Tag:David Gilliland
Posted on: February 25, 2012 12:33 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 12:33 pm

Final Daytona 500 practice led by David Gilliland

By Pete Pistone


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – David Gilliland led the way in Saturday’s final tune-up for the Daytona 500.

The Front Row Motorsports driver kept Ford on top of the speed charts as the manufacturer has been in practice all week with a speed of 200.138 mph. 

Last year’s Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne was second quick at 200.129 mph. 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Aric Almirola and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top five. 

The session saw 36 drivers take laps on a cool and windy afternoon with temperatures twenty degrees less than Friday’s pair of practices.

Daytona Speedweeks
Posted on: February 8, 2012 2:11 pm

Pat Tryson named crew chief for David Gilliland

By Pete Pistone

Pat Tryson will join Front Row Motorsports as the crew chief for David Gilliland's No. 38 Ford.   

The veteran comes to Front Row Motorsports with deep experience working with a number of drivers over the years including Kurt Busch, Elliott Sadler and Mark Martin.  He most recently worked for Michael Waltrip Racing, where he served in crew-chief and consultant roles.    

"We made some pretty big changes this off-season to really take this team to the next level, and adding Pat is just one more critical piece that we've put in place for our 2012 season," said team general manager Jerry Freeze.  "With Jay Guy on the No. 34 car and Derrick returning full-time to the competition director role, the depth and experience of our leadership team is better than it's ever been before."

Tryson is hoping to help guide Gilliland up the ranks of the Sprint Cup standings.

"I like what this team has done in the last few years, doing the right things and making the right changes to get better every season," said Tryson.  "Gilliland's a competitive driver - he's got the fire in his belly - and I'm really looking forward to working with him."

Gilliland began his year with a third place finish in the Daytona 500 and is hoping for another solid start to 2012. 

"He's a great 'get' for this team," said Gilliland.  "There's just so much that he brings to the table with all his experience.  I can't wait to get started."

More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:43 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 3:47 pm

Team Review/Preview: Front Row Motorsports

By Pete Pistone

Image Detail
(Gilliland's third place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500 was Front Row's highlight of 2011)


One of NASCAR’s smaller teams, Front Row Motorsports enjoyed periods of success in 2011 as it tried to compete against the powerhouse organizations of the sport. 

Led by the two-car effort that primarily saw David Gilliland and Travis Kvapil pilot the team’s pair of lead Fords with J.J. Yeley running a part-time schedule in a third entry, Front Row did improve from its previous season effort. 

The No. 34 and No. 38 entries both ended up the season inside the Top 35 in owner points, which guarantees spots in the first five races of 2012 including the Daytona 500. 

“We went into this season scaling down from three full-time teams to two and I applaud the effort put forth by this entire organization,” said team owner Bob Jenkins. “The performance at times was very gratifying to see and the result of a lot of hard work of everyone inside this team and of course what David, Travis and J.J. were able to accomplish behind the wheel.” 

Gilliland began the year nearly winning the biggest race of the season at Daytona. He was in the mix for victory on the final lap of the Daytona 500 finally settling behind Trevor Bayne and Carl Edwards for an impressive third place finish. 

“We knew it was a 500-mile race and to preserve,” said Gilliland of his run to the checkered flag. “I hadn't finished in the last three or four plate races. I knew that Front Row Motorsports had put together a fast car for us. We talked to Carl's spotter and knew we could get to the front. We just needed the line up a little bit further. It's great to see Trevor win, but I'm happy for all our guys too." 

The performance proved to be prophetic for Gilliland who also turned in solid efforts at the three other restrictor plate races of the season. He had another Top 10 finish in the July Daytona race and although wasn’t able to come home with the finishes for the effort ran competitive at both Talladega races.

He struggled enough at other times to end up in position 30 in the final driver standings. 

Kvapil made 29 starts for Front Row in 2011 and was unfortunately not able to match the high water marks set by Gilliland. His best outing came in the October Martinsville race when Kvapil was able to post a sixteenth place finish 

Still the former Camping World Truck Series driver was realistic about the challenges working with a team the size of Front Row. 

“We do with what we can with the resources that are available,” Kvapil said. “Bob is a great guy to work for and the opportunity to stay and compete at the highest level of the sport is tremendous. There are times when we make strides to improve and those are the things we have to look at as building blocks for the future."



Jenkins plans to again field two cars for the full schedule in 2012 with at this point a third on a limited scale, all depending of sponsorship. 

"Next year, there's no reason we can't have a car somewhere in the mid-20s in points," General Manager Jerry Freeze said recently, "which I think would be real acceptable, even if we're not any more funded than we are now." 

There was some speculation that David Ragan would be a potential candidate to take a seat with the team after he was squeezed out of Roush Fenway Racing due to sponsorship issues with that organization. Front Row continues to share a technical and resource alliance with RFR as well as with Richard Petty Motorsports for its Ford engines and chassis inventory. 

However Ragan now appears headed to Penske Racing to fill the vacant seat of Kurt Busch, but he could be back in the Front Row mix if that deal does not come to fruition.

At this point Gilliland, Kvapil and Yeley are not resigned for the coming season but the organization plans to have its line-up and plans firmed up in a matter of weeks.



Things won’t be any easier for Front Row in 2012 despite having a few less teams to deal with in the aftermath of Richard Childress Racing and Roush shrinking to three entries. Funding will again be the biggest story to impact how much further along the team can grow. Should team owner Jenkins reach out to a higher profile name like a Ragan or even a Kurt Busch, he may be able to generate additional sponsorship but even that’s a long shot at this point of the year with the start of 2012 looming. A repeat of this season with a few more finishes inside the top twenty would have to be considered a successful campaign for Front Row.


More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: September 10, 2010 5:07 pm

Front Row may be forced back to two teams in '11

If Front Row Motorsports, which recently lost sponsor Extenze with the departure or rookie Kevin Conway, doesn't get its third car back in the top 35 in owner points by season's end, there's a good chance it will only run two cars in 2011, general manager Jerry Freeze told frontstretch.com.

“It’s a big question mark right now. Unless we have some phenomenal success in finding sponsorship, I don’t see any way we can carry three cars next year.”

“I think the likely scenario is that FRM will run two cars next year. We really like David [Gilliland] and Travis [Kvapil], we’re planning on those guys coming back and we’re talking with them about it, so that’s the direction I think we’ll be going in. Then again, maybe we start next year running that third car if it’s in the top 35. If it’s not, it may just go away.”


Posted on: May 26, 2010 10:43 am

Drivers play musical chairs at Front Row

Front Row Motorsports is shifting its drivers and sponsors around. Effective immediatley Kevin Conway will shift from the No. 37 car to the No. 34; David Gilliland goes from 38 to 37; and Travis Kvapil goes from 34 to 38.

The 34 car is currently 32nd in owner points (953 points), the 38 is 35th (899) and the 37 is just outside the top 35 in 36th (897). That's going to put the pressure on Gilliland this weekend to qualify for the Coca-Cola 600 on speed.

Complete press release follows:

Statesville, N.C. (May 26, 2010) - Using a unified approach to give its three-car team the best opportunities to continue to succeed as a whole, Front Row Motorsports announced changes to its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series line-up effective this week for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. 
The team is moving Kevin Conway and the ExtenZe Racing sponsorship to the No. 34 Ford Fusion, David Gilliland and the Taco Bell program to the No. 37 Ford Fusion, and Travis Kvapil and the Long John Silver's program to the No. 38 Ford Fusion.  The changes are aimed to optimize all three teams' ability to score more points and strengthen the organization.
The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season has been one of continued growth for Front Row Motorsports.  The team announced at the beginning of the season the expansion to a three-car team with backing from Ford Racing.  The team hired 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil and Nationwide Series winner David Gilliland to take lead roles.  Raybestos Rookie of the Year leading candidate Kevin Conway was also hired to complete the team based in Statesville.
"I'm proud of how we've performed this year - our first year with three full-time cars," said Bob Jenkins, owner of Front Row Motorsports.  "We are not a powerhouse three-car team, but we work as an organization to grow together as one.  Our teams have to be unified to be stronger instead of operating as three separate groups. 
"Moving our drivers, along with their respective sponsors, to different cars gives us the best chance to succeed as an entire team.  It has been this attitude and strategic growth plan that has allowed us to become the team we are today."
All three Front Row cars have made the starting lineup of all 12 Sprint Cup Series races in the 2010 season.  The team is working with potential sponsors now to become stronger and take the next step to become a top-25 team.

Posted on: January 26, 2010 4:19 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2010 4:21 pm

Seals to work as Gilliland's crew chief at FRM

According to foxsports.com, Randy Seals will crew chief the No. 38 car for David Gilliland at Front Row Motorsports .

The 42-year-old McMinnville, Tenn., native returns to Front Row after a short stint as crew chief on the No. 61 car with Chad Chaffin in 2006. Seals worked as a crew chief for Bobby Hamilton Racing for five years prior to moving to the Sprint Cup Series. For the last two seasons, he worked in the research and development as validation manager at Richard Petty Motorsports.

Seals and Gilliland won't officially team up until after the Daytona 500 as Gilliland is set to drive BAM Racing No. 49 car at Daytona. Robert Richardson Jr. is scheduled to drive the 38 car at both Daytona races as well as the spring race at Talladega.

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