NASCAR: 3 possible replacements for Michael McDowell in 2025

Michael McDowell is writing a new chapter in his NASCAR career by leaving Front Row Motorsports. Here are three possible replacements for him in 2025.
Michael McDowell, NASCAR
Michael McDowell, NASCAR / Logan Riely/GettyImages
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Michael McDowell has decided to shift gears in his NASCAR career going into the 2025 season. The 2021 Daytona 500 winner recently announced his plans to leave Front Row Motorsports, the organization for which he has driven since 2018.

The Phoenix, Arizona native is set to drive the No. 71 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports starting next year, replacing Zane Smith, a former Front Row Motorsports driver himself. The plan appears to be for Smith to move to Trackhouse Racing Team, as he is currently on loan from the team.

McDowell is set to team up with Carson Hocevar and Corey LaJoie as Spire Motorsports look to add on to their lone win, scored by Justin Haley at Daytona International Speedway in 2019.

With the 39-year-old veteran set to leave Front Row Motorsports, an opening behind the wheel of the No. 34 Ford will need to be filled. Here are three possible replacements for McDowell in 2025.

No. 1 - Ryan Preece

The behind-the-scenes operations of Stewart-Haas Racing were the subject of rumors for quite some time, and the team's drivers were further thrown into the mix of the rumor mill when it was confirmed that the team will indeed be shutting down at the end of the 2024 season.

One rumor suggested that Stewart-Haas Racing could potentially merge with Front Row Motorsports next season, but Front Row Motorsports general manager Jerry Freeze shut that down before the news of Stewart-Haas Racing's impending shutdown was made public.

Of the four Stewart-Haas Racing drivers, Ryan Preece makes the most sense to replace McDowell. He is by far the lowest of the team's drivers in the point standings, and after recording just two top 10 finishes last year, he may be running out of time to prove his worth.

With Front Row Motorsports looking for a replacement driver to fill the shoes of an established veteran in the Cup Series, Preece could be exactly what the Ford team need for the No. 34 car.