Front Row Motorsports Parts Ways With Crew Chief for Michael McDowell

Published 12/19/2021, 4:14 AM EST
Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell (34) celebrates winning the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Recently, news broke out that Front Row Motorsports crew chief Drew Blickensderfer will be leaving the team. Blickensderfer’s departure ends a three-year stint as crew chief for Michael McDowell, who took his maiden win at the 2021 Daytona 500.

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Drew helped lead the No. 34 team to new heights since coming to Front Row Motorsports, highlighted by winning the Daytona 500,” FRM team owner Bob Jenkins said. “We are now in the process of securing the next leader in our organization to continue the solid foundation that has been built. That process has begun, and we will move quickly. We wish Drew the best in his next endeavors.

It is worth mentioning that McDowell’s triumph is FRM’s third career NASCAR Cup Series win. The first one came at the hands of David Ragan in 2013, while Chris Buescher took the second career win in 2016. In the process, that second win gifted Front Row Motorsports its first Playoff appearance.

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McDowell’s win meant a lot to Front Row Motorsports and Blickensderfer

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It is also worth mentioning that this is Blickensderfer’s second victory in the Daytona 500 as a crew chief. His first win came when he linked up with Matt Kenseth to win the 2009 Daytona 500 for Roush Fenway Racing.

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – NOVEMBER 17: Michael McDowell driver of the #34 Front Row Motorsports Ford drives during NASCAR Cup Series Next Gen testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on November 17, 2021 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Imagesfront

Sadly, McDowell’s moment of success didn’t last, as he was eliminated in the opening Playoff round. Despite that, the Front Row Motorsports driver enjoyed a great 2021 Cup Series season. In fact, he achieved a career-high of two top-five finishes, five top-10 finishes and a best finish of 16th in the championship points.

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As driver and crew chief, McDowell and Blickensderfer have recorded one win, four top-five finishes and 11 top-10 finishes in 108. Now, McDowell will get a new crew chief, while Blickensderfer goes job hunting with another team.

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Dhruv George

12561 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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