For the 2018 season, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series two-car team, Front Row Motorsports is heightening its partnership with Ford Performance in hopes of increasing their own performance. The team is bringing in one new driver and has signed one new one.
Driver Lineup 2018
FRM, owned by Bob Jenkins has re-signed veteran driver, David Ragan, and has picked up Michael McDowell, who most recently drove the last four season in the No. 95 for Leavine Family Racing. LFR has Kasey Kahne behind the wheel of their No. 95 for next season.
Next season is FRM’s ninth season partnering with Ford Performance. The nine seasons also marks the point where the team expanded to a multi-car Cup organization. Next year’s partnership has been expanded into a technical alliance with Roush Fenway Racing, another Ford Performance two-car team in the MENCS garage.
Team owner Bob Jenkins noted that the Ford Motor Company has been a great partner with FRM and said the two companies agreed to work together to step up the program performance for next season.
“We’ve got a lot vested in our partnership—relationships, knowledge, data—that we’re going to build on to make improvements both in the shop and at the track.
Ragan’s contract being renewed means he’ll enter his fifth season with the team. The Georgia native has a pair of wins and a pair of poles in the series, along with 15 top 5’s, and 39 top-10 finishes.
Ragan said that he and Jenkins have developed a good relationship over those five seasons.
“I believe in this team and am proud to have been part of its growth and its successes,” Ragan said.
“I’m excited that Bob and Ford have agreed to take the program to the next level, and I’m happy I’ll be here to help the team continue to grow.”
Jenkins affirmed Ragan’s value to the team.
“David has been a great team member for us in his years with Front Row, both on and off the track,” Jenkins said.
McDowell Comes to FRM
McDowell, a 10-year veteran of the series and Arizona native raced a Front Row Motorsports entry once previously in his Cup series career—at Watkins Glen International in 2013. McDowell is coming off his best finish in the Cup series, earning a fourth-place finish at Daytona International Speedway in July.
McDowell said that ever since driving for FRM at Watkins Glen, he’s kept in touch, thinking there might eventually be another opportunity to work again.
“…the timing worked out perfectly,” McDowell said.
“It’s been a while since I’ve had a teammate, so I’m really looking forward to working with David, whom I’ve become pretty good friends with over the years. As a team now, we go into the season knowing we have five or six races that put us in position to get a win and earn a spot in the playoffs.”
Jenkins said McDowell is a great addition to the team.
“I’ve been impressed with his talent watching him over the years and excited that he’ll be representing us and our partners next season,” Jenkins said.
Further 2018 Details
The team has not yet finalized its crew chief line-up and is evaluating possible additions to the competition staff. Additional information about the 2018 program, including team partners and driver car numbers, will be announced in the coming weeks.