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Who Could Drive the Front Row 34 Car in 2025?

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

Michael McDowell surprised everyone by announcing he is moving on from Front Row Motorsports for 2024. This means a Tier One Ford seat is now open for the 2025 season, and plenty of drivers could slot into that spot.

  • Front Row Motorsports is one of NASCAR’s Up-and-coming teams. Once a start-and-park team, they have won 4 races and worked their way into being a Tier One Ford team.
  • Bob Pockrass gave some insight into FRM’s plans for 2025. While he believes it is too soon to report the favorite for the No. 34 ride, he thinks it depends on the charter market and, potentially, sponsorship.
  • Fans were quite surprised to see McDowell make the move, but, they are excited to see who takes over the No. 34 car. These are all candidates for the ride.

Riley Herbst

Riley Herbst gets some gruff from the fanbase, but, he’s not a bad driver. He has a lot of funding from Monster Energy, and he’s been impressive in his limited Cup Series action, including a top-10 for Front Row Motorsports at Talladega in the fall of 2023.

The issue with this move is that Herbst is far from the flashy pick. He’s not a driver that will elevate his equipment, which is something McDowell did at FRM. However, he has a relationship with both FRM and Ford, which could help him.

Kaz Grala

Kaz Grala currently races part-time as the anchor driver of the Rick Ware Racing No. 15 car. It’s his first extended run in the Cup Series, and it shows that he has at least some funding behind him. He also raced for FRM in the 2024 Daytona 500.

However, Grala has never been the most consistent driver. He only has 2 full-time NASCAR seasons under his belt, and his only win came in the Truck Series in 2017. Does he elevate FRM the way McDowell did?

Christian Eckes

Christian Eckes is one of the most intriguing prospects in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He’s currently 2nd in points with 2 wins, and that gives him 6 wins in the last 2 seasons. He’s showing his talent, and he may need to jump out of a crowded Chevrolet prospect camp to get to Cup.

One issue with Eckes is funding. He currently races for Bill McAnally with sponsorship from Napa Auto Parts. Napa is a McAnally sponsor, so, can Eckes scrounge up the funding to jump up to Cup?

Matt DiBenedetto

If FRM wants to jump down to the lower series to find their driver, Matt DiBenedetto is an interesting choice. He’s a Ford driver who has Cup Series experience. He is the type of driver who seems to perform best when he’s an underdog who needs to overcome things, and FRM fits that bill.

The issue with DiBenedetto is funding. Could he scrounge up enough cash to race for FRM in 2025? That would be tough given how much of a role funding played in his difficult 2024 off-season.

Sell the Charter?

The Cup Series charter market is a wild one right now. Without Michael McDowell, could FRM sell its charter? In short, that’s incredibly unlikely.

Multiple reports have indicated that FRM is in the market to buy charters, with Bob Pockrass pointing out that FRM may look to expand their shop space, which, multiple reports indicate that SHR is looking at selling. FRM will likely not sell charters, as a matter of fact, they’re more likely to expand.

FRM will be an interesting team to watch throughout Silly Season. And not only with the No. 34 car, but, maybe even expanding as a race team.

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