Sprint Cup team preview: Front Row Motorsports
January 27, 2014, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
Without third car, more resources could mean more potential for Ragan, Gilliland
The win confirmed that an organization bent on making gains at its own pace, with the right tools and talent, could find success in the series when given the opportunity.
Front Row will field two teams in 2014, putting a third team on the shelf for now, but hoping to continue moving forward.
2014 Driver Lineup
David Ragan, No. 34 Ford; David Gilliland, No. 39 Ford
Ragan's Talladega victory was just the second of his career in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but proved that the Georgia native has a knack for the series' restrictor-plate races. His breakthrough win also came on a plate track, besting Matt Kenseth in the July 2011 Daytona race.
However, he posted only one other top-10 in '13 -- also at Talladega -- and for the second consecutive year finished 28th in points. With crew chief Jay Guy back calling the shots, the team will look to step up its results in 2014.
Gilliland, plucked from the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2006 after scoring his first win, posted two top-10 results in 2013, including his runner-up finish to teammate Ragan at Talladega. For '14, he will be paired with veteran crew chief Frank Kerr.
With the organization scaling back to two teams -- driver Josh Wise has moved on to Phil Parsons Racing -- resources won't be spread as thin, but the information gains from a third team will be gone.
Overall, the group needs to continue to remain competitive on the plate tracks, but make gains on the intermediate tracks -- where the bulk of the schedule resides -- as well.
Both drivers finished outside the top 25 in points last season, leaving plenty of room for improvement heading in to 2014.