Front Row plans to run two teams

Updated: January 6, 2010, 3:03 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Front Row Motorsport has joined Ford Racing and will run two full-time Sprint Cup teams next season with Travis Kvapil and Kevin Conway.

Kvapil will drive the No. 34 car sponsored by Long John Silver's. Conway, a rookie, will drive the No. 37 car that ran part-time last season with sponsorship to be named later.

Front Row Motorsports, which ran Chevrolet engines in the 34 last season and engines from multiple manufacturers in the 37, will use Roush/Yates Ford engines. Kvapil, who used Roush equipment in 2008 when he finished 23rd in points at Yates Racing, said the engines and manufacturer support should help take the upstart organization to a new level.

"When you put a Roush engine in a car you don't even worry about it," Kvapil said. "You know the durability is there. You know the performance is there. Rarely are there any issues.

"That's going to be a big step forward from what they had in the past. Coupled with manufacturer support, a little wind tunnel time and seven-post shaker time, those are things this team never had an opportunity to work with in the past," Kvapil said.

Kvapil, the 2003 Camping World Truck Series champion, spent most of last season looking for a ride after losing his job at Yates Racing due to a lack of sponsorship.

"In a time when it's very difficult to find sponsorship and the rides seem to be dwindling, I'm very excited for the opportunity," he said. "With Ford and Roush engines they are putting a lot of pieces of the puzzle together to build a better race team."

Conway, 30, will make his Cup debut in the Daytona 500. He made 12 starts in the Nationwide Series last season with a best finish of 15th at Kentucky.

"This is a great opportunity to compete at the highest level of NASCAR," Conway said. "The goal is to gain experience as quickly as possible and compete for solid finishes as the season goes along."

The No. 37 basically was a start-and-park team last season with Tony Raines as the primary driver. Kvapil believes two full-time teams with everything else now in place makes it possible for both drivers to compete for solid finishes.

"This was an underfunded team with zero manufacturer support," he said. "They truly were an independent last year. This is a big step forward."

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter