Front Row Motorsports is expanding to three Cup Series cars in 2019 with the addition of Matt Tifft.
Tifft, 22, was announced as the organization’s new driver Tuesday afternoon, joining David Ragan and Michael McDowell.
Tifft will drive the No. 36 Ford Mustang.
“We started talking a little while ago, and from the last year in the Xfinity Series I really felt like I started to take some big steps and move forward,” said Tifft. “Talked with [owner] Bob Jenkins; the opportunity just made so much sense to make the jump into Front Row Motorsports. The opportunity for me to learn from these guys with David Ragan and Michael McDowell, some really great veterans, was just so appealing to me to not only achieve my dream of going to the Cup Series but also to learn from some great drivers here. I just think that’s going to accelerate my learning curve but also make me a great driver.”
Front Row ran three cars to end the 2018 season after acquiring a charter in the sale of BK Racing. Next season will be the first time the organization has run three full-time teams.
Tifft moves into the series after two full seasons in the Xfinity Series, recently competing with Richard Childress Racing. In 77 career starts, Tifft earned 38 top-10 finishes and qualified for the playoffs in both 2017 and ’18.
“We’ve made it clear in recent years that it was our intent to continue to invest in NASCAR and expand to a three-car team,” Jenkins said. “Not only are we here to stay, we’re here to grow.
“We already have two proven veterans in our line-up, and now we’ll get to add an impressive young talent and championship contender who will inject some new energy into the group. With the introduction of the Ford Mustang into the Cup Series, 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting season for us.”
Ragan will return for a sixth year with the team in 2019. He finished 25th in points in 2018 with one top-10 finish working with the No. 38 team.
“Bob Jenkins has always grown his race team strategically, and I’m proud to be a part of that growth,” said Ragan. “It’s exciting that we’re now ready to take the next step with a third car in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. We’ve made a lot of gains this season with our enhanced program with Ford Performance and our alliance with Roush Fenway Racing, and I think we can make even greater strides next year.”
McDowell will be going into his second season with the No. 34 team.
“This season has been a big stepping-stone for me in my career,” McDowell said. “We haven’t gotten the results we’ve wanted every week, but we’ve made huge advances as a team. I’ve really benefited from having a teammate this year and feel like I’ve made valuable contributions in return. I’m looking forward to building on that next year and welcoming another teammate in Matt Tifft.”