July 24, 2024

He’s the real!

FRONT ROW: HE’S THE REAL DEAL! front row officially announced who is the original boss after seeing his last wonders….

Noah Gragson topped the leaderboard at Front Row Motorsports. The organization only required that name to sign Gragson to a multiyear contract, which was revealed on Wednesday. The details of Gragson’s team program will be revealed in the upcoming weeks. The team is not yet finalizing its driver lineup, thus elements like vehicle numbers are not known. However, in the interim, the organization acquired Gragson, a 25-year-old driver, as its desired candidate.

In elucidating their decision, Front Row General Manager Jerry Freeze stated, “I think for the whole package.” “I believe you saw what he was capable of on the track once he got in the 10 car this year.” He doesn’t seem to take criticism on the racetrack and has the potential to finish in the top 10. I kind of enjoy that Kyle Busch gets furious at him one week and this guy gets mad at him the next. He is not seeking companionship. “His success in the Truck Series was evident. His success in the Xfinity Series was evident. He had an extremely difficult year last year, but he has since bounced back and is now in a good operation.

Freeze did his due diligence before Gragson was signed. One of the individuals Freeze spoke to was Drew Blickensderfer, who previously worked at Front Row Motorsports. Blickensderfer is Gragson’s current crew chief at Stewart-Haas Racing, working with a young driver after spending multiple years overseeing teams for veterans Michael McDowell and Aric Almirola.

One of the questions Freeze asked Blickensderfer, “’Well, how is it going with this crazy kid?’

He was so glowing in his praise for Noah with what he’s done in the offseason building those relationships with them — the road crew, pit crew, marketing and all of that. Everything I heard talking to friends of mine about Noah with Stewart-Haas was positive and he was the fastest guy in their stable arguably the first seven or eight races. So, when we knew Michael was moving on and the opportunity to get the charter and man, we’re going to have to find two drivers here, it was like, who is available? I just thought he could be the whole package of a young guy with some experience, a lot of talent, a lot of success in the lower series, who is looking to make his mark, and marketable.”

Freeze was surprised to see how popular Gragson is with race fans. Gragson appeared in the top-10 trackside sales reports multiple times last season, which Freeze saw because they are sent to teams.

“So, I just think it’s the whole package he brings to the table,” Freeze said.
“Some guys are really good drivers and might be a challenge marketability-wise but I think he checked all the boxes for what you look for.”

Gragson, Todd Gilliland and a third driver to be announced will have Front Row Motorsports fielding three full-time entries next season for the first time since 2019. The organization announced May 29 that it had purchased a third charter.

The expansion wasn’t necessarily surprising to Freeze, who said it happened quickly. In fact, he vividly remembers the day at Bristol when teams began hearing there would be a chance to make offers on charters. Bob Jenkins, the owner of Front Row Motorsports, was so excited that it made Freeze shake a bit.

“We had three charters for one year when we bought BK Racing out of bankruptcy, and it was a huge challenge for us,” Freeze said. “We weren’t ready at that point to run three cars and we quickly sold off that charter and focused on two cars. But I know in the years since Bob has regretted we sold that charter. Bob is a self-made guy… and to him, incremental growth is the key to success.

“He always regretted that we sold that charter and so I think he wished we would have stayed the course with three teams. So, when he found out, hey, there’s an opportunity to get in on possibly acquiring another charter, even though the price had jumped quite a bit from the last time, he believes in this sport in the long term enough that he wanted to make that investment. It was kind of on from Bristol.”

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