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These Are the Drivers That Could Race Front Row’s Third Car

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What’s Happening?

Front Row Motorsports has two seats available for 2025, and the team is well on its way to figuring out which drivers will drive for them. Bob Pockrass reports that Noah Gragson, Josh Berry, Sam Mayer, and Christian Eckes are all candidates for the ride, with Gragson being “A favorite.” We’ve already covered Gragson in the article below, but what about the other drivers included?

  • Front Row Motorsports has two seats open thanks to Michael McDowell departing for Spire Motorsports and a project to start a third full-time car, likely with the purchase of a Stewart-Haas Racing charter. Thanks to a multi-year contract extension, Todd Gilliland has already signed with the team for 2025 and beyond.
  • These three drivers come from very different backgrounds. Josh Berry is an SHR-free agent looking for his next opportunity. Sam Mayer and Christian Eckes have toiled in the lower series, and they’re focused on eventually making the Cup Series.
  • Fans are intrigued by these drivers who may race for FRM. However, which of these drives makes the most sense?

Josh Berry

Josh Berry may be in his rookie season in the Cup Series, but he’s not a motorsports rookie. He competed in late models for over a decade before getting his big break in the Xfinity Series in 2021, and he’s parlayed that into a Cup Series ride. He’s currently leading the “Rookie of the Year” standings at the halfway point.

Front Row Motorsports has a lot to offer Berry, and Berry has a lot to offer them. Berry is an older driver, and he can add some veteran presence, given his path to success, even if he is not as experienced in the Cup Series. FRM is a “Tier One” team, which puts Berry in a good position to be in solid equipment for a while.

However, according to Adam Stern, Berry recently held talks with The Wood Brothers, which has an alliance with Team Penske. Could that alliance be enough to steer Berry away from FRM?

Sam Mayer

Following his win at Iowa, Sam Mayer said, “It pisses me off” that he was not getting more attention from Cup Series teams. Well, it seems he’s caught the eye of FRM, and this move would make a lot of sense for Mayer and Ford.

Ford is struggling with its prospect pipeline, and it probably needs to sign someone from outside to get a driver of the future. Mayer could fit that bill, as he is already in his second full-time Xfinity Series season with six wins. FRM is, again, a “Tier One” team where Mayer could build his career at.

For FRM, it’s another young driver to fill in, but is it too many? Bringing in Mayer and Gragson would mean each driver for the team would be 26 or younger at the start of 2025. Would FRM miss having that veteran presence?

Christian Eckes

Christian Eckes is the definition of a late bloomer. After only one win in his first 58 starts, Eckes has won six of his last 35 races, and he currently leads Toyota phenom Corey Heim in the Truck Series points standings. Eckes is a great prospect that no Cup Series team has taken a chance on yet.

Like Mayer, Eckes has the benefit of being a young prospect for Ford to groom. Eckes might be a “safer” prospect, given that this is his fourth full-time season plus three part-time ones, versus Mayer, only being in his third full-time season with only one part-time season.

However, FRM would again be a team filled with youth with Eckes, similar to if they signed Mayer. Is that a risk FRM is willing to take?

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