McDowell, Nemechek for Front Row

Image by John Harrelson/LAT

McDowell, Nemechek for Front Row


McDowell, Nemechek for Front Row


Front Row Motorsports will field two cars next year in the NASCAR Cup Series, the organization announced Thursday.

Michael McDowell returns to the team in the No. 34 Ford Mustang. The 2020 season will be his third season with FRM and he will continue to work with crew chief Drew Blickensderfer.

“As an organization, we have made a lot of strides with the help of all our partners of our program,” said McDowell. “I’m ready to build on that momentum with Drew and the rest of our team. We’ve always had steady growth and I think we’re going to continue to see that next season.”

John Hunter Nemechek will compete for Rookie of the Year honors in the No. 38 Ford Mustang with crew chief Seth Barbour. Nemechek ran the final three races of the ’19 season with Front Row as a substitute for Matt Tifft, who suffered a seizure in Martinsville. Tifft and Front Row have since mutually parted ways.

Nemechek joins Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer, and Christopher Bell as ROY candidates. He moves into the NASCAR Cup Series after a full season in the Xfinity Series with GMS Racing, where he finished seventh in points.

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to drive for Bob Jenkins and Front Row Motorsports,” said Nemechek. “Having driven the last three races with this team in 2019, I feel like we already have a foundation to start the 2020 season. I’m looking forward to continuing to build FRM.”

Front Row downsizes from three cars to two with the retirement of David Ragan. Partners for each team will be announced at a later date.

“We are looking to the future with a young talent like John Hunter Nemechek,” said owner Bob Jenkins. “John Hunter impressed us at the end of last season, he comes from a racing family, and he’s a winning driver. We believe that we can grow with him in the years to come.

“Michael is a veteran leader who is determined to win in the Cup Series. He gives our organization the experience we need to continue to get better. Most importantly, both Michael and John Hunter also fit our team values and are tremendous assets to our partners on and off the track.”