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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No. 3 - Cole Custer

Like Ryan Preece, Cole Custer competes for Stewart-Haas Racing, but he does not compete for the team in the NASCAR Cup Series. In fact, it was Custer whom Preece replaced in 2023, with Custer being sent back down to the Xfinity Series. Front Row Motorsports may very well have to look outside the Cup Series to replace Michael McDowell.

Custer's return to the Xfinity Series as the driver of the No. 00 Ford has already resulted in three wins and his first series championship.

As the reigning series champion this year, Custer has scored six top five finishes and five additional top 10 finishes and currently leads the point standings. He is in prime position to win back-to-back Xfinity Series titles to give Stewart-Haas Racing a proper sendoff.

This newfound success after his disappointing run in the Cup Series makes him a top candidate to drive the No. 34 Ford. On the Door, Bumper, Clear podcast, it was referenced that Custer is currently the frontrunner to replace McDowell.

It is worth mentioning that Custer's primary sponsor has long been Haas Tooling, an in-house sponsor at Stewart-Haas Racing and business of team co-owner Gene Haas. The lack of a partner tied to Custer's name could be an obstacle here, but assuming Love's Travel Stop stays with Front Row Motorsports, that should not be a concern if they are indeed pursuing the 26-year-old.

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Custer is already Cup Series race winner, having won at Kentucky Speedway in 2020. Furthermore, he has youth on his side; McDowell was 33 years old when he signed with the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team. Given his upside, Custer moving to Front Row Motorsports could be a perfect fit.