Ragan, Gilliand and Wise will run full Sprint Cup schedule in 2013.
STATESVILLE, N.C. -- Renewals of long-time partnerships will have Front Row Motorsports poised to run its most competitive Sprint Cup Series season in 2013, with the team announcing new agreements with drivers David Ragan, David Gilliland and Josh Wise. The team also will continue its relationships with manufacturing partner Ford Racing and engine builder Roush Yates Racing Engines.
Front Row Motorsports enters its fourth year with Gilliland, Ford and Roush Yates, relationships that have brought stability and growth to the steam entering its fifth full-time season in the Cup Series. Race winner Ragan joined the lineup for the 2012 season, helping the team earn its best average finishes and best year-end points rankings for the Nos. 34 and 38 entries in Front Row history.
The 2012 season saw Ragan and Gilliland combine for one top-five, two top-10, four top-15 and eight top-20 finishes, and an average finish of 27th. Ragan finished the season 28th in the point standings and Gilliland ended the season in 30th. The team continued to show its strength on superspeedways, where Ford and Roush Yates power helped Ragan and Gilliland earn their best results of the season. The 26-year-old Ragan will return to the No. 34 entry, and the 36-year-old Gilliland will be in the No. 38.
Wise, 29, will return to the No. 26 Ford for all 36 Cup races with sponsorship from MDS Transport after completing the 2012 season in a part-time capacity with Front Row.
Team owner Bob Jenkins sees how the stability of key partnerships helps the team improve each year.
"You often see a lot of young teams going through a lot of changes trying to make it in the Sprint Cup Series," Jenkins said. "We've been fortunate that we've had a lot of stable partners, people who believe in our approach and are seeing year-to-year improvements as a result of that approach.
"David Gilliland has been a rock for us for three years, and David Ragan brought race-winning experience to us last year and returns for 2013. That stability is huge for a young, developing team, and I know we'll continue to improve and have even better results this upcoming season."
Jay Guy will return as crew chief for Ragan's No. 34 team, and Derrick Finley will continue to lead Gilliland's No. 38 crew. The drivers recognize and appreciate the importance of continuity from year to year within the organization.
"There's always a learning curve whenever something new is thrown into the mix, whether it's a new driver, new crew chief, new car or new team members," Ragan said. "We have a new Ford Fusion for 2013, which I'm really excited about, so it will be really important and really helpful that all the other variables aren't changing. My crew chief, Jay Guy, and I built a great working relationship last year and that will help us be better this coming year."
"I'm excited to start my fourth year with Front Row Motorsports," Gilliland said. "We've gotten better each and every season, and I'm eager to get the season going with Derrick again. Bob Jenkins has put a lot into this team since he started with a part-time team back in '05. He's growing it the way he should, and the results are showing."
Front Row Motorsports will be on track for the first time in the new Ford Fusions Jan. 10-12, when the team participates in Pre-Season Thunder, the annual three-day test session at Daytona International Speedway to prepare for the season-opening Daytona 500 in February.
The team is finalizing sponsorship agreements for the 2013 season with announcements expected soon.