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BK Racing co-owner believes move still likely to happen A representative for Front Row Motorsports denied rumors that Cole Whitt would join the team in 2015, saying that social media and reports about a potential move were untrue. But a team co-owner with close ties to Whitt said the transition is all but certain. A Tuesday night tweet from Anthony Marlowe, co-owner of BK Racing, seemed to indicate that Whitt had left his team to join Front Row. Via Twitter, Marlowe congratulated Whitt on securing a ride in the No. 34 Ford, which has been driven the past three seasons by David Ragan . @colewhitt congrats on landing the #34 ride @frontrownascar !! Happy Thanksgiving! See you at the track :) — Anthony Marlowe (@AnthonyMarlowe) November 26, 2014 Wednesday morning, Front Row Motorsports reps said that reports that Whitt was shifting to the Statesville, North Carolina,-based team were "not true." Reached Wednesday afternoon, Marlowe said such a move might still become reality. "I think Cole is a very talented driver. I don't think Front Row Motorsports has much of a choice but to say what they've said or respond the way they've responded pursuant to certain agreements. Cole is still under contract with BK Racing," Marlowe said from his Iowa home. "Am I 100 percent certain he's going there? No. If you would've asked me a few months ago if I would be surprised, I would say absolutely yes. If you'd have asked me a few weeks ago if I was surprised, I'd say no, probably not." Marlowe confirmed that Whitt had informed the BK team that he didn't intend to exercise a contract renewal for next season. "Maybe I've made a mistake in (that) he's going to the 34," Marlowe said of Whitt, "but I'm like 98 percent certain he's going to Front Row Motorsports, and if not, the bellwether on garage rumors and Gmail is [that] my pulse is off on that. I think 99 out of 100 times, those rumors tend to be true and an overwhelming amount of people, including your colleague team owners, are kind of unofficially confirming it." Whitt, 23, recently completed his first full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finishing 31st in the overall standings as a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate. He began the year with Swan Racing, which was sold and merged with the BK Racing team in the spring. BK fielded entries for Whitt's No. 26, plus full-time entries for the No. 23 and 83 cars. Ragan , 28, brought Front Row and car owner Bob Jenkins their only victory in NASCAR's premier series at Talladega Superspeedway in May 2013. Ragan struggled last season, though, winding up tied for 32nd in the final standings, a single point behind Whitt. He recorded his lone top-10 finish of the season at Martinsville Speedway in the fall with a paint scheme honoring 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Wendell Scott. Jenkins also fields the full-time No. 38 entry driven by David Gilliland . MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Both drivers racing No. 34 special paint schemes this weekend at Martinsville RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Darrell Wallace Jr . and David Ragan unveiled special paint schemes several weeks back, giving a sneak peek at their tribute to future NASCAR Hall of Famer Wendell Scott in this weekend's races. Friday at Martinsville Speedway , their matching powder-blue No. 34 designs first took to the track with an appropriate throwback touch. On the back of each vehicle was a nod to the do-it-yourself spirit that made Scott a racing pioneer -- plain script that said, "Mechanic: Me!" While both Ragan and Wallace have shown plenty of versatility in their driving careers, could the weekend feature a hands-on tribute to Scott's practice of changing his own tires in a pit stop? Wallace, for one, seemed willing to give it a shot. "I think our first pit stop today is just going to be me," Wallace said before the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' Kroger 200 . "They're just going to sit on the wall and eat ice cream -- I'm going to get out and change our tires for that stop. 'Mechanic, Me,' that's pretty cool to see that. I saw him (Scott) on TV pointing to it and I did the same thing so it's kind of cool to see that and see what they used to do back in the day and see how the sport has changed as a whole." Ragan , who has a mechanical bent as part of his racing background, agreed. "It's cool to embrace that," he said. "Obviously, we've got a lot of good employees that are going to be wrenching on our Front Row Motorsports car this weekend, so they probably won't let me touch it, but I grew up racing and working on my own race car, so I have an appreciation for what goes into building one of these cars and to know what Wendell was able to do with limited resources and probably a small crew back in the day, it makes you appreciate the accomplishments even more." Wallace landed his first Truck Series triumph at Martinsville last fall, becoming the first African-American winner in a NASCAR national division since Scott's lone premier series victory on Dec. 1, 1963 in Jacksonville, Florida. Saturday, he was joined by Scott's descendants, who made the trip to lend their continued support from the driver's nearby hometown of Danville, Virginia. "As many times as they've texted me my phone bills have gone up," Wallace said of his communication and with the Scott family. "It's been really cool to have that relationship with the Scott family. I was doing appearances with them last week and really getting to know them just outside of racing and in school hearing all the stories about (Wendell) Senior and that's something cool. ... It's cool he keeps it interesting and he's always on me about being the best person I can and doing the right thing. It's always some help for sure." Wallace shifted from his customary No. 54 to honor this weekend's occasion and Scott's approaching induction to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. For Ragan , the tribute didn't involve changing a car number. When Ragan scored a thrilling triumph at Talladega Superspeedway in the spring of 2013, it marked the first time since Scott's landmark win that the No. 34 had visited Victory Lane in NASCAR's top series, the scrappy Front Row team's win also resonating with Scott's underdog spirit. "As a driver you always pay attention to the car numbers that you have and you're always interested to go back and look at the history of those numbers," said Ragan , who joined the Bob Jenkins-owned team in 2012. "Throughout a career you don't often see one driver stay with one car number their entire career through the different divisions, so when I got in the number 34 you definitely look back and see who raced it and who won. That was one of the first things that crossed my mind when we were able to get that victory last season, the significance of it, and it was quite a big deal so it's definitely coming full circle here driving a tribute car for them here at Martinsville this weekend." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
David Ragan and Darrell Wallace Jr. are proud to carry on Wendell Scott’s legacy with special tribute paint schemes on their No. 34 machines at Martinsville Speedway.
Driver of the No. 34 Ford will have a retro look at Martinsville RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota BUY: Purchase the No. 34 David Ragan Wendell Scott NASCAR Hall of Fame 2015 die-cast CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Taking the wraps off a new No. 34, revealing a car in the likeness of his famous father's racers, was enough to get Wendell Scott Jr.'s adrenaline pumping. The boldly styled number, the familiar pale and almost pewter blue against the backdrop of a modern Front Row Motorsports Ford had the next-generation Scott -- who claims to be 68 years old ("I've lied about it so much, I can't even remember") -- ready to turn back the clock himself Tuesday afternoon at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "I'm ready to do some hot laps in that bad boy," Scott said, forming a wry grin. "Yeah, it is cool. It's our pet color. My brother Frankie used to do the bodywork on them, so it means a lot." When the car takes to the track Oct. 26 for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's seventh battle at Martinsville Speedway , the driving duties will fall instead to David Ragan , but the name of 2015 Hall of Fame inductee Wendell Scott will still adorn the top of the driver's door. The car was part of a double-unveil Tuesday in the stock-car shrine's Great Hall; Darrell Wallace Jr. will change his traditional No. 54 to 34 for the fall race weekend in Martinsville, where he is the defending winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series . Though there were some subtle differences from the paint scheme on Ragan's 2014 Generation-6 model and the 1960s Chevrolet Impala tribute car carrying Scott's colors, many of the retro styling cues carried over. Ragan was among the team's biggest advocates for keeping the throwback look as authentic as possible, even down to the period-correct "380 horsepower" claim on the hood. "Cars back then just looked a little different," Ragan said. "Maybe they didn't have the opportunities for the graphics and designs, and a lot of this stuff was hand-lettered back in the day. Definitely, an honor to represent and really to drive a car similar to what a Hall of Famer did." The No. 34 has just three victories in NASCAR's premier series, but all have their place in the sport's history. -- Kansas native Jim Roper campaigned the No. 34 on the Lincoln that won the inaugural event for the NASCAR Strictly Stock Division, now the Sprint Cup Series. -- In 1963, Scott notched the first victory by an African-American driver in the top rung of the NASCAR ladder with the No. 34. That breakthrough stood as the only win by an African-American in a NASCAR national series until Wallace's triumph last fall at Martinsville, not far from Scott's hometown of Danville, Virginia. -- Almost 50 years after Scott's lone victory, Ragan posted a thrilling upset at Talladega Superspeedway in May 2013 for a 1-2 sweep by the Front Row team and a first trip to Victory Lane for team owner Bob Jenkins. Next month at Martinsville, Ragan hopes to make more history, but will need more horsepower than the 380 advertised. Ragan's team has faced challenges as a lesser-funded team competing against the sport's powerhouses. That gap was underscored last weekend as Ragan competed at Chicagoland Speedway as a Chase outsider. Ragan said that changes to the 2014 rules package left the Front Row team playing catch-up against its better-heeled rivals, issues that the organization aims to address as it presses on. "We have struggled a lot and have a lot of unanswered questions," Ragan said. "We're hoping that there's not a big change in the package going forward and we'll be able to continue to evolve." If the going gets tougher, Ragan said he's not afraid to get some dirt under his fingernails. Reminded that Scott once exited the cockpit to change his own tires during a pit stop in the sport's formative years, Ragan said he wouldn't hesitate to apply the same old-school type of elbow grease if the need arose. "I do have a mechanic in me, and I am certified to work on these cars a little bit, but I don't know that my crew chief will let me," Ragan cracked. "Hopefully our guys will be able to pick up the slack on the weekend and cover me, but if I had to -- if push came to shove -- I could get out and do a pit stop." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
David Ragan and Darrell Wallace Jr. unveil special paint schemes to pay tribute to Wendell Scott's induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Farm Rich was sponsor for Ragan's historic Talladega win last May
David Ragan talks about winning an exciting race at Talladega after a long weather delay.
David Ragan gets loose and collects several cars coming off Turn 4.