NASCAR Cup: Front Row Motorsports plans 2018 expansion
No. 38 Ford of Front Row Motorsports (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)
By AMANDA VINCENT
Front Row Motorsports is already looking ahead to its plans for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition in 2018 when it plans to field three full-time teams, all with charters. The team has two charters for the 2017, with which it will field two full-time entries, a No. 34 Ford for Landon Cassill and a No. 38 Ford for David Ragan.
“I’m proud of the way this team has grown since we first joined the sport, and we’re here to stay,” Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins said. “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.”
Front Row previously competed as a three-car team, but focused primarily on two entries last season.
FRM has purchased its third charter from BK Racing, and since it has no need for it in 2017, that charter will be leased to TriStar Motorsports for the upcoming season. TriStar, already a competitor in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, plans to field a No. 72 Cup entry in 2017 for driver, Cole Whitt.
With the sale of one of its charters to Front Row Motorsports, BK Racing has one charter remaining, with which it plans to field a No. 23 Toyota. Joey Gase will drive the No. 23 in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Feb. 26, and Gray Gaulding is expected to drive the car for at least most of the remainder of the 2017 season. BK Racing also plans to enter its Nos. 83 and 93 cars for partial schedules during the upcoming season. Those two cars will run as “open” entries, meaning they will not be guaranteed race starting positions.
“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,” BK Racing owner Ron Devine said. “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 things in the No. 23, starting in Atlanta.”
Teams with charters are guaranteed race starting spots in all 36 Cup Series points-paying events each season.