Front Row Denies Driver Change

David Ragan

Front Row Motorsports states it anticipates David Ragan returning to the No. 34 car despite a tweet from a rival co-owner saying another driver will be in the car. (Photo: Getty Images)

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A BK Racing co-owner told Motor Racing Network on Wednesday he’s “98.5 percent certain” Cole Whitt will leave the team for Front Row Motorsports.

Anthony Marlowe tweeted congratulations to Whitt late Tuesday night for landing the No. 34 ride at Front Row Motorsports but conceded to MRN on Wednesday that he might have been wrong on the car number, saying it could be the No. 35 car - a car that ran only four races for Front Row this past season.

“I can only believe what I believe and what our team believes and ... what we’ve heard,’’ Marlowe said of his notion that Whitt will join Front Row Motorsports for the 2015 season. “It’s been word around the garage for the last 45 days.’’

Shari Spiewak, a spokesperson for Front Row Motorsports, told MRN that there are “no expected changes with the 34 car” for next season.

David Ragan drove the No. 34 car this past season, finishing 32nd in points. It marked his third year with Front Row Motorsports. Spiewak said the team anticipates Ragan returning.

“The team is working on getting its 2015 plans finalized and, hopefully, should be able to have everything buttoned up in a few weeks,’’ Spiewak told MRN.

Marlowe isn’t surprised by Front Row Motorsports’ reaction.

“I don’t think Front Row has much of a choice but to say what they said pursuant to certain agreements,’’ Marlowe said. “Time will tell. Am I 100 percent certain? No. Am I 98.5 percent certain (Whitt is) going to FRM? Yes.

“On one hand, I’m happy for him. When people move on to bigger and better things, it’s like ‘wow, we just lost a talented person.’ I like when people go and succeed. If there is an opportunity there for him to move up the field or make more money or whatever it is ... I wish him the best. 

“Both BK Racing and I were very committed to Cole. We definitely hoped to keep him. Are we surprised? If you would have asked us two months ago? Yes. With the noise in the last 45 days, no we’re not. I wish he would have called me and told me himself instead of me hearing about it from other team owners or employees in the industry.’’

Whitt drove the No. 26 car for BK Racing last season after starting the year with Swan Racing. Marlowe tweeted in April it was his mission to ensure that Whitt drove in every Cup race this past season after Swan Racing announced a restructuring and quit fielding cars.

Marlowe was a co-owner with Swan Racing and merged the No. 26 team with BK Racing. Whitt finished 31st in points, running every race. His best finish was 15th at Talladega during the Chase.

Whitt’s car field 31st in car owner points for BK Racing. Front Row Motorsports’ No. 38 car of David Gilliland was 30th in car owner points, while the No. 34 car with Ragan finished 32nd in the car owner standings.

Marlowe says that BK Racing plans to again run three cars in 2015 and possibly a fourth car at times. 

Ian Moye, a spokesperson for BK Racing, said that the team has not announced any of its drivers for next season. Whitt, JJ Yeley and Alex Bowman finished the season with the team in 2014. 

 

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