorsports for ModSpace. "The entire ModSpace organization is very eager about seeing the debut of the No. 38 car's paint scheme this weekend. David has experience at Texas Motor Speedway and this should produce a great outcome for the #38 team."(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits), see an image of the scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(4-11-20102)
Gilliland to run different colors at Auto Club: This week David Gilliland returns to his hometown track in the #38 1-800LoanMart Ford at Auto Club Speedway, running the green-and-black colors of the Encino, Calif.-based lender and new Front Row Motorsports partner. "With the #38 car allowing our company to give back to local race fans of Southern California, it is a pleasure to endorse a native Californian, David Gilliland, to race with us," said Colby Estes, Director of Marketing for 1-800LoanMart. "With the launch of the new sponsorship, 1-800LoanMart has an opportunity to help thousands of sport fans with their financial needs. The time is right to provide a financial solution that makes us more responsible in future lending. The new sponsorship with Front Row Motorsports will go a long way towards strengthening the company's values and ultimately providing a foundation for a better economy."(FRM) see an image of the scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(3-20-2012)
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)
Santorum campaign returns to Front Row at Phoenix: The Rick Santorum for President campaign will return to a Front Row Motorsports Ford for a second consecutive week at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend, this time on the #38 Ford of driver David Gilliland. The Republican candidate will continue to appeal to racing fans after a successful campaign aboard the team's #26 Ford for the Daytona 500. The candidate's campaign messaging will be on the hood and quarter panels of Gilliland's Ford Fusion during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' second race of the 2012 season, the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at the one-mile oval in Avondale, Ariz.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(3-2-2012)
Gilliland gets a stitch but otherwise ok: #38-David Gilliland cut his thumb on his helmet after his Lap 9 crash in the first Gatorade Duel. The cut required one stitch on his knuckle, he said. "It felt like someone got into the back of us in Turn 1 and away it went." His #38 Ford ran up the track and drove #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #27-Paul Menard into the wall. #98-Michael McDowell and #2-Brad Keselowski were also involved in the accident. McDowell wound up finishing sixth and making the 500 with the help of a push from defending Daytona 500 winner #21-Trevor Bayne. "I feel like I was probably the cause of (the accident), really," McDowell said. "Trevor was on my bumper pushing me and I got to David's bumper, and as soon as I did it turned hard left."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-24-2012)
Tryson named crew chief for #38 Ford: NASCAR veteran Pat Tryson will join Front Row Motorsports as the crew chief for David Gilliland's #38 Ford. The move is the latest of numerous off-season improvements for the Sprint Cup Series team and allows interim crew chief Derrick Finley to return full-time to his role of Director of Competition. Tryson comes to Front Row Motorsports with more than 15 years of experience atop the pit box and race-winning credentials, earning victories with drivers Kurt Busch, Elliott Sadler and Mark Martin. He most recently worked for Michael Waltrip Racing, where he served in crew-chief and consultant roles. "We made some pretty big changes this off-season to really take this team to the next level, and adding Pat is just one more critical piece that we've put in place for our 2012 season," said team general manager Jerry Freeze. "With Jay Guy on the No. 34 car and Derrick returning full-time to the competition director role, the depth and experience of our leadership team is better than it's ever been before." Tryson has worked with some of the sport's best organizations and drivers over the years. This season will be his first time working with Gilliland, but he is ready to step in and help the team. "I like what this team has done in the last few years, doing the right things and making the right changes to get better every season," said Tryson. "Gilliland's a competitive driver - he's got the fire in his belly - and I'm really looking forward to working with him." Gilliland, who scored a season-best third in last year's Daytona 500, is ready to hit the track next week in Daytona Beach with Tryson running the #38 program. "He's a great 'get' for this team," said Gilliland. "There's just so much that he brings to the table with all his experience. I can't wait to get started."(FRM / Breaking Limits)(2-8-2012)
MHP to sponsor Front Row: Sport supplement company Maximum Human Performance (MHP) will bring its message to NASCAR fans for the first time, joining Front Row Motorsports as a multi-race, multi-year partner in the team's Sprint Cup Series campaigns. MHP will be a primary sponsor for multiple races in both 2012 and 2013, including the upcoming Budweiser Shootout exhibition race on David Ragan's #34 Ford and the season-opening Daytona 500 on David Gilliland's #38 Ford. MHP will also be the official sport supplement line of Front Row Motorsports and an official sponsor of the #34 and #38 pit crews. Company experts will work with the team's pit crew coach and trainers to develop nutritional and fitness plans to improve and maximize the performance of the over-the-wall crew throughout the season. "This is really going to be a unique program," said Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins. "Sponsors, of course, help make your race programs better across the board via funding, but this is a case where they're also going to make our pit crews healthier, stronger and faster. Everyone knows that a couple seconds on pit road can make a huge difference on the track. This partnership is focused on getting our athletes in the best shape possible to deliver maximum performance when it matters most." Fairfield, NJ-based MHP was launched in 1997 by bodybuilder Gerard Dente to develop premier science-based, research-driven sports supplements to help athletes achieve their greatest physical potential. The product line is used by world-class athletes, pro bodybuilders, powerlifters, strongmen and fitness enthusiasts alike. Products are sold in vitamin/supplement retail stores and online at www.MHPStrong.com.(Front Row Motorsports / Breaking Limits)(2-8-2012)
ModSpace to Sponsor Front Row Motorsports Fords: Modular construction provider ModSpace will partner with Front Row Motorsports in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for a multi-race primary sponsorship and season-long associate sponsorship of the #38 Ford, driven by David Gilliland. The #34 Ford, driven by David Ragan, will also carry an associate sponsorship from ModSpace for the full season. The new motorsports partnership expands an existing business relationship between the Berwyn, Penn.-based company and Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins. ModSpace is currently working with Jenkins' quick-service restaurant company to build new Taco Bell/Long John Silver's locations. The new motorsports partnership will help with another type of "building" - the continued growth of Jenkins' Sprint Cup team, which is coming off the best season in its young history. The first appearance of the #38 ModSpace Ford is scheduled for the April 14 race at Texas Motor Speedway. ModSpace is a leading provider of modular buildings, portable storage and services for temporary or permanent space needs. Building on more than 40 years of experience, ModSpace serves a diverse set of customers and markets - including commercial, construction, education, government, healthcare, industrial/energy and special events - through an extensive nationwide branch network throughout the United States and Canada. ModSpace has constructed buildings for renowned clients ranging from the Professional Golf Association (PGA) to General Motors, IBM and the U.S. Army. For more information on the company and its projects, visit ModSpace.com.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(1-25-2012)
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)
Dream comes true as disabled veteran designs car: Although confined to a wheelchair and unable to use his arms, Marine veteran Scott Bates will be very much in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500. His Veterans Day design, created with a head-controlled, reflection-operated mouse, rides with J.J. Yeley on Front Row Motorsports' Vampt-sponsored #38 Ford. In addition, Sunday will be proclaimed Scott Bates Day in the state of Arizona, honoring the inspiration of Bates, 48, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. "This is what I've always wanted to do — design a car for the Cup level," says Bates, who saw his paint scheme after competition for the first time on Saturday when Yeley turned a lap at 128.98 mph in qualifying. "It's incredible. I can't believe it's happened." Bates, from Muskogee, Okla., not only learned graphic design, he's learned to do it by operating a sensor attached to his computer which reacts to his head movements. The system permits Bates to choose shapes, colors, shades and strokes. Passionate about auto racing, Bates started by designing templates for video games and produced a paint scheme for an ARCA car that wrecked in a practice run and never made it to race day. Vampt founder and chairman Ian Toews heard Bates' story and enlisted him to design his Veterans Day weekend car. Bates' design features and American flag and the message "Vampt Nation Salutes Our Nations' Veterans" on the deck lid.(USA Today), see images of the car on the #38 Team Schemes page.(11-13-2011)
Vampt sponsoring Yeley at Phoenix: NASCAR fans should prepare to "get Vampt" again. Vampt Beverage Corp. will return to the #38 Ford of Front Row Motorsports for the race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Phoenix native J.J. Yeley will once again man the wheel of the Vampt Ford, which will make its second appearance in the Sprint Cup Series this season. In addition, one of the biggest names in technology will make its first appearance on a Front Row Motorsports car at the Phoenix race. Microsoft Office 365 will be an associate sponsor on Yeley's #38 car. Look for the familiar logo on the C-post of his Ford.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(11-6-2011)
UPDATE: Front Row Motorsports, J.J. Yeley, and Vampt Beverage Corp. will make a former U.S. Marine's dream come true this Veterans Day when the #38 Vampt Ford hits Phoenix International Raceway in a paint scheme designed by the disabled veteran. Scott Bates of Muskogee, Okla., is the artist behind the patriotic paint scheme on the #38 Ford. The former Marine took up graphic design when multiple sclerosis left him confined to a wheelchair and unable to use his arms. A head-controlled mouse allows him to operate the program in which he creates his designs. A sensor atop his computer screen picks up his head movements, allowing him to choose colors, shapes, shades and strokes. After years of designing racecar templates for video games, Bates finally got to see one of his designs on a real racecar when he did a paint scheme for an ARCA car. But that car wrecked in practice and never made it to race day. The 48-year-old artist still had one wish: to see one of his designs on an actual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. He told his story to motorsports writer Becca Gladden, who wrote about his dream. When malt beverage maker and Front Row sponsor Vampt read about Bates, they found it only fitting to help him realize his dream on Veterans Day weekend when the company was sponsoring Yeley's #38 in Phoenix. Bates will attend the race as a special guest of Vampt and Front Row Motorsports to see, up close and in person, that his wish was finally granted.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(11-8-2011)
#38 crew member treated and released from hospital: Sean Irvan, the jackman for the #38 Long John Silver's Ford team of Front Row Motorsports, was treated and released from Martinsville Memorial Hospital after being hit on pit road during Sunday's Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Irvan, a native of Monterey, Calif., suffered a concussion, a neck strain and a medial collateral ligament strain in his right knee. He suffered the neck and knee injuries and lost consciousness as a result of being hit by the #5 car of Mark Martin on pit road during a pit stop early in the race. Irvan was transported by ambulance to the hospital after an initial evaluation in the infield care center.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(10-30-2011)
Yeley returns to the #38: J.J. Yeley will take the wheel of the #38 Long John Silver's Ford this week at the track where he earned his best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish. Yeley's #38 Ford will carry a decal for World Hunger Relief, the worldwide, annual hunger relief campaign conducted by Yum! Brands. Front Row Motorsports team owner Bob Jenkins is a Yum! Brands restaurant franchisee, operating 132 locations around the Southeast. The effort raises awareness, volunteerism and funds for the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) and other hunger relief agencies. Fans can learn more about the campaign or donate at www.fromhungertohope.com.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(10-12-2011)
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 to promote 'Drive Sober' campaign at Dover UPDATE2: J.J. Yeley and the #38 Ford team will remind NASCAR fans to "Driver Sober, Arrive Alive" at Dover next week with a special paint scheme and a full weekend of promotional activities with the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS), including a contest that will make Yeley a fan's designated driver for an evening. The OHS partnered with Yeley and Front Row Motorsports to get their message out to the campaign's target demographic - 18- to 34-year-old men - throughout the Dover race weekend Sept. 29 to Oct. 2. For more information about the "Drive Sober, Arrive Alive" campaign or the designated driver contest, visit www.duirealtime.com or www.jjismydd.com.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(9-21-2011)
UPDATE: Andy Anderson of Newark, Delaware was named the winner of the JJ is my DD contest.(jjyeley.com).
UPDATE2: J.J. Yeley will climb into the #38 Ford for the third consecutive weekend for Front Row Motorsports, this week in partnership with the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS). Yeley and the OHS partnered for the AAA 400 race weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway to promote the agency's "Drive Sober, Arrive Alive" campaign. The weekend includes the fulfillment of the "J.J. is my D.D." contest, where contest winner Andy Anderson of Newark, Del., and a guest will have designated driver services provided by Yeley for a night on the town in Dover. The OHS ran an online contest where entrants submitted written comments on the importance of designated drivers. Anderson will also receive accommodations for the Dover race weekend on a Star Coach in the speedway infield.(FRM), and see an image of the scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(9-28-2011)
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) , see images of the car on the #38 Team Schemes page. (8-31-2011)
Conway, Front Row settle lawsuits: Kevin Conway, his marketing company and sponsor Extenze have settled lawsuits with Front Row Motorsports with no money going to either side, Conway attorney Sam McGee said Wednesday. Front Row had sued for $3.6 million, including $2.754 million in sponsorship fees, it alleged was owed by Conway, Conway's company and Extenze for the 2010 season. Conway had also filed complaints against Front Row for about $340,000 in salary, purse money and rookie program money he alleged he was owed. A trial in the controversy was scheduled for this week in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte, but after hearings for summary judgment, the sides settled, McGee said Wednesday. "These parties have all now washed their hands of each other and taking full dismissals [of the cases]," McGee said. "The parties have resolved the case in a way that the defendants were not paying money to Front Row. Neither is paying anything."(Scene Daily)(8-26-2011)
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)
Milestone starts at Watkins Glen: Terry Labonte will attempt to make his 875th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, Tony Stewart will make his 450th series start and Brad Keselowski will make his 75th series start.(NASCAR)(8-11-2011)
Labonte in the #38 at Watkins Glen: Terry Labonte will return to Watkins Glen International for the first time since 2007 - and he'll do it for the first time in the seat of the #38 Long John Silver's Ford. "Texas Terry" has had solid runs in his career at the 2.45-mile road course, earning two poles, three top-5 finishes and six top-10 finishes at the track. The #38 Ford will also carry a special message at the Glen. The car will feature a decal to raise awareness for the Jenni-Lyn Watson Memorial Fund. The 20-year-old college student and aspiring ballerina from Central New York was tragically murdered last November in a case that drew national attention. A website URL printed below the decal will remind Central New York race fans to visit and donate to the memorial fund. The fund will be used to create opportunities for local children and teens that have a passion for the art of dance.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(8-10-2011)
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)
Ave in the #38 at Sonoma: Defending SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series champion Tony Ave will bring his road-racing skills to NASCAR when he pilots the #38 Long John Silver's Ford at Infineon Raceway this weekend. Ave will need to qualify on speed at the Sonoma, Calif., road course in order to make his third career Sprint Cup Series start in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350. The Hurley, Wis., native prepared for his return to NASCAR by testing with Front Row Motorsports' #38 team at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) last week. Ave is the current points leader in the Trans-Am Series season and has won the last three races. His two previous starts in the Sprint Cup Series came at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International in 2004 and 2009. The 2009 start was also for Front Row team owner Bob Jenkins.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(6-21-2011)
Front Row and Kvapil to Honor Fallen Basketball Star: Travis Kvapil's #38 Ford will go to Michigan International Speedway next week with a special tribute to the memory of Wes Leonard - the Fennville (Mich.) High School basketball player who died of a heart ailment just after scoring a game-winning basket. The #38 Front Row Motorsports Ford, which will be sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, will carry the logo of the Wes Leonard Heart Team on its rear quarter panels. The foundation was set up in the superstar's memory to honor children who have lost their lives to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and to prevent similar tragedies from occurring. Leonard's parents, brother and grandparents and members of the foundation will be special guests of the #38 team at the June 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(6-14-2011)
Hornish in the #38 at Pocono UPDATE: Mike Joy mentioned during SPEED's coverage of final practice at Kansas that Sam Hornish Jr. would be in the Front Row Motorsports #38 next weekend at Pocono. Travis Kvapil will be in Texas for the Camping World Truck Series race.(6-4-2011)
UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. will make his 2011 return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway this weekend, manning the wheel of the #38 Long John Silver's Ford while Travis Kvapil competes in the Camping World Truck Series in Texas. The three-time IndyCar Champion has 108 Cup races under his belt since making the move to stock-car racing, but this weekend's event in Long Pond, Pa., will be his first this year. The 2.5-mile track known as the "Tricky Triangle" is the perfect place for Hornish to make his return. The low-banked, sharp-turning tri-oval suits the former open-wheel racer. He has a top-five, two top-10 and four top-15 finishes in his six Cup career starts there. Hornish is also familiar with #38 crew chief Jay Guy, whom he was a co-worker with at Penske Racing in Sprint Cup. Comments from Long John Silver's driver Sam Hornish on Pocono and driving for Front Row:
"I'm really excited to get back in a Cup car. And it's not just an opportunity to run a Cup race, but I get to race at Pocono. That's a track that a lot of drivers don't like and it puts them in a bad mood trying to figure it out. And that actually can pay dividends for me because I like racing there and I go there with confidence. I've run well there the past two years with four top-15 finishes. I got a call from Penske asking if I was interested in running the '38' while Travis was racing trucks, and I was on the phone with Front Row about half an hour later working it all out. It came together pretty fast but I was excited to do it. It's going to be a little difficult, obviously, because there's not a lot of time to work together to prepare. Pocono is hot and it's 500 miles, so it can be pretty uncomfortable over the course of the race, so it's important to have a good fit in the car. I was at the Front Row shop last week and again Monday working on getting fitted. And I've been spending some time with Jay Guy, going over the set-up of the car, so we have a good game plan going in. I knew Jay from when he was at Penske, but I didn't work directly with him. But I'm looking forward to working with him this week. As challenging as it's going to be coming in for one race with a team I haven't worked with before, it's refreshing at the same time. I've only raced a stock car with Penske, so it will be good to try something different and get that experience."(Breaking Limits / Front Row Motorsports)(6-8-2011)
Gunselman managing #37 team: From the Front Row Motorsports Facebook page, "The #37 car is now managed by Larry Gunselman in a partnership between Front Row Motorsports and Larry's Max Q Motorsports team. The team will have a more formal announcement coming with more information about plans moving forward."(3-25-2011)
New crew chief for Kvapil: UPDATE: Derrick Finley, Front Row Motorsports competition director, is the interim crew chief for #38-Travis Kvapil until a replacement is named as crew chief Bill Henderson left the team.(FRM)(3-19-2011)
UPDATE: Travis Kvapil heads to the West Coast this week with confidence his Long John Silver's Ford will be stronger at Auto Club Speedway this season. He'll also go with a new crew chief, with Jay Guy coming on board to lead the #38 team. Guy is a veteran in the NASCAR garage, having worked with teams such as Penske Racing, Furniture Row Racing, Wood Brothers and others.(FRM/Breaking Limits), no word who replaces Guy as the crew chief of the #71 TRG Motorsports team. Guy had been the crew chief of the #71 since Daytona after being the crew chief for Brad Keselowski at Penske Racing in 2010..(3-22-2011)
New look for the #38 team: Travis Kvapil will celebrate a milestone in his Sprint Cup Series career this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway - but he'll look a little different doing it. The veteran driver will make his 150th Cup start at Sunday's Jeff Byrd 500 at the famed short track, and he'll do so with a new-look paint scheme on his #38 Long John Silver's Ford. The new design showcases the new Long John Silver's logo, colors and tagline and replaces the familiar bright yellow-and-blue scheme that has adorned the car in recent years. Bristol is a good place for Kvapil to celebrate his achievement. Like many drivers, he includes the .533-mile oval among his favorites and has run well there in the past. His best career starting position is fifth and his top finish is seventh.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the new scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(3-15-2011)
Tmone returns to Front Row: TMone returns to Front Row Motosports this weekend at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400. TMone, who first joined the team last weekend at Phoenix, will again be an associate sponsor on the #34 Taco Bell/TMone Ford of David Gilliland and also join the #38 Long John Silver's Ford of Travis Kvapil. TMone will be a co-primary for Front Row Motorsports at Bristol.(Breaking Limits), see an image on the #34 team paint schemes page.(2-4-2011)
Front Row gets #38 car locked in: Front Row Motorsports likely will have all three of its cars locked in for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway this week as the #77 Rusty Wallace Racing car is not entered for the second Sprint Cup event. The RWR team wasn't expected to enter, and with that team's top-35 owners points (from Penske Racing) not being used, the 35th guaranteed spot will go to the next team in owners points-the #38 Front Row Motorsports car driven by Travis Kvapil.(Sporting News)(2-23-2011)
Super Bowl Champ Nick Collins to Join Kvapil at Daytona 500: Two weeks after Travis Kvapil cheered his Green Bay Packers to Super Bowl victory in Arlington, Texas, a member of the NFL Championship team will be at the Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Fla., to return the favor. Safety Nick Collins, who made one of the biggest plays of the Super Bowl with an interception he returned for a touchdown, will be Kvapil's guest at "The Great American Race" Sunday. The driver of the #38 Long John Silver's Ford is locked in to the race after qualifying 20th in time trials earlier this week and will learn his starting position during Thursday's Gatorade Duels. Collins is a Florida native and attended Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach. When he wasn't setting records on the football field, he logged some hours at Daytona International Speedway working on a clean-up crew. Kvapil attended Super Bowl XLV with his family and vowed to invite members of the Packers to the season-opening race if Green Bay won the title. Collins' return to Daytona International Speedway will include highlights only fitting for a Super Bowl champion. He'll accompany Kvapil to the drivers' meeting, ride along with him on the pre-race parade lap and sit atop the Long John Silver's pit box for the race.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(2-17-2011)
Kvapil and Gilliland Return to Front Row in '11: Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland will be back behind the wheels of their Front Row Motorsports Fords for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The Statesville, N.C.-based team announced Friday that the veteran drivers will return for the organization's third full-time season in the Sprint Cup Series, with Kvapil racing the #34 Long John Silver's Ford and David Gilliland in the #38 Taco Bell Ford. The team plans to enter its third car, the #37 Ford, in select races during the 2011 season.
"I'm thrilled to have Travis and David back," said Bob Jenkins, owner of Front Row Motorsports. "We're going into our third season running full-time in Sprint Cup racing and we're really starting to build something here with these guys. Our drivers are back, (Taco Bell team crew chief) Peter Sospenzo is back, (general manager) Jerry Freeze is into his third season running the team for us. So, I'm really excited to keep building with this core group."
Front Row also made two important additions to further the team's growth and competitiveness on track. The team appointed Derrick Finley to the newly created position of competition director and named Bill Henderson crew chief of the #34 team. Finley is a degreed engineer who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Front Row. He has held leadership roles with some of the most storied teams in the sport's history, including Dale Earnhardt Inc., Bill Davis Racing and Petty Enterprises.
"I'm really excited to join Front Row and especially to be back working with Ford," said Finley. "It's ironic that I'll be back in the same shop where I cut my teeth in racing with (former NASCAR team owner) Travis Carter, and working again with the engineering staff at Ford Racing. Ford has a lot of great new tools and significant resources for their teams, and I can't wait to use them to help Front Row move up the grid."
New crew chief Henderson brings the #34 Long John Silver's team more than 12 years of experience in the NASCAR garage, most recently as general manager for Prism Motorsports and crew chief for the team's #66 entry. His racing resume also includes crew chief roles in the Nationwide Series with FitzBradshaw Racing and in the Sprint Cup Series with drivers Kyle Petty and Dave Blaney.
Sospenzo will be back atop the pit box of the #38 Taco Bell team, kicking off his third season with the Front Row organization. He was paired with Gilliland for the final 12 races of the 2010 season in what proved to be a successful driver-crew chief relationship that produced several strong runs on the track. The late-season boost sent the team into the off-season feeling optimistic they can return even stronger in 2011.
In addition to solidifying its team roster, Front Row Motorsports made some off-season advances in its equipment, setting the stage for improved performance in 2011. The team will begin using Ford's new FR9 engines, provided by Roush-Yates Racing Engines, and has upgraded its racing stable with the recent asset purchase of 34 racecars from Richard Petty Motorsports.
"I'm pretty excited for this year," continued Jenkins. "We've got the newer engine and upgraded our equipment, we've got our core people back and added some new talent, too. All the pieces are in place and we're ready to go."(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(1-21-2011)
Richardson to run for Front Row in Daytona 500: Robert Richardson Jr. plans to run the Daytona 500 for Front Row Motorsports [likely the #37 team], just as he did last year for the team, when he finished 31st. Richardson also ran the other three restrictor plate races for FRM last year, with a best finish 23rd at Daytona in July. The Daytona 500 is the only Sprint Cup race he plans to run in 2011, with backing likely coming from longtime R3 sponsor Mahindra Tractors. His family owned team, #23 R3 Motorsports, which made a few 2010 attmepts currently has no plans to run in the Sprint Cup Series this year. R3 Motorsports does intend on running at least a full Nationwide Series schedule this year, but, Richardson says, no firm plans on a driver and sponsor lineup are in place. "Nothing has been finalized. We are still in search of partnerships with companies who are wanting to advertise in NASCAR," Richardson told WSB via email. "Walter Giles is listed as our crew chief. We have the capability to run two teams out of our stable. We have currently completed an adition to our shop to house a second team if necessary."(WSBRadio.com)(1-21-2011)
Front Row looking for a crew chief: hearing Front Row Motorsports #34 crew chief Brian Burns has left the team, no word on who will replace Burns as Travis Kvapil’s crew chief in 2011 but the team is supposedly looking for a crew chief. Hearing plans are to run Kvapil full time in the #34 Ford and David Gilliland full time in the #38 [using #37 owners points] with the #37 Ford being run part time [using #38 owners ppoints, which are not in the top 35 for the first 5 races].(12-20-2010)
Front Row to 2 cars? Kvapil returns in 2011: from an interview with driver Travis Kvapil:
Kvapil: For next year, we're going to up our goals. It looks like we'll have some better equipment and a better gameplan for next year. We probably won't have three teams. I'm not 100% sure on that, but it looks like we'll be able to focus our attention on two cars, two teams, and that should make us better.
Q) How much of a difference will a two-car shift make?
Kvapil: That's part of what I'm talking about [that] I don't think people understand. Going from Texas to Phoenix after the race, we have to pull ballast, lead, out of these cars for our Phoenix cars. We just don't have enough stuff. We have to pull sway bar arms, springs — we just don't have the components to really be prepared. Hopefully downsizing would be able to help that. We've got three cars on the track right now. We downsize to two, that frees up a lot of equipment and components to where it'd be easier to be better prepared.(Frontstretch)(11-11-2010)
Blaney uninjured in car wreck: Dave Blaney was uninjured in an auto accident Sunday night when he hit a deer while returning home from the airport after the Texas race.(Roanoke Times)(11-10-2010)
Front Row #38 to keep running despite points position: After Talladega, #7-Robby Gordon is in 34th place, 14 points ahead of #71-TRG, which is 116 points ahead of Front Row's #38 third car and 217 points clear of #26-Latitude 43. Since August, Front Row had put a lot of its focus on getting the 38 back in the top 35, where it comfortably sat until it was penalized 150 points in June for illegally modified tire-valve caps. Since Michigan in August, in three different three-race periods, Front Row had made up significant gaps on 35th: 87, 85 and 79 points, respectively. After the most recent three-race period, which ended at Charlotte, Front Row's car was only five points out of 35th going into Martinsville two weekends ago. But after breaking a rear-end gear there as Kvapil was running well ahead of the 7 and 71, and finishing 35th -- and now the Talladega debacle -- Freeze said the team would reshuffle its plan for the rest of this season. "We knew this weekend was going to be a challenge, so [breaking the gear] was a huge setback. Bob [Jenkins, team owner] and I talked about it [Sunday] morning and we're still going to run the 38 the last three races and make the best effort with it.(NASCAR.com)(11-2-2010)
Crew chief changes again at Front Row: The teams of Front Row Motorsports will have new leadership atop the pit boxes beginning with this weekend's race events in Fontana, Calif. Front Row has named Brian Burns crew chief of Travis Kvapil's Long John Silver's #34 team, and moved crew chief Greg Conner to lead the #37 A&W All American Food team, which will have Dave Blaney at the wheel at Auto Club Speedway. Burns has been an integral member of the Long John Silver's team, serving as its lead engineer since the beginning of the 2009 season. He gained experience calling the shots for Kvapil's car earlier this year when he served as interim crew chief for the June race at Michigan International Speedway. Before coming to Front Row, Burns spent six years with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, providing engineering support to its three race teams.
Conner moves over to the A&W team after serving as crew chief of the Long John Silver's team for the past three months. The racing veteran has experience in all three of NASCAR's top series and has called races for drivers including Marcos Ambrose, Ricky Craven and Kevin Lepage. "We still have seven races to run and we want to make the most of them," said Bob Jenkins, owner of Front Row Motorsports. "I think the world of both of these guys, and having them in these positions now is going to make us stronger at the end of this season and also help prepare us for next year." Peter Sospenzo remains the crew chief for the #38 Taco Bell team - Front Row Motorsports' third car - which is driven by David Gilliland.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(10-6-2010)
Blaney back in the #38: Dave Blaney returns to drive the #38 A&W All American Food Ford at Kansas Speedway this week, driving the Front Row Motorsports car for the second time this season. He and the A&W team look to qualify the #38 Fusion on speed for Sunday's Price Chopper 400. Always a strong qualifier, Blaney successfully put the same car in the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this month in his first run with Front Row. Travis Kvapil is in the #34 Long John Silver's Ford and David Gilliland is in the #37 Taco Bell Ford this week at Kansas for Front Row Racing.(Breaking Limits)(9-29-2010)
Drivers visiting Walter Reed: NASCAR's annual visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center is set for Thursday, with a total of 10 drivers scheduled to attend along with NASCAR President Mike Helton. Drivers expected to visit include #43-AJ Allmendinger, #16-Greg Biffle, #2-Kurt Busch, #38-David Gilliland,#17-Matt Kenseth, #12-Brad Keselowski, #98-Paul Menard, #87-Joe Nemechek, #39-Ryan Newman and #82-Scott Speed. Show cars on display are expected to be #39 U.S. ARMY Chevy, #88 National Guard Chevy, #99 Scotts Ford, #2 Miller Lite Dodge, #11 FedEx Toyota, #24 National Guard Chevy, #10 Sprint show car and a NASCAR/Walter Reed Army Medical Center car.(NASCAR)(9-22-2010)
Front Row sues Conway and Extenze: Front Row Motorsports is suing its former driver Kevin Conway and his sponsor Biotab Nutraceuticals, which sells Extenze, over alleged non-payment of part of a $5.4 million sponsorship deal for Conway to drive a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car in 2010. The lawsuit was filed Monday [Sept 13] in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte. A Front Row Motorsports spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit, which asks for damages to cover the $2.754 million that will eventually be due under the terms of the contract, payment of $734,201 in sponsorship fees, hard card fees, race licenses and other expenses for services rendered and $135,000 advanced to Conway as part of his base compensation. "It's really unfortunate that they've made some pretty outrageous allegations against us and the good thing is we'll have our day in court, and the truth will all come to light in the months ahead," Conway said in a phone interview Tuesday. "Unfortunately, I can't really comment on the specifics."
According to the complaint and contracts attached as exhibits, Extenze was to pay Conway's marketing company Exclaim $5.4 million in 50 weekly installments of $108,000, and that money was then to be sent to the race team. The $5.4 million was designed to cover the first 15 races, and then Extenze would have the option of funding the remaining 21 events through revenues generated by a product placement contract. The team would get 15% for product placement at dollar stores, retail stores or wholesale auto parts stores.
Conway's base compensation, according to a contract that is an exhibit in the lawsuit, was $540,000 plus 10% of any other sponsorships brought in for the car. He also would get paid 15% of all purse money and season point fund money, with the percentage increasing to 30% for any top-20, 35% for a top-10 and 45% for a top-five. Front Row was obligated to put Conway in a car that was in the top 35 in owner points, and if he failed to make the field in two consecutive races or any three during the season, the contract could be terminated. The deal between Conway and Front Row went sour during the summer, according to the complaint, when Exclaim allegedly began paying only half of its $108,000 payments beginning June 21. Exclaim is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit. Front Row notified Conway on Aug. 8 that he would not be back in the car beginning with the Aug. 15 race at Michigan if his sponsor could not pay its $108,000 weekly fee. Conway did not compete at Michigan but then ran the next three events for Robby Gordon Motorsports. He is scheduled to run seven of the final 10 events for RGM but will not be in the car this weekend because team owner Robby Gordon has sponsorship for the New Hampshire race. The lawsuit was filed by Charlotte attorney Ron Skufca, who represents the North Carolina-based Front Row Motorsports. Biotab is based in California.(SceneDaily)(9-15-2010)
Front Row could drop down to 2 teams in 2011: When asked about the future of the team's third car, the #38 squad that currently sits outside the top 35 in owner points, Front Row Motorsports Jerry Freeze didn't mince words. “It's a big question mark right now. Unless we have some phenomenal success in finding sponsorship, I don't see any way we can carry three cars next year. I think the likely scenario is that FRM will run two cars next year. We really like David [Gilliland] and Travis [Kvapil], we're planning on those guys coming back and we're talking with them about it, so that's the direction I think we'll be going in. Then again, maybe we start next year running that third car if it's in the top 35. If it's not, it may just go away.” That said, the team is also very much aware of just how valuable team number three is. They know just how close they are to locking a third entry into the Sprint Cup field, and what that means from both a competitive and fiscal standpoint. “Now we get that car back in the top 35, we have a lot of options for next year," Freeze explains. "That's why we're working so hard ... I would bet the house that if we had a third car in the top 35 at the end of this year that we could find a driver with a sponsor to run the Daytona 500. That's a great-paying race, and could be a great value to FRM.”(Frontstretch)(9-10-2010)
Crew changes at Front Row: A Front Row Motorsports crew chief swap will put NASCAR veteran Peter Sospenzo at the helm of the #37 Taco Bell Ford team of David Gilliland beginning this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Randy Seals, who previously led Gilliland's team, will call the shots for teammate Dave Blaney in the #38 A&W All American Food Ford. The team and pit crew working under each crew chief will switch also.(FRM/Breaking Limits)(9-2-2010)
Blaney to run for two teams: Dave Blaney thought his NASCAR Sprint Series racing was done for the year when he quit his association with Prism Motorsports [#66/#55 Toyota's] before the Michigan race Aug. 15, but the crankshaft gods had other plans. Blaney didn’t skip a beat as he joined two racing teams to finish out the remaining 12 dates on the 2010 schedule. “I guess I just got to the point where I thought I wasn’t going anywhere,” Blaney said on Tuesday, a few weeks after parting ways with Prism. “It finally wore me down. I was going to be OK being done and not going back to any races this year, but then drivers started moving around a little and a couple seats opened up. So, I’ll finish out most of the year and see what happens.” Just when Blaney thought he’d use the down time watching the racing career of his son, Ryan, Dave got a call from Tommy Baldwin of Tommy Baldwin Racing. “We tried to run Bristol [Aug. 21], but didn’t make the race, but, between Baldwin and the 38 [or 34 & 37] of Front Row Motorsports — those two cars — I’ll probably run the majority of the races left.” As Blaney spoke, he was en route to Statesville, N.C. to finalize his plans with the Front Row team that will run Dave in six races. He’ll run five or six others in Baldwin’s #36. “I’ll jump back and forth between the two teams,” Blaney said of his latest arrangement. While FRM races every week (no start-and-park gimmick), Baldwin’s will be a mix. “I might get to race [full distance] the majority of them [the 12]. I don’t know for sure, but looks like I’ll, at least, have something else to go run. That may lead to something down the road or maybe not.” The Front Row seat opened on Aug. 13 when Kevin Conway and the #34 lost its ExtenZe Racing sponsorship. “It sounds like I’m going to run six races and Tony Raines will run the other six,” Blaney said of his schedule split with Front Row. With Baldwin, Blaney assumes the seat vacated when Baldwin lost Casey Mears, who jumped in the #13 car that Max Papis was in. “I got a couple chances to jump in here and there,” Blaney said. Of Blaney’s newest teams, Front Row is the better funded, running three cars fulltime. “Most weeks, either Long John Silver’s or Taco Bell is on the #38,” Blaney said. Sponsors for Baldwin aren’t as steady. Front Row’s other two teams are the 34 of Travis Kvapil and the #37 of Dave Gilliland.(Vindicator), no word which races for which team yet.(8-25-2010)
Front Row Appeal UPDATE: Front Row Motorsports' [#38-Travis Kvapil] appeal for violations at Pocono will be Tuesday in the Charlotte area.(Roanoke Times), no word when an announcement on a decision will be made.(6-22-2010)
UPDATE: On June 22, 2010, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of Front Row Motorsports regarding the #38 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. The appeal concerned two penalties issued by NASCAR stemming from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway on June 6, 2010. The penalties concern Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing”; Section 12-4-J: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR Rules”; and Section 20-10.7J: “Unapproved modification to valve stem hardware.” Originally, a total of 5 penalties were assessed for the infractions, including a deduction of 150 NSCS owner points for Doug Yates; a deduction of 150 NSCS driver points for Travis Kvapil; and a $100,000 fine, 12-race suspension, and probation for crew chief Steven Lane. Subsequently, those 3 penalties were withdrawn from the appeal, and the crew chief has begun serving his suspension. The two remaining penalties were appealed:
-suspension from the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing events; suspension from NASCAR until Sept 15, 2010, and probation until December 31, 2010 for crew member, Richard Bourgeois (car chief)
-suspension from the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing events; suspension from NASCAR until Sept 15, 2010, and probation until December 31, 2010 for crew member, Michael Harrold (tire specialist)
The Appellants requested and were granted a deferral of these suspensions until such time as the hearing could be convened. The Appellants and team representative argued that, unbeknownst to the team management or the Appellants, valve stem caps designed to bleed air were developed by rogue elements of the team; that for some reason this hardware was mistakenly brought to the Pocono event on the team hauler; and that the caps were then accidently placed on the race car just prior to the start of the race. A small hole had been drilled in the top of each of the valve stem caps in question, and a foam material had been added to the interior of each cap. These valve stem caps were located on the left front and both rear tires of the race car upon discovery. The Panel did not find the Appellants explanation to be plausible. The Panel found the penalties to be correct for the nature of the infraction. Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The periods of suspension shall be adjusted from the date of the hearing. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer. The panel who heard the appeal were: Leo Mehl, Waddell Wilson and Humpy Wheeler along with George Silbermann - Appellate Administrator and non-voting member.(NASCAR)(6-22-2010)
Front Row Motorsports to appeal penalties UPDATE 2: The Front Row Motorsports #38 team. Crew chief Steve Lane was fined $100,000 and suspended for 12 weeks, along with car chief Richard Bourgeois and tire specialist Michael Harrold. Driver Travis Kvapil and car owner Doug Yates were docked 150 points each after the infractions [illegal valve stem caps] were discovered at Pocono. Team co-owner Bob Jenkins took responsibility for the "unintentional" mistake and plans to appeal the penalty. The violation was found following a rain delay in last Sunday's race. Kvapil's rear tires were almost flat, and NASCAR discovered that the valve stem caps on the tires had been altered to allow air to gradually leak out -- an act that would help the car with its speed during a long run. Though Jenkins recognizes the need to discipline the team, he believes the penalties were "excessive." [Supposedly Lane has been released from the team] "It was obvious to me, and I think to others, that there was no intent," Jenkins said. "Obviously it is a big fine and it is a lot of points. ... I understand there should be a fine, but I felt that 12-week suspensions and that level of points are pretty high." Jenkins pointed to the timing of the infraction, early in the race, as evidence the mistake was innocent. "If you look at the specifics of it, it just doesn't make sense," Jenkins said.(Associated Press)(6-12-2010)
UPDATE1: No date has been set for Front Row Motorsports' appeal of penalties leveled on the team earlier this week. An appeal is expected to be scheduled after next weekend's race at Infineon Raceway.(Ronaoke Times)
UPDATE 2: Lane is not at the track this weekend to attend his daughter's graduation. The car chief is at the track, while the tire specialist is not with the team -- he was a one-week replacement for the team's regular tire specialist, who had a family emergency. An internal investigation continues with the team. They are unsure how the bleeder valve stems (meant to relieve tire pressure as it builds, thus maintains tire consistency) found their way on the car.(Virginian Pilot)(6-12-2010)
Front Row Motorsports Names Burns Interim Crew Chief: Front Row Motorsports named Brian Burns interim crew chief for the #38 team for the race weekend at Michigan International Speedway. He has served as the team's engineer since the beginning of the 2009 season. Burns takes the place of Steven Lane, who is serving a NASCAR-imposed suspension for rule infractions at last weekend's Sprint Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway.(Breaking Limits)(6-11-2010)
Illegal bleeder valves on the #38 at Pocono? UPDATE 2 penalties announced: Sources tell Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that NASCAR discovered clandestine [secrecy or concealed] air pressure bleeder valves on the tires of Travis Kvapil's #38 Front Row Motorsports Ford Sunday at Pocono Raceway. Following the rain delay, NASCAR officials reportedly observed two soft tires on the rear of Kvapil's car and held him from rolling back onto the track for the start of the race. Closer examination of those tire and wheel assemblies allegedly revealed illegal bleeder valves, which purge excess air pressure from the tires as it accumulates under race conditions. If confirmed, the team would likely face a major NASCAR penalty, since tires are considered to be one of the sanctions "untouchable" items, along with engines and fuel.(Sirius Speedway)(6-8-2010)
UPDATE: After yesterday’s story about Front Row’s possible infraction at Pocono, [NASCAR Insiders] are hearing today that the penalty from NASCAR could be the biggest ever handed down. When NASCAR makes the announcement later today or tomorrow, expect the penalty to include a $250,000 fine and 300 driver and owner points for Travis Kvapil and owner Bob Jenkins. A suspension for crew chief Steven Lane will also be included. This penalty tops the sanctions handed down last season to Carl Long’s team after his engine was discovered to be too large at Charlotte. No word yet on how this will affect the team’s status moving forward. Expect the team to appeal the decision. (NASCAR Insiders)(6-8-2010)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR has issued penalties, suspensions and fines to the #38 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rules infractions committed during last Sunday’s event at Pocono Raceway. The team was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-10.7J (unapproved modification to valve stem hardware) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book. As a result, crew chief Steve Lane has been fined $100,000, suspended for the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup events, suspended from NASCAR until Sept. 15 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. Car chief Richard Bourgeois and tire specialist Michael Harrold have also been suspended from the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup events, suspended from NASCAR until Sept. 15 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. Driver Travis Kvapil and owner Doug Yates have been penalized with the loss of 150 driver and 150 owner points, respectively.(NASCAR)(6-9-2010)
APPEAL: Front Row Motorsports supports NASCAR in its efforts to enforce competition rules and to maintain integrity throughout the sport. Therefore, Front Row accepts that NASCAR must penalize the team for a rules infraction regarding valve stem caps on the #38 car at Pocono Raceway on June 6. "We take the rules of this sport very seriously, and we support NASCAR in its enforcement of those rules," said Bob Jenkins, team owner. "It was not our intent to put unapproved valve stem caps on our car at Pocono, a track where such a maneuver would clearly not provide any advantage. We are conducting our own internal investigation to determine how those parts got into our inventory and onto our car last weekend. "While we recognize we have to pay for our mistake, this was an unintentional, isolated incident," Jenkins continued. "We plan to immediately submit an appeal through NASCAR's formal appeal process as outlined by the NASCAR rule book." The team's three entries will compete this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.(Breaking Limits)
OWNERS POINTS: The loss of 150 owners points drops the #38 team to 36th in owners points and out of the top-35 by 66 points. #7-Robby Gordon moves up into 35th in owners points, 66 points ahead of the #38, so Gordon now has a guaranteed starting spot at Michigan and the #38 team doesn't. #26-David Stremme's team is still 37th, but is not only 87 points out of the top 35. HOWEVER, with the appeal, the penalty could be deferred and the points not yet deduected and Lane and Bourgeois not under suspenion.(6-9-2010)
Richardson Ready to Run at 'Dega: Robert Richardson Jr. returns to the cockpit of a Front Row Motorsports Ford for the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend - his second of three races with the team during the 2010 season. The college quarterback-turned-racer brings the colors of Mahindra USA Tractors to the #37 Ford Fusion for Sunday's race at the 2.66-mile tri-oval. Richardson finished 31st in the season-opening Daytona 500 with Front Row [running their #38 Ford there] and will return to the team for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in July. He brought home a top-20 finish in his first, and only other, Sprint Cup start at Talladega last fall when he finished 18th. Richardson Jr. on Talladega Superspeedway: "Front Row Motorsports has been a great fit for me, being able to come over from our Nationwide Series team of R3 Motorsports to a team on the Cup side with experienced drivers like Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland has been good for me this year. Being able to exchange notes with those guys definitely helps. Bob Jenkins has given me the opportunity to run their Sprint Cup car at Talladega, and also in Daytona in July. I'm just honored to have the couple of opportunities to run in the Sprint Cup series."(Front Row Motorsports)m Richardson Jr. is scheduled to run in whatever car # Gilliland is in at the time of the race, could be #37 or #38 deoending on owners points position.(4-23-2010)
Wife of Slain Alabama Policeman Named ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chief: When a hero loses his or her life in service to community or country it is those left behind that are forced to display heroism in coping with the loss. Paula Davis, the 39-year-old widow of slain Pelham Officer Philip Davis, is admirably showing this courage and has been named the 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chief for the upcoming NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway.
In the early morning hours of December 4, 2009, Policeman Philip Davis was patrolling I-65 in Pelham, Alabama. Officer Davis, 33, had pulled over a driver for speeding when he was shot and killed during the routine traffic stop. The suspect then fled the scene, but was apprehended two hours later and charged with capital murder. In the Pelham Police Department's 45-year history, Davis became the first officer to be killed in the line of duty. He had been with the Pelham force for almost five years, and had previously worked for the Calera Police Department after beginning his law enforcement career with the University of Alabama Police Department. Left behind was Paula, Philip's wife of five years, and two small toddlers.
"Paula is a dedicated mother and strong woman dealing with the unimaginable," said Kevin Conway, driver of the ExtenZe Racing #38 Ford Fusion and leading Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate. "Her family and friends, as well as the Pelham Police Department and people in the community, have all joined together to provide support. When ExtenZe Racing learned of her story we thought it would be nice to pitch in and honor her by providing a fun, one-of-a-kind experience at Talladega Superspeedway."
'ExtenZe Local Hero' recipients become ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chiefs, receive a tour of the paddock, attend the pre-race NASCAR Driver/Crew Chief meeting, and sit atop the pit box with Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo to root on rookie driver Kevin Conway piloting the royal blue and red #38 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Each recipient also receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world's best selling male enhancement product. Fans can visit www.ExtenZeRacing.com to nominate their own local heroes or review who has been previously chosen. Also check in on blog/twitter feeds for the latest information on ExtenZe Racing and Kevin Conway.(ExtenZe Racing/Breaking Limits)(4-23-2010)
ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chief for Texas named: When a small plane was intentionally crashed into an Austin, Texas, building that housed Internal Revenue Service offices, Robin De Haven was on the scene and rushed to aid people stranded in the raging inferno. For his bravery, 28-year-old De Haven has been named an 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and will be the ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chief at the upcoming Texas Motor Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend. It was Feb. 18 and De Haven, a window-glass repairman, was on his way to a job site when he saw a plane flying uncomfortably low. The plane soon disappeared and thick, black smoke began to rise and fill the sky. Unsure of what happened, De Haven opted to drive over and investigate.
When he arrived on scene, De Haven was met with smoke, flames and chaos. He pulled into a parking lot, spoke with a 911 operator, and learned from bystanders that people were trapped on the building's second floor and yelling for help. He grabbed a 20-ft. long ladder from his truck and headed for the fiery, twisted mess. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, De Haven hastily placed the long ladder against the building and managed his way up unsteady rails.
Upon reaching the second story, De Haven pushed by a shattered window and entered the building. There he found six people trapped with no exit due to a smoke-filled hallway. After calming their nerves, he realized the precarious ladder he came up wouldn't do the trick for getting everyone to safety. The stranded group then broke through another window and De Haven climbed out on a skinny ledge. He hollered to people on the ground and had them move his ladder to a fastened position and instructed them to lean it to the ledge. De Haven then helped all six people shimmy to the ground and was the last person down the ladder to safety.
The 'ExtenZe Local Hero' program pays tribute to people who have gone to great lengths to make a difference. Those selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Award recipients become ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chiefs, receive a tour of the paddock, attend the pre-race NASCAR Driver/Crew Chief meeting, and sit atop the pit box with Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo to root on rookie driver Kevin Conway piloting the royal blue and red #38 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Each recipient also receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe in recognition of their selflessness. Fans can visit www.ExtenZeRacing.com to nominate their own local heroes or review who has been previously chosen. Also check in on blog/twitter feeds for the latest information on ExtenZe Racing and Kevin Conway.(ExtenZe Racing)(4-17-2010)
Gander Mountain Sponsors Gilliland at Martinsville: Gander Mountain will be the primary sponsor of Front Row Motorsports' #37 Sprint Cup entry at the Martinsville Speedway on March 28. The car will be piloted by David Gilliland, currently 35th in driver point standings in the Sprint Cup Series. Gander Mountain became a sponsor because of the number of NASCAR fans who also enjoy the outdoors, according to Steve Uline, Gander Mountain's executive vice president of marketing. The company will also sponsor Gilliland's car for the August 1 Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. "David Gilliland is an avid outdoorsman, as are many NASCAR fans," Uline said. "One of David's favorite pastimes outside of NASCAR is fishing. He understands Gander Mountain's 'We Live Outdoors' culture and is the perfect driver to help us take our message to race fans." Gander Mountain, with 119 stores in 23 states, is the nation's largest retail network of stores for hunting, fishing, boating, camping, marine and outdoor lifestyle apparel, products and services. The company offers thousands of products in its online store and now includes free standard shipping. In addition, the site now offers a firearms department with a broad selection of ammunition, rifles, handguns, shotguns and accessories. Gander Mountain is also the parent company of Overton's (www.overtons.com) a leading catalog and Internet based retailer of products for boating and other water sports enthusiasts.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits), see images of the car on my #37 Team Schemes page.(3-22-2010)
New sponsor on the #38: Welcoming sponsorship from Charter Air Transport this weekend, David Gilliland and the #38 Charter Air/Taco Bell Ford team head to Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500. Charter Air will adorn the lower hood and upper-rear quarter panels. This will be Charter Air Transport's second time being a sponsor in the sport. The company is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, specializing in 30-passenger turbo prop planes. They have been a carrier of teams in NASCAR for the past five years. They also service collegiate athletic teams and business professionals with their fleet of turbo props and jets. The company takes pride in being environmentally friendly, with its fleet of EMB-120 aircraft burning only 150 gallons of fuel an hour. For more information, visit www.charterairtransport.com (Breaking Limits/FRM), see an image of the scheme on my #38 Team Schemes page.(3-4-2010)
Planet Hollywood to be #34 & #38 assoc sponsor at Vegas: The glitz of the Las Vegas strip is coming to the cars of Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing. The NASCAR Sprint Cup team will showcase Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Las Vegas with associate sponsorships on Travis Kvapil's #34 and David Gilliland's #38 Ford Fusions during this weekend's Shelby American 500 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Fans will see the resort and casino's logo on the lower-rear quarter panels of the teams' Fords at the 1.5-mile tri-oval in the Nevada desert.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(2-22-2010)
Gilliland Prepares for Season Debut with FRM: Preparing for his first event of the 2010 season, David Gilliland will step into the #38 Taco Bell Ford for his debut with Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing this weekend during the Auto Club 500 at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway. Gilliland competed with another team [#49 BAM Racing] during the season-opener in Daytona and failed to make the Daytona 500. Gilliland will race the majority of the season behind the #38 Taco Bell Ford owned by Bob Jenkins. This will also be the first time that Gilliland will work in race conditions with crew chief Randy Seals, who leads the #38 crew. Seals worked with Sprint Cup rookie Robert Richardson Jr. during the Daytona 500, finishing 31st. This week the #38 car will also carry an associate sponsorship from Metal Jeans for the Auto Club 500.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits) see an image of the #38 Taco Bell Ford on my #38 Team Schemes page.(2-17-2010)
Front Row cars in Top-35 UPDATE2 Alliance w/Yates Racing: Front Row Motorsports General Manager Jerry Freeze told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody Tuesday that negotiations are underway to give all three of the team's Fords guaranteed start status for the first five races of 2010. "We've been working on this for several weeks," he said. "There are still some details to be ironed out, but we have a really close relationship with (Yates Racing owner) Doug Yates and Ford. This is something we've been working on with them, and I hope to have things buttoned up and ready to announce in a couple of days." Freeze said driver Robert Richardson, III, will attempt to qualify FRR's new #38 Ford for the Daytona 500 as part of a three-race sponsorship with Mahindra Tractors that includes both Daytona races and the spring race at Talladaga. David Gilliland will run a majority of the schedule for the team with sponsorship from Taco Bell, and Freeze said "a couple of races" have been left open for a possible limited return by the team's 2009 #34 driver, John Andretti.(Sirius Speedway)(1-19-2010)
UPDATE: Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that talks are underway between Yates Racing and Front Row Motorsports to enable a transfer of owner's points that would lock all three Front Row Motorsports Fords into the first five races of the 2010 season. Reliable sources say Front Row Motorsports will assume the owner's points accrued last season by Yates' #96 and #98 Fords, which finished 31st and 33rd respectively in the final 2009 owner's standings. Talks are reportedly in their preliminary stages, but are progressing rapidly with an eye toward completing the deal by midweek. It is expected that in order for the dagreement to pass muster with NASCAR, Yates Racing owner Doug Yates will have to assume a minority ownership stake in Front Row Motorsports. Front Row's #34 car is already a guaranteed starter in the first five races after finishing 35th in owner's points a year ago.(Sirius Speedway)
Front Row Motorsports Announces Partnership with Doug Yates UPDATE: Solidifying an ownership alliance with Doug Yates and Yates Racing, Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins announces a name change to the organization. With the addition of Yates, the team will now officially be titled Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing. Doug Yates will be the listed owner of the #37 and #38 Ford Fusions, with Bob Jenkins remaining the listed owner of the #34 Ford Fusion. The team will remain headquartered in Statesville, N.C. The alliance secures all three entries into the top 35 in owner points heading into the opening weekend of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. It also reunites Yates with his former drivers David Gilliland and Travis Kvapil. "There has been a lot of movement this past off-season inside the sport," said Yates. "The opportunity came up with Bob (Jenkins) and to continue in the ownership role. I didn't have to think long about making this decision. Bob is really putting together a strong team this season and has done so over the past few seasons. He's been smart and making all the right moves as an owner. He's capitalized on the changes in the sports landscape and has built a solid team with great factory support and drivers. That's what excited me about making this move. I had already learned a lot about Bob and the Front Row team over the past two months with their involvement with Ford Racing and leasing engines from Roush/Yates Engines. They are a fast-improving team and this move allows me to carry on the Yates Racing legacy created by my father over 20 years ago."
"There has been so much that has happened for us in the past two months," said Jenkins. "But, having Doug come on board is a big piece of our puzzle coming together heading into this season. He brings such a family tradition of winning and a lot of confidence to everyone here. His relationships with Ford Racing, Roush/Yates Engines, David and Travis immediately make us a stronger team."(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits), the #98 RPM Ford team of Paul Menard would use the #44 Owners Points from 2009, which ranked 24th. See the way it looks right now on my 2010 Owners Points Stadings for 1st Five races page to see how things are shaking out.(2-1-2010)
Andretti in #34 at Daytona: John Andretti will drive the #34 Front Row Motorsports Ford as one of three entries from the newly expanded team in the 2010 Daytona 500. Andretti will also race in the Budweiser Shootout. Andretti's eligible for the season-opening special event due to winning Daytona's 1997 mid-summer Cup race, the Pepsi 400. Travis Kvapil, who's signed to wheel the #34 the rest of the season, will drive FRM's #37 at Daytona in place of rookie Kevin Conway, who NASCAR wouldn't approve to race on the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Robert Richardson Jr. will drive the team's third full-time car, the #38. A Nationwide Series regular, Richardson will drive the season's first three restrictor-plate races for FRM. Kvapil will switch to the #34 at Fontana the second week of the season; Conway will drive the #37; and David Gilliland will step into the #38, which he'll drive in the majority of this season's races. Team owner Bob Jenkins said Andretti, who secured the #34's locked-in spot in the top 35 to start this season in the 34 races he ran for FRM in 2009, will also do a handful of other races this season in the #38.(NASCAR.com), hearing that Window World will sponsor Andretti and the #34 Ford in Daytona, at the Budweiser Shootout and Daytona 500. Window World sponsored Andretti in five races in 2009 on the #34 and in the Indy 500.(2-1-2010)
Front Row names crew chief for #38 team: Randy Seals will crew chief the #38 Front Row Racing Ford for David Gilliland. Seals returns to Front Row after a short stint as crew chief on the #61 car with Chad Chaffin in 2006. Seals worked as a crew chief for Bobby Hamilton Racing for five years prior to moving to the Sprint Cup Series. For the last two seasons, he worked in the research and development as validation manager at Richard Petty Motorsports. “I think it’s a really good opportunity,” Seals said. “When Ray hired me in 2007, he wanted me to start a second group for Pete Rondeau in the R&D department. We shifted and became a separate component but the leadership skills that Pete taught me will make me better prepared for the crew chief’s role this time around. I’m really happy to be a crew chief again and have an opportunity to work with David Gilliland. It’s a great opportunity to get back up on the pit box.” GIlliland, who just returned from Costa Rica, met Seals for the first time Monday morning. "He’s eager to get back in there," Gilliland said. "He’s had a couple of years of being home on the weekends, and I think he’s ready to go again. He feels he’s recharged his batteries. We both know it’s going to take a little bit of time to get up to speed with having three teams, but I think we can get where we need to be."(FoxSports)(1-26-2010)
Front Row could have three cars in Top-35: Front Row Motorsports General Manager Jerry Freeze told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody Tuesday that negotiations are underway to give all three of the team’s Fords guaranteed start status for the first five races of 2010. “We’ve been working on this for several weeks,” he said. “There are still some details to be ironed out, but we have a really close relationship with (Yates Racing owner) Doug Yates and Ford. This is something we’ve been working on with them, and I hope to have things buttoned up and ready to announce in a couple of days.” Freeze said driver Robert Richardson, III, will attempt to qualify FRR’s new #38 Ford for the Daytona 500 as part of a three-race sponsorship with Mahindra Tractors that includes both Daytona races and the spring race at Talladaga. David Gilliland will run a majority of the schedule for the team with sponsorship from Taco Bell, and Freeze said “a couple of races” have been left open for a possible limited return by the team’s 2009 #34 driver, John Andretti.(Sirius Speedway)(1-19-2010)
Both Front Row Motorsports teams locked in top-35? Kevin Conway has only 25 career Nationwide Series starts and a career-best finish of 15th, but he’s going to find himself on the starting grid of the Daytona 500. The 31-year-old North Carolina native will drive for Front Row Motorsports [ran #34-Andretti and #37-Raines/Kvapil] in 2010, and he said Saturday that his team is locked into the first five races of the season thanks to the points earned by John Andretti last year. Conway’s teammate, Travis Kvapil, is also expected to be locked in to the first five races after obtaining owner points from another top-35 team [#96-Hall of Fame Ford team?]. Conway will bring sponsor Extenze to the team and also will have other sponsors to announce Tuesday. Peter Sospenzo will be his crew chief. Conway hopes manufacturers support from Ford and having Kvapil as a teammate will help him drive well enough to crack the top 35 in owners points and not have to qualify for races on speed. Conway, how has been racing since he was 6 years old, comes from a racing background as his uncle was an engineer at Robert Yates Racing and Penske Racing.(SceneDaily), a few owners points sceneios for the #37 team could be either the #44 Richard Petty Motorsports team that had to close when RPM merged with Yates Racing and will be Fords. The #96 Hall of Fame Racing Ford team which has not announced any 2010 plans OR maybe it could be the #26 team which a 'new' owner bought from Roush, who had to get rid of the 5th team. Unlikely that the #07 RCR Chevy team, which shut down with no sponsor, would make a deal with a Ford team.(1-18-2010)
Front Row Motorsports Announces 2010 Plans: Front Row Motorsports announced it will continue its growth by adding an additional full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup program in 2010. The teams will be the newest members of Ford Racing and receive engines from Roush/Yates Racing Engines and technical support from Ford Racing. "We're pleased to have Front Row Motorsports switching to Ford for the 2010 season," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsports. "We have said all along that we wanted to add additional teams to our program, and are pleased Front Row will transition to Ford cars, engines and technology support in 2010. We welcome Front Row to the Ford family and will do all we can to assist them, and look forward to a long and mutually-beneficial relationship."
The team also confirmed that Travis Kvapil will pilot the Long John Silver's Ford [supposedly #34] and Kevin Conway, who will compete for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors, will drive a second full-time entry in the Sprint Cup Series with sponsorship [supposedly #37 Extenze] to be announced in the coming weeks. Both teams will make their debut at the Daytona 500 in February. "Obviously this is the next step for our guys and the organization," said Bob Jenkins, team owner. "To have support from Ford, along with the quality engines from Roush/Yates, this is a big leap forward for us. Travis is a champion and a veteran of this series. We expect him to take us to the next level and at the same time be a great mentor to Kevin who is competing for rookie of the year. I have confidence that they can help us get to the next level."
Kvapil, 33, returns to the Sprint Cup Series after a successful 2008 season at Yates Racing where he finished 23 in driver in points with four top-10 finishes. He has a total of six top-10 finishes and one pole on his Sprint Cup resume. Kvapil is also the 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion. "It's great to be back racing on the Sprint Cup tour again with Front Row Motorsports and Ford Racing," said Kvapil. "This is a team that created a real solid base last year. They have a lot of talented guys at the shop and the addition of Ford and their support will only allow the guys to get better. I have experience with Ford and Roush/Yates Racing Engines and I feel good about what we can do on the track this season."
Conway, 30, will make his Sprint Cup Series debut with Front Row Motorsports this season. He has experience at various levels of NASCAR racing including numerous starts in the Nationwide Series in 2009. His goal is to compete for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in 2010. "This is a great opportunity to compete at the highest levels of NASCAR," said Conway. "The goal is to gain experience as quickly as possible with the cars and compete for solid finishes as the season goes along. Having Travis as a teammate and being backed by Ford and Roush/Yates Racing Engines gives me a lot of confidence that we can perform up to the highest standards."(FRM/Breaking Limits)(1-6-2010)
Full time gig for Kvapil UPDATE 2 to Ford: per a Twitter post, supposedly by driver Travis Kvapil: I'm happy to announce my return to a full timeCup ride for 2010!! More details to follow. I can't wait to get back on track!".
Rumor had Kvapil in one of the Front Row Motorsports [#34, #37] cars in 2010. Kvapil drove a few races in the #37 Dodge/Chevy late in the 2009 season and John Andretti was in the #34 Chevy for 34 of the 36 races.(12-30-2009)
UPDATE: Travis Kvapil told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody Wednesday that he will run the full 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule for Front Row Motorsports. Steven Lane will serve as crewchief on the car – expected to be the #34 – with a new manufacturer to be announced in the near future. The team ran primarily Chevy's [#34 Chevy in every race, #37 a mixed bag] livery a year ago, with Dodges entered in selected events. “It will be a full-time, two- car operation next season,” said Kvapil, “but I can’t really say anything more until all the details are finalized. That’s all for the team to announce.” Sources tell Sirius Speedway that former NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Kevin Conway will fill the seat of the second Front Row Motorsports entry [which was the #37 in 2009, could run the #37, #23 or #70 in 2010], with sponsorship from Extenze Men's Health Supplement.(Sirius Speedway)(12-31-2009)
UPDATE 2: Front Row Motorsports will run under the Ford Motorsports banner in 2010 with Travis Kvapil driving the #34 with Steven Lane as his crew chief. Kevin Conway will pilot the #37 Ford with a crew chief to be named. Conway, 31, ran 12 races with the Extenze sponsorship in the Nationwide Series last season for three different owners -- Joe Nemechek, Robert Richardson and Dusty Whitney. His best finish was 15th at Kentucky in the #87 Chevy. The short list for Conway's crew chief candidates include Peter Sospenzo, who worked with Tony Raines on the #37 last season, as well as Larry Carter and Derrick Findley.(FoxSports)(1-1-2010)