Peterson joins Front Row as McDowell’s crew chief

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Front Row Motorsports has hired Travis Peterson to be Michael McDowell’s crew chief next season while a decision is still to be made on who will lead the No. 38 team.

Peterson joins the organization and McDowell’s No. 34 team after serving as a race engineer at RFK Racing for the last five seasons. Prior to that, Peterson spent time in the same role at Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports.

“I think there are a lot of people in the NASCAR garage who are noticing what Front Row Motorsports has accomplished with the new car and their truck program,” said Peterson. “This is an opportunity to come into a winning and championship organization and help take that next step of getting more wins in the Cup Series and be in the Playoffs. I’m ready to get to work. I’ve always had the goal of becoming a crew chief and now I’m ready to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Peterson fills the void left by Blake Harris, who was hired by Hendrick Motorsports as the crew chief for Alex Bowman.

McDowell goes into the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season off a career year when he earned 12 top-10 finishes and two top-five finishes on his way to finishing 23rd in the standings.

McDowell led the NASCAR Cup Series with total laps completed in 2022 at 9,380. Newly-crowned champion Joey Logano was second to McDowell with 9,293 laps completed.

Front Row also announced that Ryan Bergenty, who served as the No. 34 team’s car chief, has been promoted to performance director. Bergenty will oversee all body and chassis assembly while working with the crew chiefs on the car builds for each race weekend.

There will also be a new crew chief on the No. 38 team, which is expected to remain working with Todd Gilliland. However, that will be announced at a later date. Seth Barbour has been named the technical director at Front Row Motorsports and will oversee all track engineering and car preparation.

“The past two seasons Front Row Motorsports has seen success and we’re taking the next steps forward,” said Jerry Freeze, General Manager, Front Row Motorsports. “We know that Travis is a person that can immediately come in, take the baton, and continue to move the No. 34 team to the front. We also made several changes internally to help with car preparation and engineering for all our race cars and trucks.

“Our final piece is finding a new leader for the No. 38 team. We’re confident that with these changes that we’ll be even better next season.”

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