STATESVILLE, N.C. — Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins has worked out a deal that will get all three of his cars into the top 35 in owner’s points, which would guarantee them starting spots in the season-opening Daytona 500 Feb. 14.
Jenkins has formed an alliance with Doug Yates and Yates Racing. With the addition of Yates, the team will now officially be titled Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing. Doug Yates will be the listed owner of the No. 37 and No. 38 Ford Fusions, with Bob Jenkins remaining the listed owner of the No. 34 Ford Fusion. The team will remain headquartered in Statesville, N.C.
The deal with Yates also includes the transfer of owner points from the Nos. 98 and 96 — driven last year by Paul Menard and Bobby Labonte under the Yates Racing banner — to the Nos. 37 and 38, locking them into the first five events of the 2010 season.
John Andretti will drive the No. 34 in the Budweiser Shootout and Daytona 500 before handing the ride to Travis Kvapil for the rest of the year. Kvapil will drive the No. 37 at Daytona before turning that entry over to Kevin Conway for the rest of the season. Robert Richardson, Jr. will drive the No. 38 at Daytona and two of the other three restrictor-plate races. David Gilliland will drive the No. 38 the rest of the season.
“There has been a lot of movement this past off-season inside the sport,” said Yates. “The opportunity came up with Bob (Jenkins) and to continue in the ownership role. I didn’t have to think long about making this decision. Bob is really putting together a strong team this season and has done so over the past few seasons. He’s been smart and making all the right moves as an owner. He’s capitalized on the changes in the sports landscape and has built a solid team with great factory support and drivers. That’s what excited me about making this move.”
“I had already learned a lot about Bob and the Front Row team over the past two months with their involvement with Ford Racing and leasing engines from Roush/Yates Engines,” continued Yates. “They are a fast-improving team and this move allows me to carry on the Yates Racing legacy created by my father over 20 years ago.”
Yates Racing has more than 50 wins, 200 top-fives and 400 top-10 finishes in NASCAR’s highest level — including a championship in 1999. Gilliland and Kvapil raced under the Yates Racing banner in 2008 and 2009.
“There has been so much that has happened for us in the past two months,” said Jenkins. “But, having Doug come on board is a big piece of our puzzle coming together heading into this season. He brings such a family tradition of winning and a lot of confidence to everyone here. His relationships with Ford Racing, Roush/Yates Engines, David and Travis immediately make us a stronger team.”