STATESVILLE, N.C. (January 17, 2013) – Front Row Motorsports’ opening-day line-up is complete with the hiring of Frank Kerr as crew chief of David Gilliland’s No. 38 Ford and Steven Lane as crew chief of Josh Wise’s No. 26 Ford. The two NASCAR veterans joined the Statesville, N.C.-based Sprint Cup Series team this week.
Kerr was most recently at JTG Daugherty Racing, where he served as crew chief for Bobby Labonte in 2011 and Marcos Ambrose in 2009 and 2010. The former sprint-car champion has been a staple of the Sprint Cup garage since 2000 and has worked with drivers including David Reutimann, Robby Gordon and Stacy Compton. He’ll be rejoined with Gilliland, who worked briefly with Kerr in a Nationwide Series ride in 2005 and now enters his fourth year with Front Row.
“I’m looking forward to working with this young team,” Kerr said. “As an organization they’ve only been on track for a few short years, but there’s a lot of experience in the shop, in the leadership and behind the wheel. I’m looking forward to helping them continue to grow.”
Lane is a 12-year veteran atop the pit box, leading teams for organizations including Petty Enterprises and Chip Ganassi Racing in his Sprint Cup career and working with drivers such as Kyle Petty, Dario Franchitti and David Stremme. Joining the No. 26 team marks a return to Front Row Motorsports for Lane, who led the team’s first full-time Sprint Cup campaign in 2009 with John Andretti behind the wheel of the team’s flagship No. 34 car. He also served as crew chief for Travis Kvapil, who drove the No. 34 Ford in 2010. Lane will be paired with Wise in an expanded, full-time schedule for the young driver of the No. 26 Ford.
“This will definitely feel like a homecoming of sorts, back with Front Row and back with Ford,” Lane said. “It was a great experience to help get Front Row’s first full-time Cup team off the ground back in 2009, and this will be a similar experience working with Josh as he expands his role with the team.”
Jay Guy returns as crew chief for David Ragan’s No. 34 team to round out Front Row’s crew-chief line-up entering the 2013 season. The new hirings allow Derrick Finley to return full-time to his role of competition director for the young team. Finley had also been serving as Gilliland’s crew chief since October.
“It’s great to have three veteran guys leading our race teams and have Derrick back exclusively in his competition director role as we start the season with the new Ford Fusions,” said team owner Bob Jenkins. “Just like every other team, we’re going to have a lot of benchmarking, analysis and building to do this season and it’ll help us to have a solid, experienced group leading that effort with each guy having a focused role.”
The team will continue its pre-season testing of the new Fusions Jan. 17 and 18 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in preparation for the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 21.