Front Row Motorsports announced its driver and crew chief lineup for the 2021 NASCAR season Wednesday, adding rookie hopeful Anthony Alfredo to its Cup Series roster with returning veteran Michael McDowell this year.
The Bob Jenkins-owned organization will again field two full-time teams in the Cup Series, adding a third car for David Ragan for the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 14. FRM also indicated that Todd Gilliland would return to its No. 38 Ford entry in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Alfredo joins Front Row after running a majority of the Xfinity Series season last year for Richard Childress Racing. The 21-year-old Connecticut native, who was a member of the 2018 NASCAR Next class, will be a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate competing in his first full NASCAR national series campaign, with his Cup Series debut set for next month’s Daytona 500.
Alfredo — nicknamed “Fast Pasta” — takes over the No. 38 Ford from John Hunter Nemechek, who departed for a seat with Kyle Busch Motorsports after his rookie season last year. Alfredo will be partnered with Seth Barbour, who first joined FRM’s Cup Series crew chief rotation in 2017.
“This is really an unbelievable moment,” Alfredo said in a release provided by the team. “When you start out racing karts as a kid, you dream of making it to the sport’s top level. I want to thank Bob Jenkins and everyone at Front Row Motorsports for making this dream a reality. I know the challenges ahead, but I’m here to work hard and prove myself.”
McDowell will be back for his fourth consecutive season in Front Row’s No. 34 Ford, paired for a third straight year with crew chief Drew Blickensderfer. The 36-year-old driver finished a career-best 23rd in the final Cup Series standings last year, bolstered by four top-10 results.
“Michael has really solidified his place as our veteran leader,” Jenkins said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that has helped us continue to grow our program.”
Ragan, 35, retired from full-time NASCAR competition after the 2019 campaign, but this year will mark his second straight one-off entry in the Daytona 500. Last season’s effort in The Great American Race yielded a fourth-place finish.
Ragan will again be paired with crew chief Derrick Finley in FRM’s No. 36 Ford. He has two NASCAR Cup Series victories, the most recent of which was Front Row’s first, scored in 2013 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Front Row Motorsports indicated that sponsorship would be announced at later dates.