Front Row Motorsports has put some important pieces in place ahead of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. The team has finalized its lineup and named a new crew chief.
FRM dropped the news on December 15. The team confirmed that Michael McDowell will return to the No. 34 Ford Mustang while Todd Gilliland will return to the No. 38 Ford Mustang for his second full-time season. Both will try to add more strong finishes after combining for 14 top-10 finishes and three top-fives.
“I’ve been really fortunate to find a home at Front Row Motorsports and to race for Bob Jenkins,” McDowell said in a press release. “We’ve accomplished so much together, and I feel strongly that we’re just going to continue to improve.
“We have work ahead of us, but Travis and this team are more than capable of having another great season. I’m grateful for all the partners who support this team and we’re going to fight hard to get back into the Playoffs in 2023.”
While FRM set its driver and crew chief lineup, the team still has more news to announce. There are still questions about the sponsors that will support each team. Though FRM will not make these announcements until the first of the year.
Gilliland Will Have a New Crew Chief
As part of the announcement, FRM revealed the identity of Gilliland’s new crew chief. Back in November, the organization announced that Seth Barbour had been promoted from crew chief of the No. 38 team to technical director.
Gilliland will now move forward with Ryan Bergenty as his new crew chief. Bergenty has been a car chief on the No. 34 team since the 2021 season after stints with Furniture Row Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing. Since moving to FRM, Bergenty has helped McDowell win the Daytona 500, reach the playoffs, and turn in numerous other strong performances.
Bergenty will now move over to the No. 38 team. He will join forces with McDowell while making his return to the pit box for the first time since one race back in the 2009 season.
“Although the number will be the same on our No. 38 Ford Mustang, we have major changes heading into 2023,” Gilliland added in the press release. “I know that Ryan will help elevate our program and give us a fresh start. Having a full season in the Cup Series under my belt, I feel that I’m better prepared, too. I’m ready to go.”
Both Gilliland and McDowell will have new crew chiefs. Bergenty will take over the No. 38 team while Travis Peterson will take over the No. 34 team for the departed Blake Harris.
The Full FRM Lineup is Complete
With the return of McDowell and Gilliland, FRM now has a complete lineup for the 2023 season. The two drivers will lead the way in the Cup Series while Zane Smith will defend his championship in the Craftsman Truck Series.
FRM announced Smith’s return to the organization before he won the first championship of his career. The team issued a press release on August 25 and confirmed that Smith will be back in the No. 38 Ford F-150 while continuing to work with crew chief Chris Lawson.
Smith will also spend some time in the Cup Series alongside McDowell and Gilliland. He will try to qualify for the season-opening Daytona 500 and other select races. FRM has not yet provided further details about Smith’s Cup Series schedule, but the reigning champion told media members in Nashville that he expects to do about seven events.