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Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports Parting Ways After 2024

After a seven-year relationship, which has produced two NASCAR Cup Series wins, Michael McDowell is moving on from Front Row Motorsports at the end of 2024.


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Michael McDowell and Front Row Motorsports will part ways at the conclusion of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, the driver and team announced on Wednesday morning.

McDowell issued a lengthy statement to social media. In the statement, McDowell expresses his pride in how he and Front Row Motorsports have challenged the giants of NASCAR and how they have left their mark on the sport together.

Despite achieving a lot of success together, McDowell says, "...my family and I have made the bittersweet decision that it's time for us to embark on the next chapter of our motorsports journey, making 2024 my final season as the driver of the No. 34 Ford Mustang Dark Horse for Front Row Motorsports."

McDowell went on to issue thanks to all of his partners that have worked with him at Front Row Motorsports, and to the folks as Front Row themselves.

"Lastly, to Bob Jenkins, Jerry Freeze, and all of the men and women at Front Row Motorsports, Ford Performance, and Roush Yates Engines, thank you for your unwavering support over the last seven years and for allowing me to live out a dream of winning not only the Daytona 500, but the Brickyard as well," McDowell said.

The 39-year-old racer concluded his statement by saying this will not end his days as a driver, and that he, "can't wait to share my future plans with you all soon."

Bob Jenkins, team owner of Front Row Motorsports issued a statement as well. Jenkins thanked McDowell for his achievements with his race team and wishes him well in his next chapter of racing.

"We thank Michael for all he has done during his time as a driver at Front Row Motorsports," Jenkins said. "His 2021 Daytona 500 victory, a dominant win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and two appearances in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs set a new standard for our organization. He became the leader of his team and the organization. Outside the car, he was the model for a driver we want to represent us and our partners.

"We’re sad to see Michael leave, but wish him, Jami and his family nothing but the best as he moves on to another chapter of what is already an incredible racing career."

McDowell has not announced his future team, and Front Row Motorsports has yet to name a driver that will take over the No. 34 entry in 2025 and beyond with McDowell leaving the organization. Those announcements will undoubtedly come in the near future.

This will end a pairing that has steadily climbed through the NASCAR Cup Series rankings over the past seven seasons. To date, McDowell has scored both of his career wins, both of his career poles, eight of his nine top-five finishes, and 35 of his 40 career top-10 finishes in a Front Row Motorsports Ford.

In their first season together (2018), McDowell and the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports team recorded one top-10 finish and came home 26th in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings.

In 2019, McDowell doubled his top-10 finishes with two that year, and the top-10s doubled again in 2020 as McDowell and the No. 34 team recorded four more in a season that saw them finish 23rd in the championship standings.

McDowell would score his first NASCAR Cup Series win the following season, and it came in the sport's biggest race, the Daytona 500. That win, which came in McDowell's 358th career start, secured the driver's first-ever Playoff berth.

While 2022 didn't produce a Playoff berth for McDowell or the No. 34 team, mainly due to a points penalty following the race at Pocono, McDowell notched a career-best 12 top-10 finishes that season. The Phoenix, Arizona native would follow up his great season in 2022 with another win and Playoff berth in 2023. McDowell took the win over Chase Elliott in the race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. McDowell would finish with a career-best 15th-place points ranking.

The 2024 season hasn't gone exactly to plan, but McDowell has had plenty of speed once again. The driver has recorded the first two poles of his NASCAR Cup Series career, and he has three top-10 finishes. However, four DNFs have McDowell sitting 26th in the championship standings after 12 starts.

McDowell and Front Row Motorsports will look to rebound and close out their time together with at least one more trip to victory lane.

Photo Credit: Craig White, TobyChristie.com

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