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USA Today via Reuters

USA Today via Reuters

NASCAR has the top crème de la crème racers on its team, but not even they can reverse the gear of aging. Michael McDowell is well approaching his 40s and hence it is not surprising that he would like to venture out and capitalize on his remaining years at the Cup series.

In his recent talk with the media, he pressed on the fact that his motive to move was not just about the money. However, with his departure, the question of what this means for Front Row Motorsports and who are the possible racers who can fill his place looms large.

The motivation behind Michael McDowell leaving Front Row Motorsports

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Michael McDowell is all set to leave his longtime team Front Row Motorsports this season. He has signed a multi-year deal to pilot the No. 71 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports starting in 2025.

However, his move has raised eyebrows! He has been with Front Row Motorsports for seven years, hence most believe his motive towards the shift is laterally backed by money. But according to McDowell, it is far from the truth. He claims that “security” is the driving force behind this recent job change.

He clarified, “I’ve got a wife and five kids and a lot of people that count on me. And so, yes, it would be – I’d lie to you if I told you that it wasn’t about having security. There is an element of security for sure. But at the same time, nobody’s secure in this sport. It’s always based on performance. I’ve kept my job based on performance, and I’ll be able to keep my new job based on performance as well. But it’s not a lateral move for me.”

 

Michael McDowell didn’t have a blossoming start to his career and throughout his journey, he faced many pitfalls. But he did power through and got to Front Row Motorsports. Hence, this move must have come after a lot of thought, undoubtedly. Despite being at a later stage in his career, he believes he is prepared to take a leap forward, win more races, and contend for championships. He feels that joining Spire is his best chance at getting there. “With Spire’s vision, ambition, knowledge, and dedication, we will achieve great things. Failure is not an option, and that’s the mindset that it will take to achieve our goals”, he shared.

Over seven years, he became a pivotal figure in the Front Row team. He still holds the title of Front Row’s all-time leader in wins, starts, and top-five finishes. But while he has moved, the question remains–what about Front Row Motorsports, and who will replace Michael McDowell?

What’s next for the Front Row Team?

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McDowell was an asset for the Front Row team. He got the team into the limelight, delivering two wins and a pair of playoff berths. He was there with them for seven years and his contributions cannot be overlooked. Losing him must be a major blow to the team! However, they wish him no ill.

The team owner Bob Jenkins went above and beyond to express his gratitude to McDowell. He said, “We thank Michael for all he has done during his time as a driver at Front Row Motorsports. His 2021 Daytona 500 victory, a dominant win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and two appearances in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs set a new standard for our organization. He became the leader of his team and the organization. Outside the car, he was the model for a driver we want to represent us and our partners.”

USA Today via Reuters

While things sadly change, there are already talks about who possibly can replace him. As per rumors, Ryan Preece, Riley Herbst, or Harrison Burton have chances to replace the 2021 Daytona 500 winner in Front Row’s flagship car.

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What do you think? Who will end up replacing him at Front Row and do you think this late-career move to a new team is the right decision? Let us know in the comments.