Front Row Motorsports reveals driver lineup for '17
RELATED: 2017 driver tracker Front Row Motorsports announced Friday its driver lineup for NASCAR's premier series in 2017, bringing Landon Cassill and David Ragan back to its roster. Cassill, 27, is back for his second straight season driving for team owner Bob Jenkins, but will shift to the team's No. 34 Ford. Ragan, 30, last drove for the team in the 2015 Daytona 500 and will take over driving duties on Front Row's No. 38 Ford. Ragan, a 10-year veteran in NASCAR's premier series, brought Front Row Motorsports its first victory in May 2013 at Talladega Superspeedway . Cassill will be entering his seventh full-time season in NASCAR's top division. "These are two hard-working guys, both in the car and away from the car working with our partners," Jenkins said in a release provided by the team. "We went out and got Landon last season because we knew he was talented and we wanted him in our race car, and now we're really happy he will be back another year. "And we're really excited to have David back. He's a big part of Front Row's history, bringing us our first win. He's got a lot of experience in his career -- things that you can't teach -- that will be big assets to us and our partners." The Statesville, North Carolina-based operation will maintain its technical alliance with Roush Fenway Racing , keeping Roush Yates Engines as its engine provider. The organization indicated that its sponsorship alignment for 2017 will be announced soon. Ragan drove for the team for three full seasons from 2012-2014, then joined Joe Gibbs Racing after the 2015 Daytona 500 to substitute for Kyle Busch , who suffered severe leg injuries in the season-opening XFINITY Series race at Daytona. After a nine-race fill-in stint with JGR, Ragan completed the year with Michael Waltrip Racing . He ran one season for BK Racing in 2016, announcing last week that the two sides had parted ways. Ragan fills the vacancy created when Chris Buescher was optioned to JTG Daugherty Racing for 2017. "It's a nice homecoming, coming back to Front Row Motorsports ," Ragan said in the team's news release. "I've always had a great deal of respect for Bob Jenkins, how he put together his team and grew it the right way over the years. We've celebrated some pretty big highlights together, and now we need to go make more." Cassill made his debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2010 and also spent one season (2012) with BK Racing . He joined Front Row in 2016 after three seasons driving for car owners Joe Falk and Mike Hillman Sr. Despite sharing experience driving for BK Racing , Cassill and Ragan will mark their first season as teammates in 2017. "I'm really looking forward to working with David," Cassill said. "I've raced alongside him for years and respect him as a competitor. He has a ton of experience with different teams and manufacturers that will make him a great teammate. I'm really proud of what our team accomplished in 2016 in our first year together, and I'm really excited to go and build on that." Said Ragan: "Landon was a great addition to the team last year. He's a smart driver with a lot of good experience, and I'm looking forward to working with him." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Owner Standings
MORE: XFINITY owner standings " Camping World owner standings Pos. Owner Car No. Points Ldr Nxt Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Attempts 1 Chip Ganassi Racing 42 360 0 0 1 2 7 8 2 Hendrick Motorsports 24 333 -27 -27 0 2 2 8 3 Furniture Row Racing 78 323 -37 -10 1 5 10 8 4 Team Penske 22 291 -69 -32 0 1 1 8 5 Team Penske 2 277 -83 -14 2 0 10 8 6 Hendrick Motorsports 48 244 -116 -33 2 0 10 8 7 Chip Ganassi Racing 1 244 -116 0 0 0 0 8 8 Stewart-Haas Racing 14 239 -121 -5 0 0 0 8 9 Stewart-Haas Racing 4 239 -121 0 0 3 3 8 10 Wood Brothers Racing 21 228 -132 -11 0 2 2 8 11 Joe Gibbs Racing 18 214 -146 -14 0 1 1 8 12 Furniture Row Racing 77 192 -168 -22 0 0 0 8 13 Roush Fenway Racing 6 192 -168 0 0 0 0 8 14 Richard Childress Racing 31 186 -174 -6 1 0 5 8 15 Joe Gibbs Racing 11 184 -176 -2 0 0 0 8 16 Roush Fenway Racing 17 168 -192 -16 0 0 0 8 17 Hendrick Motorsports 5 164 -196 -4 0 0 0 8 18 Stewart-Haas Racing 41 163 -197 -1 1 0 5 8 19 Richard Petty Motorsports 43 161 -199 -2 0 0 0 8 20 Joe Gibbs Racing 20 159 -201 -2 0 0 0 8 21 Richard Childress Racing 3 154 -206 -5 0 0 0 8 22 Joe Gibbs Racing 19 144 -216 -10 0 0 0 8 23 Germain Racing 13 144 -216 0 0 0 0 8 24 Hendrick Motorsports 88 134 -226 -10 0 0 0 8 25 Richard Childress Racing 27 127 -233 -7 0 0 0 8 26 JTG Daugherty Racing 47 116 -244 -11 0 0 0 8 27 Leavine Family Racing 95 102 -258 -14 0 0 0 8 28 JTG Daugherty Racing 37 94 -266 -8 0 0 0 8 29 TriStar Motorsports 72 94 -266 0 0 0 0 8 30 Stewart-Haas Racing 10 91 -269 -3 0 0 0 8 31 GO FAS Racing 32 90 -270 -1 0 0 0 8 32 Front Row Motorsports 34 88 -272 -2 0 0 0 8 33 Front Row Motorsports 38 79 -281 -9 0 0 0 8 34 Premium Motorsports 15 68 -292 -11 0 0 0 8 35 BK Racing 83 52 -308 -16 0 0 0 8 36 BK Racing 23 39 -321 -13 0 0 0 8 37 Circle Sport / TMG 33 34 -326 -5 0 0 0 8 38 Tommy Baldwin Racing 7 27 -333 -7 0 0 0 2 39 Beard Motorsports 175 26 -334 -1 0 0 0 1 40 Premium Motorsports 55 15 -345 -11 0 0 0 7 41 Rick Ware Racing 51 15 -345 0 0 0 0 8 42 Gaunt Brothers Racing 96 1 -359 -14 0 0 0 1
Tire tweaks? Indianapolis test on tap this week
Four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams will travel to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week for a two-day Goodyear tire test at the legendary 2.5-mile facility. Drivers scheduled to take part in the test, set for Tuesday and Wednesday, are Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Ford), Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota), David Ragan (No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford) and Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet). The Brickyard 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is scheduled for July 23 . "It seems like the last couple of years (Indy) has fairly well stabilized after the grinding that they did," Goodyear's Greg Stucker told NASCAR.com. "Kind of knocked the edges off the grooves in the surface. But the last couple of years we've felt like we were getting to the point that we could look at adding a little bit of grip. Particularly with the move from '16 to '17 with a little less downforce." NASCAR' s 2017 rules package created less overall downforce (from 2,100 to 1,600 pounds) on the cars through changes to the rear spoiler, front splitter and deck fin. Modifications to rear steer settings and a new tire rule (teams must start the race using the tires on which they qualified) were also made. While significant, the changes were an evolution of the initial package that debuted in '15 at select events when the sanctioning body began the move to take downforce away from the cars. Those changes were implemented for all races (excluding superspeedway events at Daytona and Talladega) in '16. Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales, said an XFINITY Series test last October at Indy opened the door for a possible tire change in the Monster Energy Series. "When we tested with the XFINITY cars last year in preparation for their new configuration, we actually were running a little bit softer left side. It's the left side (tire) that we run at Pocono," he said. "So that gave us an indication, 'Hey, this might be something that we can standardize between Pocono and Indy, give the Cup cars a little more grip.' So that's one of the main goals, to look at that and see if that's a good move for Indianapolis this year and add a little bit more left-side grip." Stucker said the continued evolution of the rules package has not "significantly" impacted tire selection. The big bump, he said, came between '15 and '16 as the initial lower-downforce package was rolled out. "Because that was the plan," he said. "The big step from '15 to '16 (was) 'let's figure out where we land with tires and if we feel like we're in a good spot, even though we’re taking more downforce off as we go to '17, let's leave tires alone.'" But as the cars have evolved and tracks age and undergo repaves, Goodyear continues to monitor the situation and addresses the changing needs. "There are a couple of areas we wanted to work on," he said. "Kansas at the end of last year, obviously we're going to come with a little bit softer left side (tire), because we felt we were in that position even with the '16 package as we went to '17 and less downforce, that was a good move. Obviously Martinsville (was) a different focus, to rubber in the race track. Texas with the repave; Kentucky with a new top coat on now. Las Vegas, trying to generate a little more wear on a surface that generally doesn't create wear. "We had a few things to work on but it wasn't a significant move in grip like I would call the '15 to '16 move. Overall things are pretty stable and we're kind of fine-tuning specific race tracks that we feel like we can help a little bit." There currently are no plans to test at Texas, which was repaved and reconfigured prior to this month's race. Due to time constraints, there was no tire test at the 1.5-mile track. Stucker said officials were pleased with the Texas tire selection, which was the same left-side tire code used by teams at Kentucky in 2016 (Kentucky underwent a similar repave and Goodyear did conduct tire tests prior to that race). The right-side Texas tire featured the same tread compound as Kentucky but with a minor construction change. "You have to be cautious," he said. "With the (Texas) repave, we raced on it right after it was done. It's not going to change significantly as we get into the fall. I think the race track was very happy. … We certainly are. "Again, hat's off to the race track and to SMI for doing everything they could to put some rubber down with the Tire Dragon and trying to work the groove in. I think that was huge. And I think that was complimented with a pretty racy package from what we had."
OK with delay: Six who could make Monday marks
RELATED: Race lineup " Monday schedule When the skies clear and the green flag drops today (1 p.m. ET, FOX), Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers will face a different type of Bristol. Pounded by rain over the past 24 hours, all of the rubber that accumulated onto the track, giving it grip, has been washed away. All of the resin-based VHT applied to the bottom of the track in an attempt to create a full-blown groove on the bottom? Who knows? What we do know: Some drivers and teams will adapt better than others. We studied the results of last year's four races that were delayed a day due to rain -- both Pocono races, the fall race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Bristol Night Race, which ran Sunday afternoon rather than the typical Saturday night. Some drivers excelled a day later more than others. With those results in mind, here are our six drivers to monitor today as you watch the race on FOX or as you make final tweaks to your Fantasy Live lineup. " Full fantasy preview here RELATED: Fantasy Live homepage 1. Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing. He tops the list because of his win last year at Bristol in a rain-delayed race run the following day in overcast conditions … the exact forecast for Monday, as it turns out. Harvick also notched a fourth and a ninth at Pocono. He is one of just three drivers who finished in the top 10 in three of the four delayed races from 2016. 2. Brad Keselowski, Team Penske. Two top-five finishes at Pocono plus a seventh at Charlotte in the fall equal a team that understands how to adapt to ever-changing conditions. Crew chief Paul Wolfe is one of the sport's best strategists. 3. Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing. In addition to winning Pocono last year in the summer, Busch finished 10th at Pocono in August and eighth at Charlotte. Given his Bristol history and a veteran crew chief in Tony Gibson who's done this delayed race thing a time or two, this year's Daytona 500 champ makes the list. RELATED: Go deeper on driver stats 4. Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing. Busch finished in the top 10 in two of last year's four postponed races -- sixth at Charlotte and ninth at Pocono-2. We're giving him additional credit for his Bristol performance last year, though, where he led 256 of 500 laps but had to take his car to the garage with a broken suspension. 5. Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne's top-10 performances in last year's delayed races came at the bigger tracks (Charlotte, Pocono), but they were strong finishes -- third and sixth, respectively. Plus, his 10-consecutive lap averages during Saturday's practices were among the best in the field. 6. Chris Buescher, JTG Daugherty Racing. Yes, a wild card. Buescher's Pocono-2 win was based off great strategy and intuition, but don't discount that he finished fifth at Bristol while driving for Front Row Motorsports . &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Front Row Motorsports
The full history of Front Row Motorsports plus full driver and crew member rosters
Front Row obtains third charter, plans 2018 expansion
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Front Row Motorsports announced Friday afternoon that it has purchased a third charter for use in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ahead of a planned expansion for the 2018 season. The Bob Jenkins-owned organization indicated that it has acquired the charter last used by BK Racing 's No. 83 entry in the series in 2016. Front Row said it intends to lease the charter to TriStar Motorsports' No. 72 team this year in advance of fielding three full-time entries the following season. Front Row Motorsports currently has two chartered teams: The No. 34 Ford for driver Landon Cassill and the No. 38 Ford driven by David Ragan . The organization -- based in Statesville, North Carolina -- has fielded at least one full-time entry in NASCAR's top division since 2009. "I'm proud of the way this team has grown since we first joined the sport, and we're here to stay," Jenkins said in a news release provided by the team. "Now we're taking the next step that will strengthen our foundation as a team and help us build more meaningful, lasting relationships on all levels -- driver, sponsor and manufacturer." RELATED: What teams have charters? " Full list of full-time rides Front Row has campaigned as a three-car team as recently as 2015. Last season, it completed primarily as a two-car effort, with David Gilliland in a third car at restrictor-plate tracks. The move reduces BK Racing 's number of chartered teams to one -- the No. 23 Toyota which will be driven by Joey Gase in the Daytona 500 with rookie Gray Gaulding driving nearly the entire schedule. BK Racing owner Ron Devine indicated that its Nos. 83 and 93 will compete in multiple races as open teams. "I believe operating with one charter will allow this team to focus our resources in a way that will make us more competitive on the race track," Devine said in a statement released by the team. "I have the utmost confidence that we will give both Joey Gase in the No. 23 and Corey LaJoie in the No. 83 the equipment they need to give us a strong run in Daytona, and I'm eager to see Gray Gaulding do great in the No. 23 starting in Atlanta. "As previously announced, Corey LaJoie will run multiple races in the No. 83 this season. Like last year, you will likely see the No. 93 on track from time to time as well. We have excellent, young talent this year, and I plan for this to be BK Racing 's most competitive year ever." TriStar announced its return to NASCAR's premier series Thursday, planning a full-time ride for driver Cole Whitt . NASCAR introduced the charter system ahead of the 2016 season in an effort to provide a better business model for team owners. Of the 40 starting spots available in each Monster Energy Cup Series race, 36 are guaranteed to chartered teams. </p>
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 .
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 leaving Front Row Motorsports
Wise had spent two seasons at Front Row Motorsports
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
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