New crew chief named for Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell

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Front Row Motorsports announced Thursday that Blake Harris has joined the organization as the new crew chief for Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell and the No. 34 team.

Harris replaces Drew Blickensderfer, who left FRM in December and has since joined Stewart-Haas Racing as the new crew chief for Aric Almirola.

Harris joins FRM from Joe Gibbs Racing, where he was the car chief for Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 19 team. He also contributed to Truex’s 2017 NASCAR Cup Series championship with the former Furniture Row Racing.

This will be Harris’ first run as a full-time Cup crew chief. He was Truex’s interim crew chief at Texas Motor Speedway in October 2020, after regular crew chief James Small was ejected from the track as part of pre-race penalties against the No. 19 team. Truex finished second in the race.

“Blake has proven to be championship leader who is ready to take McDowell and our No. 34 team to the next level,” FRM general manager Jerry Freeze said in a statement.

“He’s young but has a wealth of knowledge and experience with one of the best teams in the NASCAR Cup Series. He played a key role in wins and a championship. Blake is the type of person we want to help us continue to contend.”

According to the organization, Harris’ new duties begin immediately. He will accompany the No. 34 team for upcoming tests at Daytona International Speedway and Phoenix Raceway.