Team Preview: Front Row Motorsports
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on February 1, 2016 | 10:45 A.M. EST
CSX is one of the returning sponsors at Front Row and will be on Buescher's No. 34 for eight races in 2016. (Photo: Getty Images)
After fielding three full-time cars last year, Front Row will now field the No. 34 and 38 Fords for Chris Buescher and Landon Cassill, respectively.
As part of the alliance, Buescher will drive for FRM after winning the 2015 XFINITY Series championship with Roush Fenway.
"The alliance with Roush Fenway Racing is going to be a big help for both parties," Buescher said. "The amount of engineering data we'll be able to share back and forth, and the number of teammates we'll have is strengthening our teams."
In the off-season, Roush Fenway made some key hires in the aerodynamics, simulation, and research and development departments.
"They brought a lot of new people in and changed the way our operation runs," Buescher said. "The whole assembly process has changed. Ford Performance is as committed as ever to make sure we have everything to turn our program around. It will quickly trickle down to Front Row Motorsports and we're going to have a great year."
Buescher will have veteran crew chief Bob Osborne calling the shots for his No. 34 team. Osborne was Trevor Bayne's crew chief in 2015 at RFR and is an 18-time Cup race winner when he was paired with Carl Edwards.
Love’s Travel Stops and CSX will be back at Front Row to sponsor Buescher. Love's will be on the No. 34 for 18 races, including the season-opening Daytona 500.
Last year, Buescher competed in six Cup races in the No. 34, scoring a best finish of 20th at Auto Club Speedway. He will join a stout 2016 rookie class and looks to become the second consecutive FRM driver to be named Rookie of the Year. Brett Moffitt won the award in 2015.
"There's a steep learning curve ahead of me," Buescher said. "The fact that we go into this season having that understanding, and knowing that we have some work to do, is going to make us better. Rookie of the Year is a big deal. We want to go after that and at the same time, we'd like to get a spot in the Chase."
Buescher is looking forward to working with Cassill, who joins the team after running the No. 40 Chevrolet full-time in the Cup Series with Hillman Racing. (Read more on Cassill)
"Landon is going to be a great complement to Front Row Motorsports," Buescher said. "I've not worked with him in the past, but I have raced with him a lot. He's a great competitor. He's fast and has a lot of car control."
Daytona International Speedway will be the perfect place for Buescher and Cassill's first race as teammates. After all, eight of Front Row's nine career top 10s have come on restrictor-plate tracks including a win at Talladega Superspeedway with David Ragan.
"Front Row Motorsports has been a great restrictor-plate team in the past," Buescher said. "There's potential here and there'll be a lot to learn from Landon. I don’t consider myself a plate specialist at all so I have plenty to learn."
Cassill drove in 65 races last season in the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series combined.
"Right now, I don't have any XFINITY races," Cassill said. "I'll try to pick one up if I can. I get to have my Saturday afternoons off and can focus on some training, keep myself in shape and study race notes for Sunday."
Motor Racing Network – "The Voice of NASCAR" – will have live coverage of the 58th Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 21, starting at 12 p.m. (ET) – with live streaming at MRN.com and on the MRN App.
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