Tag:Front Row Motorsports
Posted on: February 25, 2012 10:24 am

Santorum to sponsor Front Row No. 26 car in 500

Posted by Brian De Los Santos

Front Row Motorsports landed a Daytona 500 sponsor for it's No. 26 car in the form of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

The car, driven by Tony Raines, who was able to make the race based on his qualifying speed, will feature campaign messaging from Santorum on its hood and quarter panels.

"NASCAR and the Daytona 500 are about as American as you can get -- and it's great to have my campaign represented by one of these incredible machines," said Santorum.  "The race weekend is a wonderful tradition that we're excited to be a part of as we spread our message. I like how Tony Raines turned some heads last weekend with his qualifying run and we'd like to keep turning heads, too. I think we're both looking for a win in the end."

With the Santorum campaign coming aboard the No. 26 Ford, Front Row Motorsports will have three sponsored entries in Sunday's Daytona 500.

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."

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 5:57 pm

New sponsor for Front Row Motorsports

Posted by Pete Pistone

From News Release

Modular construction provider ModSpace will partner with Front Row Motorsports in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for a multi-race primary sponsorship and season-long associate sponsorship of the No. 38 Ford, driven by David Gilliland. The No. 34 Ford, driven by David Ragan, will also carry an associate sponsorship from ModSpace for the full season.

The new partnership expands an existing business relationship between the Berwyn, Penn.-based company and Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins. ModSpace is currently working with Jenkins' quick-service restaurant company to build new Taco Bell/Long John Silver's locations.

"I've been impressed with ModSpace and their modular construction concepts and the experience they bring to the table," Jenkins said. "Our companies share some of the same ideals, so it's a natural fit to team up. I'm excited they're going to partner with us on the racetrack now, too." The new motorsports partnership will help with another type of "building" - the continued growth of Jenkins' Sprint Cup team, which is coming off the best season in its young history.

The first appearance of the No. 38 ModSpace Ford is scheduled for the April 14 race at Texas Motor Speedway. ModSpace is a provider of modular buildings, portable storage and services for temporary or permanent space needs. Building on more than 40 years of experience, ModSpace serves a diverse set of customers and markets - including commercial, construction, education, government, healthcare, industrial/energy and special events - through an extensive nationwide branch network throughout the United States and Canada.

"We are thrilled to partner with Front Row Motorsports for this upcoming Sprint Cup season," stated William Mann, Vice President of Motorsports for ModSpace. "In the modular construction business, we understand the importance of speed while still delivering a high-quality product, so this motorsports alignment is perfect for our business model. ModSpace looks forward to a great season from both the No. 38 and No. 34 teams." 

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 9:12 am

David Ragan signs with Front Row Motorsports

By Pete Pistone

David Ragan's long saga of trying to find a ride for the 2012 NASCAR season is over.

The former Roush Fenway Racing driver will join Front Row Motorsports for the coming Sprint Cup Series campaign and remain in the Ford camp after all.

Ragan was rumored to be in line for seats at Penske Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports after he was forced out of RFR when sponsor UPS pulled out its full-time backing.

Those rides didn't pan out and Ragan finally landed at the upstart Front Row organization.

Ragan will pilot the team's No. 34 Ford and team up with returning David Gilliland in the two car effort.

"Front Row has made great progress in the last few years, and I look forward to helping them advance to the next level," Ragan said.  "I think the team appreciates what I can bring to the table, and I think it's a good opportunity for both of us.  I've also enjoyed a long relationship with Ford and I'm glad that I'll get to keep working with them."

Gilliland returns for his third season with Front Row and his seventh in the Cup series.  The 35-year-old Riverside, Calif., native will return to the No. 38, the number he drove as a Sprint Cup rookie as well as the car he drove in his first season with Front Row.  The No. 38 team is also locked in to the field entering 2012.  Last season, Gilliland raced his way to a third-place finish in the Daytona 500 to start off an impressive 2011 run, in which he proved to be a force on superspeedways and road courses.

"We've gotten better year to year and even week to week in the time I've been with Front Row, so I'm excited to be back for a third year and to have David (Ragan) as a teammate," Gilliland said.  "It's good to be back in the '38' car, too.  It was my dad's number, and I've also had some pretty good days at the racetrack with that number on the door." 

"I am committed to building a competitive race team by employing the same fundamental business principles that have worked for my other successful endeavors, and it all begins with the people," said team owner Bob Jenkins.  "We took some pretty big steps in our race program last year and adding David Ragan is another giant step in the right direction.

"When you look at some of the large, storied teams in NASCAR that have been running for decades, we're still pretty young by comparison," Jenkins continued. "But I like the upgrades we're making and the improvements we're seeing, and I am confident we will be able to compete with them on a consistent basis in the not-too-distant future.  Ragan is a proven competitor and race winner, Gilliland had a really solid season for us last year, Roush Yates engines are the best in the sport, and Ford continues to provide invaluable support, so I feel like 2012 is really going to be our year to step up to the next level.  Plus, I now have two Davids to engage Goliath, and we know how that day ended."

Sponsorship for the Front Row Motorsports entries is being finalized and will be announced soon.

"We've worked hard to build an organization that can deliver compelling value propositions for our partners, and we can win immediately on that front given our size, efficiencies and cost structures," said Jerry Freeze, Front Row Motorsports' General Manager. "Fortunately, a few leading corporate partners have taken notice and others are conducting their due diligence.  That's very encouraging and bodes well for our future.

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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.


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Posted on: June 7, 2011 9:58 am

Sam Hornish Jr. subbing for Kvapil at Pocono

Press release:

Statesville, N.C. (June 7, 2011) - Sam Hornish Jr. will make his 2011 return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway this weekend, manning the wheel of the No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford while Travis Kvapil competes in the Camping World Truck Series in Texas. The three-time IndyCar Champion has 108 Cup races under his belt since making the move to stock-car racing, but this weekend's event in Long Pond, Pa., will be his first this year.

The 2.5-mile track known as the "Tricky Triangle" is the perfect place for Hornish to make his return.  The low-banked, sharp-turning tri-oval suits the former open-wheel racer.  He has a top-five, two top-10 and four top-15 finishes in his six Cup career starts there.  Hornish is also familiar with No. 38 crew chief Jay Guy, whom he was a co-worker with at Penske Racing in Sprint Cup.

Comments from Long John Silver's driver Sam Hornish on Pocono and driving for Front Row:

"I'm really excited to get back in a Cup car.  And it's not just an opportunity to run a Cup race, but I get to race at Pocono.  That's a track that a lot of drivers don't like and it puts them in a bad mood trying to figure it out.  And that actually can pay dividends for me because I like racing there and I go there with confidence.  I've run well there the past two years with four top-15 finishes.

"I got a call from Penske asking if I was interested in running the '38' while Travis was racing trucks, and I was on the phone with Front Row about half an hour later working it all out.  It came together pretty fast but I was excited to do it.

"It's going to be a little difficult, obviously, because there's not a lot of time to work together to prepare.  Pocono is hot and it's 500 miles, so it can be pretty uncomfortable over the course of the race, so it's important to have a good fit in the car.  I was at the Front Row shop last week and again Monday working on getting fitted.  And I've been spending some time with Jay Guy, going over the set-up of the car, so we have a good game plan going in.

"I knew Jay from when he was at Penske, but I didn't work directly with him.  But I'm looking forward to working with him this week.  As challenging as it's going to be coming in for one race with a team I haven't worked with before, it's refreshing at the same time.  I've only raced a stock car with Penske, so it will be good to try something different and get that experience."
Posted on: February 24, 2011 11:16 am

Front Row team locked in for Phoenix

Posted By Pete Pistone

The three-car stable from Front Row Motorsports won't have to worry about starting spots in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

The team's trio of drivers are assured of being in the 43-car field by virtue of the Top 35 owners' points rule.

The cars of last week's third place Daytona 500 finisher David Gilliland and Tony Raines earned a berth in Sunday's race by finishing inside the first 35 positions of the 2010 owner points, which assures teams starting spots in the first five events of this season.

But with the No. 77 Rusty Wallace Racing entry, which purchased points from Penske Racing's No. 77 ride after finishing in the Top 35 last season, not making the trek out to Phoenix after Steven Wallace's Daytona 500 run, Front Row's third team moves up a notch and slides into a guaranteed position.

That gives Travis Kvapil a chance to take the green flag SUnday and make amends for his rough Daytona adventure which saw the former Camping World Truck Series champion spin at least three times.

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Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:56 am

Front Row sets line-up

By Pete Pistone

Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland will return to Front Row Motorsports in 2011 with full Sprint Cup Series season planned for both drivers. The team will run a third entry in select events during the season.

Kvapil will pilot the No. 34 Long John's-sponsored Ford while Gilliland returns to the seat of the team's No. 38 Taco Bell Fusion.

While the team did not participate in this week's Preseason Thunder test session in Daytona owner Bill Jenkins plans to be back in force next month for "Speedweeks" activities.

Bill Henderson has been named crew chief for Kvapil's entry while veteran Peter Sospenzo returns to call the shots for Gilliland.

Roush-Yates engines will again power the Front Row stable.
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