Front Row Motorsports plan to move forward with both of their current NASCAR Cup Series drivers, Michael McDowell and Todd Gilliland, in the 2024 season.
Front Row Motorsports have formally confirmed their driver lineup for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, announcing that they have picked up options in the contracts of both of their current drivers.
The decision means that Michael McDowell is set to return for a seventh season behind the wheel of the No. 34 Ford, and it means that Todd Gilliland is set to return for a third season behind the wheel of the No. 38 Ford.
While McDowell and Gilliland comprise the team’s current driver lineup, this announcement implies that Gilliland is set to compete full-time next year. He hasn’t missed a race in 2023, but his 36-race schedule includes only 31 races with Front Row Motorsports.
Earlier in the season, Zane Smith, who won the Truck Series championship in his first season with Front Row Motorsports last year, was announced as the driver of the No. 38 Ford for six races.
For one of those six races, the team added a third entry for Gilliland, which is what they did for Smith in the Daytona 500. Gilliland has competed for Rick Ware Racing during races in which Smith has driven the No. 38 Ford.
However, it is worth noting that Bob Jenkins’ team will not be expanding to three cars for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.
As a result, Smith is free to pursue other opportunities. Additionally, this confirmation takes McDowell off of the table as a potential replacement for Aric Almirola at Stewart-Haas Racing behind the wheel of the No. 10 Ford.
McDowell had been said to be the favorite to replace Almirola if Almirola had opted to retire at the end of the 2023 season. Almirola has not yet announced his decision. Could Smith now be in the running for that seat if Almirola decides to hang up his fire suit?
Through the first 23 races of the 2023 regular season, McDowell sits in 17th place in the point standings with five top 10 finishes and a best finish of fourth at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He remains in contention to qualify for the playoffs on points. Gilliland sits in 27th with three top 10 finishes with a best finish of eighth in the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway.