Sports

Noah Gragson lands seat in NASCAR Cup Series with Front Row Motorsports

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — (AP) — Noah Gragson became the third of four Stewart-Haas Racing drivers to secure a seat for 2025 when Front Row Motorsports said Wednesday it had signed him to a multi-year deal.

SHR is shuttering three of its four Cup teams next year and Gene Haas will run one car without Tony Stewart as his partner. Chase Briscoe has already been hired by Joe Gibbs Racing and Josh Berry has been hired by Wood Brothers Racing.

Ryan Preece remains the only SHR driver still seeking a job for next season.

Gragson, a Las Vegas native, will be driving for his sixth team in four seasons. He drove for three different teams in 2022, and 21 races last year for Legacy Motor Club before he was suspended by NASCAR for liking an insensitive George Floyd meme on Instagram.

He spent the second half of 2023 working on self improvement and was hired by SHR in what should have been a dream landing. Instead, the team said last month it was closing most of the operation.

Gragson, who is 25, had 13 wins and finished second in the Xfinity Series championship race in 2022. He has 59 starts in the Cup Series since 2022 with seven top-10 finishes and two top-fives.

The signing of Gragson by Front Row keeps the driver in a Ford for a second consecutive year.

“We feel that this is a great opportunity and the perfect time to bring Noah to our organization,” Front Row owner Bob Jenkins said. “He has just the right amount of experience in the NASCAR Cup Series to breakout and become a winner for years to come. This season, Noah has started to get the finishes, and race consistently up front, which was expected from him.

“Joining our team, staying with Ford Performance, and welcoming him to our partners, we are only going to accelerate his opportunity to win races and compete in the playoffs. This is the driver that we want to help get us more wins.”

Gragson said he was thrilled to land a job so quickly after SHR's decision to close and believes Front Row has a bright future. Todd Gilliland has already signed a contract extension with the team, but former Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell is leaving at the end of the season.

The team recently acquired a third charter — presumably purchased from SHR — and has one more driver to hire. Gragson's car number, sponsor and crew chief were not revealed.

“I think a lot of people have seen the growth of Front Row Motorsports over the past several seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series,” Gragson said. “This team, with Ford Performance, has shown it is capable of winning and wants to win more. There is a determination and plan to continue to grow and compete against the absolute best. There is a strong commitment on their part, and I am ready to give it my best next season."

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AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing

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