Cassill joins Front Row Motorsports for 2016
RELATED: See the big moves for 2016 " Driver lineup for all teams STATESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 20, 2016) -- Six-year NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran Landon Cassill will join the Front Row Motorsports line-up to drive the No. 38 Ford for the 2016 season. The 26-year-old Cassill has 187 Sprint Cup starts under his belt, most recently competing for Hillman Racing in 2015. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native has raced in all three of NASCAR’s national series, earning XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2008. Cassill will join rookie teammate Chris Buescher at Front Row Motorsports , which will field two full-time Sprint Cup entries in 2016. "I feel like Front Row Motorsports is a great fit for me," Cassill said. "I've got several years of experience in the series now, and being a part of this team will help me take the next step in my career. I'm grateful to Bob Jenkins and Ford Motor Company for the opportunity and can’t wait to get in the car." Cassill's Sprint Cup career-best finish is a fourth-place run at Talladega Superspeedway (2014), a track where Front Row Motorsports has also excelled. "We've always been impressed with Landon and what he can do behind the wheel," said team owner Bob Jenkins. "He's got a lot of natural talent. You could see that at every level of racing he’s competed in throughout his career. We’re happy to have that talent in one of our race cars this year." Sponsorship programs for the No. 38 team will be announced soon. Get more information about Front Row Motorsports and follow updates about the team at teamfrm.com, on Twitter at @Team_FRM and on Facebook at facebook.com/FrontRowMotorsports .
Chris Buescher joins expanding JTG Daugherty Racing for 2017
RELATED: Driver and team changes for 2017 JTG Daugherty Racing officials have confirmed that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organization will expand to two full-time teams in 2017 with the addition of driver Chris Buescher . JTG Daugherty, co-owned by Tad and Jodi Geschickter and Brad Daugherty, has fielded a single full-time car in the series since 2009. A.J. Allmendinger, the team's primary driver since 2014, will remain with the organization as driver of the No. 47 Chevrolet. "We can confirm at this time that JTG Daugherty Racing is currently in the process of starting a second team in the NASCAR premier series," Tad Geschickter said. "We would also like to confirm and welcome Chris Buescher to the team as our driver for the second car." Buescher, the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion while at Roush Fenway Racing , spent the 2016 season competing for Front Row Motorsports . According to a release from RFR, Buescher and the organization's charter for its No. 16 team have been "leased" to JTG Daugherty for the upcoming season. "I'm thankful for the opportunity and look forward to competing for a spot in the Chase," Buescher, 24, said. Buescher qualified for the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup after scoring his first career premier series win, at Pocono Raceway . While he failed to advance out of the first round of the 10-race elimination-style format, he finished 16th in points, a career best for a Front Row Motorsports team. Allmendinger finished a career-best 13th in points in 2014 when he qualified for the Chase. The No. 47 team ended the '16 season with two top fives and nine top-10 finishes and Allmendinger 19th in points. He scored the organization's lone victory to date in the premier series, winning at Watkins Glen in 2014.
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Donnie Wingo moves to Front Row Motorsports
Veteran pit boss to serve as crew chief for David Gilliland and the No. 38 team MORE: Find out who else is on the move in 2015 Donnie Wingo has joined Front Row Motorsports for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season as crew chief for the No. 38 Ford and driver David Gilliland . Several news organizations reported the news Monday afternoon, and a spokesperson for the Statesville, North Carolina-based team confirmed the reports independently to NASCAR.com. Wingo, 54, has worked with the venerable Wood Brothers Racing team for the past four seasons, a span that produced his biggest win -- the 2011 Daytona 500 with Trevor Bayne at the wheel. Wingo has seven victories during his 25-year tenure as a crew chief in NASCAR's premier series. Gilliland tweeted his excitement over the news on Monday afternoon. Super excited to have @donniewingo for my crew chief. Going to be a great addition to @FrontRowNASCAR #cantwait — David Gilliland (@DavidGilliland) January 5, 2015 Gilliland, 38, worked with crew chief Frank Kerr for the first 30 races last year, then closed out 2014 with Jay Guy atop the pit box. Gilliland, a teammate to David Ragan on the Bob Jenkins-owned Front Row team, wound up 30th in the final Sprint Cup standings with a best finish of 17th place at Pocono Raceway in August. Gilliland, who joined the Sprint Cup circuit in 2006, spent the holidays driving cross-country to his home state of California. On social media, he has documented visits to at least 20 Love's Travel Stops -- one of his primary sponsors -- along the way. As previously announced, Wingo will be replaced by Jeremy Bullins as crew chief for the Wood Brothers' famed No. 21 Ford and the team's new driver, Ryan Blaney . Last season, Bullins helped guide the Team Penske No. 22 to six victories and the team owner championship in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, now the XFINITY Series.
Josh Wise parts ways with Premium Motorsports
Driver takes to Twitter to announce news of his departure from No. 98 team Josh Wise will no longer be driving the No. 98 car for Premium Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, he announced on Twitter Monday morning. I have parted ways with Premium Motorsports . The team and I did not share the same goals moving forward. — Josh Wise (@Josh_Wise) July 13, 2015 I wish them the best and look forward to what the future holds. — Josh Wise (@Josh_Wise) July 13, 2015 Wise has 121 starts in the Sprint Cup Series and he scored his first career top 10 this season at Talladega Superspeedway in May. Currently 36th in the point standings, Wise has run every Cup race this except for the season-opening Daytona 500 . Wise made his way into the 2014 Sprint All-Star Race via the Sprint Fan Vote thanks in large part to the Reddit.com community backing him. The 32-year-old California native spent 2012 and 2013 driving for Front Row Motorsports before moving over to Phil Parsons Racing for the 2014 season. He remained with the team as the No. 98 car was sold to Premium Motorsports during the 2015 season. There was no immediate word on Wise's future plans. Timmy Hill will drive the No. 98 Ford this weekend at New Hampshire in the 5-hour ENERGY 301 (Sunday, 1:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, PRN, SiriusXM). Looking forward to piloting the #98 for @PremiumMSNASCAR ! Glad to be back behind the wheel of a Sprint Cup car! — Timmy Hill (@TimmyHillRacer) July 14, 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender and driver of the No. 26 BK Racing Toyota, Jeb Burton , took to Twitter to offer his support for Wise. @Josh_Wise Your a good driver you will find something bro. — Jeb Burton (@JebBurtonRacing) July 13, 2015 FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Josh Wise leaving Front Row Motorsports
Wise had spent two seasons at Front Row Motorsports
The Rundown: Phoenix driver grades
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid Breaking down the full field for the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway: 1. Joey Logano, No. 22 Ford, Team Penske. How's this for irony? The guy who won the race -- in overtime no less -- almost didn't make it past Lap 1. Grade: A+ 2. Kyle Busch, No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Busch said it was an "ugly race for us" and "we ran pretty bad all day." Perhaps. But he has a shot at the championship, and teammate Matt Kenseth, who had the exact opposite day of Busch, doesn't. Unfortunate for Kenseth, but that's racin'. Grade: A 3. Kyle Larson, No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing. It was Larson who almost took out Joey Logano -- and himself -- on the first lap when he got loose in Turn 3, drifted into Logano (causing a tire rub on the No. 22) and then went for a spin through traffic. But that wasn't Larson's only adventure. He was involved in the second caution when he got hit from behind by Ryan Newman as both were entering pit road. Quite a day. And quite a finish. Grade: A 4. Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Early problems with the car's handling were too much to overcome, and for the first time since the current Chase format went into effect, Harvick will not be driving for a championship at Homestead. Grade: A- 5. Kurt Busch, No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Busch caught some breaks and tied a career high with his 21st top 10 of the season, but only a win would have kept him alive in the Chase. Grade: A 6. Alex Bowman, No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Bowman led a race-high 194 laps and was the car to beat all afternoon. He was strong enough to win or at least finish second. He looked so good behind the wheel, you would have thought Dale Earnhardt Jr. was inside the No. 88, not a guy without a ride for 2017. Grade: A++ 7. Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin's team rolled the dice when he didn't pit after the sixth caution and restarted with the lead on Lap 262. The move didn't work, but playing it safe likely wouldn't have, either. Grade: A 8. Ryan Blaney, No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing. With all the focus on the Chase drivers and Alex Bowman, Blaney drove under the radar to his ninth top 10 of the season. The last time Wood Brothers Racing had nine top 10s in a season was 2005 with Ricky Rudd. Grade: A 9. Chase Elliott, No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Elliott posts back-to-back top-10 finishes for the first time in more than two months. Grade: A 10. Paul Menard, No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. Menard's third top 10 of 2016 was RCR's 26th of the season, one more than last season. Grade: A 11. Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing. McMurray finished in the top 15 at Phoenix for the sixth consecutive race (11.3 average finish). Grade: B 12. Ryan Newman, No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. For a guy who was instrumental in two cautions -- running into Kyle Larson and later Martin Truex Jr. -- Newman posted a dang good finish. Can't say the same for Truex, though. Grade: C+ 13. Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . The overtimes cost Kahne a top-10 finish. Grade: B 14. Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Ford, Team Penske. Keselowski's 29th- and 14th-place finishes at Phoenix this year were his worst combined performance at the track since he finished 16th and 42nd in 2010, his first full season racing for Roger Penske. Grade: B 15. Tony Stewart, No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Stewart is not making a lot of noise as he heads off into retirement. His finish Sunday was only his third-best in the past 13 races. Grade: B- 16. Greg Biffle, No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. The driver of the No. 16 finished 16th in his 500th consecutive Sprint Cup start. Sweet. Grade: B- 17. AJ Allmendinger, No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing. Score one for consistency: Allmendinger finished 17th for the second straight race at Phoenix and for third time in his past four starts at the track. (And for good measure, AJ finished 17th last week, too.) Grade: B- 18. Casey Mears, No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing. Mears posted his best finish since running 12th at Watkins Glen in August. Grade: B 19. Carl Edwards, No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Edwards qualified for a shot at the championship with his win last week at Texas and was not a factor Sunday. Grade: B- 20. Landon Cassill, No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Cassill's seventh top-20 finish in 2016 is equal to his top 20s in his previous three seasons combined. Grade: A 21. Matt Kenseth, No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Kenseth went from race leader to out of the Chase in a flash when he thought he was clear after the first overtime restart but wasn't and went spinning after pinching down on Alex Bowman. The focus quickly went to Kenseth's spotter, Chris Osborne, who later tweeted his apologies to all of Kenseth's fans "for ending our Chase hopes," adding "this one's on me." Maybe, maybe not. It's not as if Osborne had all day to make the call. As Ferris Bueller once said, "Life moves pretty fast." Grade: B 22. Aric Almirola, No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Sunday's finish ended Almirola's run of nine consecutive top-20 finishes at Phoenix. Grade: C 23. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. An untimely caution after a green-flag pit stop put Stenhouse in a hole he couldn't climb out of. Grade: C 24. Clint Bowyer, No. 15 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Bowyer's 12th top-25 finish of the second half of the season equaled his number in the first 18 races of the season. Grade: C 25. Matt DiBenedetto, No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing. DiBenedetto finished in the top 25 for the sixth time this season, including for the third time in his past five starts. Grade: B 26. Michael Annett, No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett equaled his third-best finish of the season (26th at Kentucky in July). Grade: B- 27. Regan Smith, No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing. Looking for progress? Smith finished in the top 30 for the 12th time in the second half of the season Sunday, compared with eight top 30s in the first half. And he did it in three fewer starts. Grade: C 28. Trevor Bayne, No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. Bayne went for a slide on the first lap when Kyle Larson spun out, and later was a victim of bad timing on a caution after he had pit under green. Grade: C- 29. Danica Patrick, No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Patrick endured her fourth-worst finish of the season Sunday. She finished 19th at Phoenix in March. Grade: D 30. Brian Scott, No. 44 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Three days after announcing he would retire after the season, Scott finished five laps off the pace Sunday. Grade: D 31. David Ragan, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing. Ragan had his worst finish at Phoenix in three years. Grade: D 32. Chris Buescher, No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . The onetime Chaser posted his worst finish of the nine Chase races. Grade: D 33. Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 32 Ford, GO FAS Racing. Earnhardt finished six laps back in his first Sprint Cup start at Phoenix. Grade: D 34. Michael McDowell, No. 95 Chevrolet, Circle Sport-Leavine Family. McDowell changed the course of the race -- and the Chase -- when he blew a tire with one lap left in regulation, hit the wall and brought out the eighth caution. Grade: D 35. D.J. Kennington, No. 55 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports . Kennington made his first Cup start, and if he never starts another race, he'll be guaranteed to be able to tell his grandchildren that for all of Jimmie Johnson's accomplishments in NASCAR, Six-Time (or, perhaps, Seven-Time) never beat him on the track. Grade: D- 36. Reed Sorenson, No. 98 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports . Sorenson finished nine laps back. Grade: F 37. Gray Gaulding, No. 30 Chevrolet, The Motorsports Group. A fuel pump problem spoiled Gaulding's second Sprint Cup start. Grade: F 38. Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson went to pit road as the leader during the fourth caution, but he passed the pace car on pit road and was penalized and that led to the unraveling of his day. On the subsequent restart, he suffered heavy damage to the nose of his car when he ran into the back of Greg Biffle, who had checked up when Austin Dillon's car lost power. Not the best way to go into Homestead racing for a championship, but if anything, absorbing that penalty Sunday pretty much guarantees if Johnson is in a similar situation next Sunday, he won't make the same mistake. Better this week than next week. Grade: F 39. Austin Dillon, No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. On a restart on Lap 218, a part failed and shut off Dillon's engine. Dillon eventually returned to the track, but he left Phoenix with his worst finish of the season. Grade: F 40. Martin Truex Jr., No. 78 Toyota, Furniture Row Racing. If you Google "How do you finish last in a Sprint Cup race?" this might be one of the results: Roll off the starting grid 40th. Be on pit road under green when there's a caution. Be penalized for passing the pace car on pit road. Race too close to Ryan Newman. Grade: F
Gilliland, sponsor return to Front Row for 2015
Love's Travel Stops to serve as primary sponsor for 18 races Front Row Motorsports announced Tuesday that David Gilliland will return to the team's No. 38 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2015. The re-signing means the 38-year-old driver will mark his ninth full season in NASCAR's top division and his sixth with team owner Bob Jenkins. The team also announced that Love's Travel Stops will be the team's primary sponsor in 18 races, up from its 15-race sponsorship in 2014. Gilliland struggled last year with just two top-20 finishes in 36 races, but he did post a milestone at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in July with the team's first Coors Light Pole Award. He also helped the Statesville, North Carolina-based team achieve its first win in NASCAR's premier series at Talladega Superspeedway in the spring of 2013, providing an aerodynamic push to teammate David Ragan in the final lap. This season will mark the third consecutive year of Front Row's relationship with Love's. The team indicated through its news release that the travel center corporation, based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, will be the primary sponsor at the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 22 (1 p.m. ET, FOX). Among the other races for the Love's team colors: both annual events at Texas Motor Speedway and the series' two road courses, Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International . "I am beyond excited about Love's commitment to our program and to growing it each year," Gilliland said. "What I'm most proud of is the simple fact that it's working. Our program does exactly what a NASCAR partnership is supposed to do. It's been hugely successful, for us and for them. I can't wait to see what we can do as a team this year." Gilliland has one career victory in NASCAR national series competition. His 2006 triumph in an underfunded entry at Kentucky Speedway in what is now the XFINITY Series was not only one of the sport's biggest upsets, but also paved the way for his big break into stock-car racing's major leagues. See the paint scheme for the No. 38 Ford below. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Love's extends sponsorship with Front Row
Front Row Motorsports announced Wednesday that Love's Travel Stops has renewed its sponsorship, joining the No. 34 Ford team with Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Chris Buescher . Love's, an Oklahoma City-based travel plaza company, will be the primary sponsor for 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, including the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 21 and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20. Love's joined the Bob Jenkins-owned organization in 2013 with the No. 38 Ford driven by David Gilliland . The company has expanded its sponsorship in previous years, jumping from two Sprint Cup races in 2013, 15 events in 2014 and last year's 18-race deal. Buescher, 23, enters his first full Sprint Cup season after claiming the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship with Roush Fenway Racing last year. Buescher competed in six premier series races last year for Front Row , which has entered into a technical alliance with the Roush Fenway team this season. RELATED: Five young drivers to watch in 2016 Dave Frankenfield, Love's director of marketing, indicated in a release provided by Front Row that the company was "jazzed" about the alliance and the sponsorship renewal. Buescher echoed those sentiments. "I can't wait to work with Love's," Buescher said in the team's release. "They've been a great partner with Front Row Motorsports over the years and have really embraced the sport." Here's a look at his paint scheme for 2016. Love’s extends @Team_FRM partnership, introduces @Chris_Buescher in the No. 34 Ford Fusion. https://t.co/qdpOT6FEC6 pic.twitter.com/dw3eLvGvTa — Love's Travel Stops (@LovesTravelStop) January 13, 2016
Front Row denies Cole Whitt moving to team
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