Race Weekend Central

Matt Tifft Joins Front Row Motorsports for 2019; Michael McDowell, David Ragan Returning

For the first time since 2015, Front Row Motorsports will field a full-time three-car field for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.

Matt Tifft will pilot the third entry for 2019, the No. 36, while both David Ragan and Michael McDowell will return.

“Today is a huge moment in my career, announcing my move to the Cup Series,” Tifft said in a team release. “This has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, and I can’t believe it’s finally coming true.

“I’m so thankful to Front Row Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to drive the No. 36 next season. I’m looking forward to guidance from veterans Michael McDowell and David Ragan and am ready to take on the challenge of driving with 39 of the best drivers in the world.”

FRM first ran three entries in the 2010 season with David Gilliland, Travis Kvapil and Kevin Conway. From 2010 to 2013, the organization attempted running three cars but wasn’t always successful, as the sport was in a stage where more than 43 cars were qualifying for those 43 spots. FRM hasn’t run three full-time cars in the series since the 2015 season.

The organization fielded the No. 35 in select restrictor plate races in 2016 with Gilliland behind the wheel; the car successfully qualified in two of the four restrictor plate races.

“Not only are we here to stay, we’re here to grow,” team owner Jenkins said. “We already have two proven veterans in our lineup, and now we’ll get to add an impressive young talent and championship contender who will inject some new energy into the group. With the introduction of the Ford Mustang into the Cup Series, 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting season for us.”

Tifft has 77 starts under his belt in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, with a best finish of second at Road America earlier this year after earning his second career pole. He earned his best career points finish this year driving for Richard Childress Racing, finishing sixth.

He also has 25 starts in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, 26 combined starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and 25 starts in the ARCA Racing Series.

McDowell and Ragan will return to the Nos. 34 and 38 they ran in 2018.

Tifft will compete against former teammate Daniel Hemric and Ryan Preece for the 2019 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the series.

A replacement for Tifft at RCR in the XFINITY Series has not been announced.

About the author

His favorite tracks on the circuit include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, and Bristol Motor Speedway.

During the season, Christian also spends time as a photographer with multiple other outlets shooting Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Minor League & Major League Baseball, and NCAA Football.

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