Noah Gragson is heading to Front Row in 2025. (HHP/Jacy Norgaard)

Gragson Finds ‘A Home’ With Front Row Motorsports

CONCORD, N.C. — Noah Gragson is only 25 years old, but when he starts his first season with Front Row Motorsports next February, it will be his fourth NASCAR organization in the past four years.

After four successful seasons in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with JR Motorsports, which included 13 victories, Gragson headed to the Cup Series with Legacy Motor Club in 2023. Off-track issues and poor performance led to Gragson departing the ride after 21 races.

During the offseason, he signed with Stewart-Haas Racing to drive the No. 10 Ford in the Cup Series, but after only a few months the team announced it would be closing at the end of this season.

As a result, Gragson was looking for a racing home. He thinks he found it on Wednesday when it was announced he has signed a multiyear contract with Front Row Motorsports, remaining in the Ford Performance family. Gragson will replace departing driver Michael McDowell and join Todd Gilliland, who recently signed a long-term contract with Front Row, and a third driver to be named on a three-car team.

“I have jumped around from JR Motorsports in 2022 to Legacy last year and Stewart-Haas this year. That’s four teams in four years,” Gragson said. “To be able to come into the race shop after a year under my belt and already know the employees’ names Jan. 1 and build relationships and have those built, that is important to me and I believe if you do that, you fire off way better than you did the first year. 

“Having the opportunity for a multiyear deal and make the place my home was important,” he added. “I could be at Front Row my whole career and it would be great to have that stability and support from a group.”

Gragson, who has six top-10 finishes with Stewart-Haas this season, acknowledged he’s been on a rocky path in recent months.

“There have been challenges and distractions to say the least. It has been a roller coaster, both of emotions and getting back on my feet this year at Stewart-Haas,” Gragson said. “Tony (Stewart) and Zippy (Greg Zipadelli) gave me a great opportunity this year to go out and prove myself on the race track. The news came out about Stewart-Haas shutting their doors at the end of the year and that brought a lot of distractions over the past two months. Now that things are starting to settle, it has been good.”

Once one of the lower-budget and lesser-performing teams in the Cup Series, Front Row Motorsports, which is owned by Bob Jenkins, has been gaining ground year by year and with the support of Ford and an alliance with Team Penske, its drivers have been turning heads on the track.

“They have gone from one of the back-marker groups, I think they know that, and fast-forward to present, and they have been able to compete for wins and win races,” Gragson said of his new team. “Michael McDowell is a great race car driver and he deserves a lot of credit for building that place up to what it is. Going in next year, I hope we can continue to grow at the same pace. 

“The goal is to reach victory lane, lead laps and winning races. I don’t know if that is obtainable next year or five years down the road but that is the vision and the goal that we all have over there. It’s a great opportunity, staying with Ford Performance, the simulator and their support at the race track, that is going to be good. There is a lot of potential with this group.”

FRM has not yet assigned a car number to Gragson or hired a crew chief. Gragson, who is playing a role in the hiring process, is hopeful that many of his current team members including crew chief Drew Blinkensderfer will join him at FRM.

“Definitely,” Gragson said. “You develop those relationships. We are spending all of this year developing those relationships. I went into this year not knowing any of the guys. We are developing those relationships this year and we could go into next year and fire off strong. I certainly hope that’s the case, that we are able to get those guys. Time will tell.”

In Gilliland, Gragson gets another type of reunion as the two were Truck Series teammates with Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2017 and 2018.

“Todd and I have been racing each other for the past 10 years, dating back to the K&N West Series,” Gragson said. “We had some fierce battles on the race track and we became teammates at Kyle Busch Motorsports. It is going to be nice to rekindle that relationship as teammates. It’s been a few years, but with all of our learnings from the organizations we both have been at, we can work together and help each other to get better.”