Front Row Motorsports and Zane Smith have entered a multi-series partnership with Centene Corporation for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, the team announced Tuesday.
The company, which will carry out the six-race sponsorship deal with brands Ambetter Health and Wellcare, will serve as a six-race primary sponsor of Smith in the NASCAR Cup Series for 2023.
A native of Huntington Beach, California, Smith will pilot the No. 36 Wellcare Ford Mustang in the 2023 Daytona 500. Chris Lawson, Smith's crew chief in the NASCAR Truck Series, will call the shots for the entry.
"I'm fortunate to have a great sponsor of Centene's stature to step up and support me and Front Row Motorsports as I look to gain racing experience in the NASCAR Cup Series, while at the same time defending the NASCAR Craftsman [Truck Series] title," said Smith in the team release. "I'm excited to represent Ambetter Health and Wellcare as Centene continues to grow its involvement in NASCAR and its healthcare presence across the United States."
As the anchor partner of Smith's previously-announced NASCAR Cup Series program in 2023, Centene will adorn the No. 38 Ford Mustang, one of the team's chartered entries, in six additional events.
The 23-year-old driver will replace Todd Gilliland in the team's chartered entry in events at: Phoenix, Talladega, Sonoma, Texas, and Charlotte's ROVAL, and another to be announced at a later date.
"We want to welcome Centene Corporation to Front Row Motorsports," said team owner, Bob Jenkins. "This is an example of another well-respected and premier company to join our organization and the sport. Their support also allows us to move Zane up into the NASCAR Cup Series part-time and continue his growth while also helping us defend our NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship. We're excited for the year ahead."
Ambetter Health, a leading provider of health insurance offerings on the Health Insurance Marketplace, will serve as a primary sponsor of Smith's No. 38 Ford F-150 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Homestead.
"We're excited to partner with Front Row Motorsports and Zane Smith to build on our relationship with racing fans across the country," said Sarah London, Chief Executive Officer of Centene Corporation. "Through this partnership, we have the opportunity to further connect with racing fans and educate them on our mission to transform the health of our local communities and ensure everyone is able to access high-quality affordable healthcare."
Piloting a third entry for Front Row Motorsports in the season-opening contest from Daytona, Smith will have to fight his way into the field, against a stacked club of open entries.
Photo Credit: Rusty Jones, NKP, Courtesy of Ford Performance