Front Row Motorsports revealed Friday that Drew Blickensderfer had informed them he is leaving the organization to pursue other options.
Blickensderfer has served as the crew chief for Michael McDowell and the No. 34 Ford team for the past three seasons. Blickensderfer and McDowell scored an upset victory in the 2021 Daytona 500, which qualified them for the playoffs. The duo finished 16th in the final championship standings but scored season-highs in top-10 finishes (five), top-five finishes (two), and laps led (26).
“Drew helped lead the No. 34 team to new heights since coming to Front Row Motorsports, highlighted by winning the Daytona 500,” said team owner Bob Jenkins in a statement. “We are now in the process of securing the next leader in our organization to continue the solid foundation that has been built. That process has begun, and we will move quickly. We wish Drew the best in his next endeavors.”
The next crew chief for McDowell, who returns to the No. 34 in 2022 for a fifth season, is unknown. Front Row will continue to field two cars as McDowell competes alongside rookie Todd Gilliland.
Blickensderfer joined Front Row in 2019. He previously worked at Richard Petty Motorsports with several drivers, including Aric Almirola and Marcus Ambrose; Richard Childress Racing; and Roush Fenway Racing.
In 381 starts as a Cup Series crew chief, Blickensderfer has four career wins. Blickensderfer won his first Daytona 500 (also his first win) in 2009 with Matt Kenseth. The 2009 season was his first as a full-time Cup Series crew chief.