Front Row Motorsports will field a third Cup car in 2019 driven by Matt Tifft, the team announced Tuesday.
Tifft, 22, makes the move to Cup after two full-time seasons in Xfinity, one with Joe Gibbs Racing and one with Richard Childress Racing.
Tifft has 77 Xfinity starts since 2015 with no wins, nine top fives and 38 top 10s. He finished seventh and sixth in the point standings.
Sponsors and crew chief pairings will be announced at a later date.
Tifft will drive the No. 36 Ford, a number which has special meaning to him.
“I drove earlier in my career under Ken Schrader (in ARCA), that was his number back in the day,” Tifft said in a live video announcement on NASCAR’s YouTube page. “Obviously it fits into the 30 series of numbers for Front Row Motorsports. For him being my early mentor, the coincidence of that being my number now is really cool.”
In August, a bankruptcy judge approved the sale of BK Racing’s assets, including its charter, to FRM. The No. 23 team completed the season under the BK Racing banner, as required by the charter.
Owned by Bob Jenkins, FRM debuted in Cup in 2005 when it made 13 starts with seven drivers. It didn’t compete in a majority of the races with one driver until 2009 with John Andretti (34 starts).
David Gilliland was the first driver to start all 36 races for the team in 2011. Gilliland and Ragan were full-time in 2012 and the team has had two full-time cars each year since, culminating in Ragan and McDowell as its drivers in 2018.
“We’ve made it clear in recent years that it was our intent to continue to invest in NASCAR and expand to a three-car team,” Jenkins said in a press release. “Not only are we here to stay, we’re here to grow.
“We already have two proven veterans in our line-up, and now we’ll get to add an impressive young talent and championship contender who will inject some new energy into the group. With the introduction of the Ford Mustang into the Cup Series, 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting season for us.”