Gragson joins FRM for ’25

CONCORD, N.C. — Noah Gragson will join Front Row Motorsports on a multiyear deal beginning in the 2025 NASCAR Cup Series season, the team announced Wednesday at the NASCAR Productions Facility.

Gragson, 25, stays in the Ford Performance Organization after his current team at Stewart-Haas Racing announced it will shut its doors at the end of the 2024 campaign. Front Row Motorsports will announce a crew chief, the car number and partners for Gragson at a later date.

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“It’s definitely exciting times,” Gragson said during Wednesday‘s press conference. “When we started out this year, I didn’t know how I was going to run. I didn’t know if I had the potential to run in the Cup Series just based off how the 2023 season went, and to be able to get my feet underneath me with the opportunity at Stewart-Haas, it definitely opened people’s eyes. And with the challenges that have come about with Stewart-Haas, we were looking for a home for a long time, and that’s when I got introduced to [co-owners] Bob (Jenkins) and Jerry (Freeze).

“Being able to sit down with them and talk and see what their goals were, what their vision was, and the thing that stuck out in my mind most importantly is what Jerry said when we met was Bob’s goal is to grow each and every year, and through the experiences that I’ve had in the last several years it‘s been fun to challenge myself.”

FRM announced on May 29 it would expand to a three-car operation from its current two-car state. Michael McDowell, the current driver of the No. 34 Ford, revealed on May 8 he would depart the organization to join Spire Motorsports next season on a multiyear deal. The No. 38 car will continue to be piloted by Todd Gilliland, who announced on June 5 he will return to FRM on a multiyear contract beginning in 2025.

Next season will reunite Gragson and Gilliland, who were paired at the now-defunct Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series from 2017-2018.

“Todd and I have been racing each other for the past, probably, 10 years,” Gragson said. “We had some fierce battles on the race track, became teammates over at Kyle Busch Motorsports and it’s going to be nice to be able to rekindle that relationship on the race track as teammates now. It’s been a few years in between, but I think from all our learnings from the past organizations that we both had been at we can definitely work together and help each other to become better.”

In his second scheduled full-time season in the Cup Series, Gragson has accumulated one top-five finish, six top 10s and an 18.3 average finish through 20 races in the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. The Las Vegas native‘s rookie campaign came in 2023 with Legacy Motor Club, competing in 21 races in the No. 42 Chevrolet before an indefinite suspension sidelined him for the remaining 15 races of the year. Gragson also participated in 18 races in 2022, racing part-time for Kaulig Racing and in a relief role for Hendrick Motorsports.

For the first time in a handful of years for Gragson, Front Row offers him a key piece to success in NASCAR — stability.

Without the feeling of needing to audition for future roles, Gragson feels he‘s ready for the chance to go from the highly touted prospect to an organizational frontman

“I think just from a young age, I was taught loyalty and loyalty in people,” Gragson said. “Bob and Jerry have given me an opportunity so I do feel like there’s opportunity to grow as a leader, as a driver on and off the race track and having that stability. I’ve jumped around from JR Motorsports in 2022, to Legacy last year, and at Stewart-Haas this year, Front Row next year that’s four teams in four years.

“To be able to come into the race shop after a year under my belt and already know the employees‘ names January 1 and build relationships, that’s important to me.”

As Front Row leans younger in its roster for the coming years, it offers a chance for the organization to have long-term success.

Despite making the playoffs, reaching Victory Lane multiple times and having consistent speed the last few years, FRM feels poised to be a true contender for 36 races annually bringing on Gragson.

“When we told the team this morning, there’s a lot of enthusiasm about it for sure,” Freeze said. “I think Noah, he’s a likable guy for sure and brings a big personality to the team and the energy and I think people are just excited to know that. Filling the void of Michael McDowell leaving is hard without a doubt and so Noah coming in, somebody that people are excited about, kind of a very different personality than where Michael is in his life, I think is definitely just brought a real spirit to the shop and I think people are just excited to get to know Noah and get to work”

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Gragson is the third SHR driver assured to remain in the NASCAR Cup Series despite the company‘s closure. Joe Gibbs Racing announced on June 25 that Chase Briscoe will pilot its No. 19 Toyota next season in place of the retiring Martin Truex Jr. And on July 3, Wood Brothers Racing announced Josh Berry will replace Harrison Burton in the No. 21 Ford next season.

Front Row Motorsports will announce the driver of their third car for 2025 at a later date, and while it is unknown who the third man will be, Jenkins hinted at another ‘young, experienced‘ driver to complement Gilliland and Gragson.

“Without knowing exactly who’s going be driving our third car, it’s hard for me to say everything,” Jenkins said. “But I think this is what you can expect. I think you’re going to have three young but experienced drivers that they’re youthful, that they’ve gotten that first couple of years out of the way and I think people will look at Front Row Motorsports and say ‘this is a team that could be together for a long time.‘

“The thing I’m most excited about with Noah is that he’s not even really hit his ceiling. He’s still growing in the sport, getting better every week and I’m just excited to see where it goes.”

— Cameron Richardson contributed to this report.