NASCAR: Daytona 500 winner switching teams in 2025

Michael McDowell is officially set to join Spire Motorsports after announcing his departure from Front Row Motorsports following the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports, NASCAR
Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports, NASCAR / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Hours after announcing that he would be leaving Front Row Motorsports after the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, his seventh season with the team, Michael McDowell has officially found a new home.

Just as he was rumored to after the announcement of his impending departure, the 2021 Daytona 500 winner has signed a multi-year contract to drive the No. 71 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports beginning next year. Zane Smith currently drives the No. 71 Chevrolet, though he is on loan from Trackhouse Racing Team.

Spire Motorsports purchased a third charter for roughly $40 million from Live Fast Motorsports after the 2023 season.

In a perfect world, the Justin Marks and Pitbull-owned Trackhouse team will be able to acquire a third charter of their own after the 2024 season to be able to add a third car for Smith alongside current drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez. Smith is a former Front Row Motorsports driver, winning the 2022 Truck Series championship for the organization.

Michael McDowell switches teams for 2025

As for McDowell, the move confirms that he has no plans to retire from Cup Series competition anytime soon, and he is arguably performing at the highest level of his career.

From 2008 to 2017, he competed in the Cup Series each year, but he only did so as a full-time driver once. Since joining Bob Jenkins' team in 2018, the former "start and park" driver has not missed a race.

McDowell most notably won the 2021 Daytona 500, which also secured his first career playoff berth, and he added another dominant win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course last year.

While the results haven't been there in 2024, the first 12 races of the season have seen the 39-year-old Phoenix, Arizona native take the first two pole positions of his career at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.

Spire Motorsports' other two drivers are Corey LaJoie, who is in his fourth season with the team and driving the No. 7 Chevrolet on a multi-year contract extension he signed last summer, and rookie Carson Hocevar, who has been particularly impressive behind the wheel of the No. 77 Chevrolet to start his Cup Series career.

NASCAR legend confirms new landing spot for 2025 and beyond. NASCAR legend confirms new landing spot for 2025 and beyond. dark. Next

Front Row Motorsports have not confirmed who will replace McDowell behind the wheel of the No. 34 Ford next year. Their other full-time driver is currently Todd Gilliland, who drives the No. 38 Ford.