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2024 Cup Series Team Previews: Front Row Motorsports

(Photo Credit: James Gilbert/Getty Images)

By Adam Carabine & Logan Morris

This year, in preparation for the 2024 NASCAR season, we present our Team Previews Series. Each day until the end of January, a new Team Preview will be live on our website. Check back every day to see what we have to say about your favourite team!

Adam Carabine: Welcome back, Logan.  Let’s dive right into our Team Preview for today - Front Row Motorsports.  They recently made some big news by announcing they have a new technical alliance partner in Team Penske, ending their alliance with RFK Racing.  First things first, what sort of impact does that have in the immediate for FRM?

Logan Morris: I think it’s big for them. We know when it comes to the Ford camp that Team Penske leads the charge, and that includes in resources. If you’re Front Row the type of data they’ll likely now have access to can make a significant difference to a season. Remember, for all the Penske up and downs, They’ve won the championship the last two seasons. 

AC: True enough. Team Penske is doing all of the right things at the moment, and have the biggest chunk of the Ford pie, so to speak. It’s a big move for sure. I wonder how long this has been in the works, because I can’t imagine it just happened recently. Amazing how some things can stay hidden for so long. 

Let’s talk drivers. Both Michael McDowell and Todd Gilliland return for another season as teammates. McDowell has blossomed since his Daytona 500 win a few years back. He doesn’t necessarily have the wins, but he’s become a presence. Do we chalk that up to better equipment? Is he one of those guys who’d be crushing it in Hendrick cars?

LM: I think we can chalk it up to a few different factors. First off, the Next-Gen car has leveled the playing field to a certain degree. Secondly, his bread and butter, so to speak, is road courses and we’re in an era of more road course racing than ever in terms of the NASCAR schedule. Lastly, I also think confidence plays a big factor. Once you get that elusive first win the pressure comes off and it proves you can do it. That confidence was likely cemented with some of these great runs on road courses. 

AC: I’d say he’s a threat on Superspeedways too, to be honest. Yes I know his most recent win came at the Indianapolis Road Course (RIP) but recently he’s been consistently in a good position at the end of the Superspeedways - that alone is hard to do.  I’ll admit I was surprised to see Todd Gilliland get the job back this season.  Especially after the weird fiasco last year where he had something like 6 races taken away from him. I thought for sure their relationship was severed.  How does Gilliland fare this year?

LM: I expect Gilliland to surprise some people. I think FRM made the correct the decision to bring him back. To build something long-term in this sport usually takes time and consistency, changing just for the sake of change is counter-productive in my view. He needs time to develop. 

AC: I don’t disagree with the sentiment, but I also know that this is a results-driven medium, and the 38 team last year just didn’t have a whole lot to show for itself.  I like Gilliland as a human being, but I’m pleasantly surprised he’s back for another season.  Is it safe to assume McDowell has the higher threshold this season?  I know you said Gilliland will surprise… but not that much, right?

LM: Not so fast, my friend! I think Gilliland has a more consistent season than McDowell. McDowell has been at this a long time now and will decline at some point. I think it’s possible this could be the year. 

AC: Loganity bringing the hot takes!  I like it.  Regardless, I look forward to finding out which one of us is right.  I think it’s going to be an exciting season for Front Row.  

Stay tuned to our Team Preview series - next up we will take a look at Richard Childress Racing!


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