Front Row obtains third charter, plans 2018 expansion – Nascar
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The Bob Jenkins-owned organization indicated that it has acquired the charter last used by BK Racing‘s No. 83 entry in the series in 2016. Front Row said it intends to lease the charter to TriStar Motorsports’ No. 72 team this year in advance of fielding three full-time entries the following season.
Front Row Motorsports currently has two chartered teams: The No. 34 Ford for driver Landon Cassill and the No. 38 Ford driven by David Ragan. The organization — based in Statesville, North Carolina — has fielded at least one full-time entry in NASCAR’s top division since 2009.
“I’m proud of the way this team has grown since we first joined the sport, and we’re here to stay,” Jenkins said in a news release provided by the team. “Now we’re taking the next step that will strengthen our foundation as a team and help us build more meaningful, lasting relationships on all levels — driver, sponsor and manufacturer.”
Front Row has campaigned as a three-car team as recently as 2015. Last season, it completed primarily as a two-car effort, with David Gilliland in a third car at restrictor-plate tracks.
The move reduces BK Racing‘s number of chartered teams to one — the No. 23 Toyota which will be driven by Joey Gase in the Daytona 500 with rookie Gray Gaulding driving nearly the entire schedule. BK Racing owner Ron Devine indicated that its Nos. 83 and 93 will compete in multiple races as open teams.
“I believe operating with one charter will allow this team to focus our resources in a way that will make us more competitive on the race track,” Devine said in a statement released by the team. “I have the utmost confidence that we will give both Joey Gase in the No. 23 and Corey LaJoie in the No. 83 the equipment they need to give us a strong run in Daytona, and I’m eager to see Gray Gaulding do great in the No. 23 starting in Atlanta.
“As previously announced, Corey LaJoie will run multiple races in the No. 83 this season. Like last year, you will likely see the No. 93 on track from time to time as well. We have excellent, young talent this year, and I plan for this to be BK Racing‘s most competitive year ever.”
TriStar announced its return to NASCAR’s premier series Thursday, planning a full-time ride for driver Cole Whitt.
NASCAR introduced the charter system ahead of the 2016 season in an effort to provide a better business model for team owners. Of the 40 starting spots available in each Monster Energy Cup Series race, 36 are guaranteed to chartered teams.