McDowell ready for 2018 with Front Row

Nigel Kinrade/NKPPhoto

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

It’s a new home for Michael McDowell in 2018 as he joins Front Row Motorsports with backing from K-Love and Love’s Travel Stops.

McDowell will join David Ragan in the No. 34 Ford Fusion at FRM. McDowell is excited for the 2018 season and the future of the organization.

“To be here another year and to run full-time is not something that I take for granted because it’s something you have to fight for every year, so I’m thankful for the opportunity that Bob Jenkins and Front Row Motorsports has given to me and I’m excited about the potential of the race team. There are a lot of great things happening at Front Row right now, so I feel like my timing is good and timing is super-important in this sport as you know, so everything is lining up really well.”

McDowell believes that the level of performance at FRM will increase their performance over the season. The organization has an increased alliance with Roush and Ford has increased their technical support.

In September, McDowell was released from his driving role at Leavine Family Racing. The process of finding a new home to drive for in 2017 came with some doubt for McDowell. The process of finding a ride was an experience that made McDowell reevaluate some things.

“It wasn’t quick at all and, yes, there was absolute doubt.  It was a process for me to really, it was a good process to evaluate what I wanted to do for myself and for my family.  I’ve been in this sport 10 years, but, really, last year was the first time I ran full-time, and I haven’t made it,” said McDowell.

“I haven’t arrived even though I’ve been here 10 years, so I’m not in a position where I can evaluate like, ‘Do I want to race?  Do I not want to race?’  I had to figure out how I was gonna make a living for my family and I was hoping that would be in racing, but wasn’t sure of it.  But it was a fun time to evaluate what I wanted to do and what I was passionate about and this is what I’ m passionate about, so I’m thankful for the opportunity to be able to live that out.”

When Landon Cassill was released from the team in October, the discussion between FRM and McDowell began. McDowell found out the same way that everyone else did that Cassill was released and pinpoints that moment of when the talks began with FRM.

“I didn’t have any real conversations with this team until after they let Landon know that he wasn’t coming back.  I sort of found out about it the same way everybody else did and that’s when we started having conversations, but we didn’t get anything done until when you saw the announcement.”

This is the first time McDowell has had the opportunity to work with a teammate. McDowell believes the last time that he had a teammate was during his tenure at Michael Waltrip Racing. McDowell is ready to work with Ragan and tap into his experience.

“It’s gonna be a huge advantage for me.  I’ve kind of been on an island by myself for these last four or five years that we’ve had data.  You can look at it, but who are you comparing to?  So to be able to have somebody with the experience that David (Ragan) has and the caliber of a driver that he is, and the fact that he’s worked with a lot of great teams recently – when he filled in for Kyle and filled in for Brian Vickers – he was with organizations that were at the top of their game at the time, so he knows what that takes and what that looks like, so I think that’s a lot of value that he brings and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

With the new team, brings a new hope and McDowell is ready to tackle the season with FRM.

One Comment

  1. Mike Ray

    January 24, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Great article, Good Luck to all in 2018…

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