The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season was a very good year for the Front Row Motorsports team. Both of the organization’s charter teams entered into every race and even earned some top-10 finishes along the way. Veteran driver Michael McDowell and the No. 34 team certainly started out the year on a high note with what one might say was the biggest result ever for Front Row Motorsports.
The following article continues a FlurrySports series that looks back on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season from the perspective of drivers and race teams. Read on for season reviews of the two Front Row Motorsports drivers, Michael McDowell and Anthony Alfredo.
NASCAR Cup Series 2021 Season Reviews | Front Row Motorsports
Micheal McDowell — No. 34
Veteran Michael McDowell returned for his fourth season at Front Row Motorsports. For the second year in a row, he was paired with a rookie driver in the other FRM Cup Series car. While McDowell has largely struggled to throw down consistent results himself in NASCAR, he was able to change his luck in 2021.
Michael McDowell Scores First Career Win with Improbable Daytona 500 Victory
Late in the season-opening Daytona 500, Michael found himself in the lead pack. Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano took each other out battling for the win and McDowell was the lead car when the caution came out to end the race. In thrilling and improbable fashion, McDowell won his first race in his 358th career start in the NASCAR Cup Series. An ecstatic McDowell climbed out of the No. 34 car and celebrated the fact that his first career win came in none other than the Great American Race. The win automatically clinched him a spot in the NASCAR Playoffs as long as he could maintain a top-30 spot in the points standings.
Strong Start Continues for Front Row Motorsports
Michael McDowell continued his strong start to the season by finishing eighth at the Daytona Road Course and sixth at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Many felt that the three consecutive top-10s to begin the year was not sustainable and that would prove to be the case. McDowell would finish between 12th and 31st in each of the next six races. At Talladega Superspeedway, he was again a factor running the tapered spacer package and got back in the top-5 by finishing third. That result proved to be his last top-5 of the year.McDowell’s final top-10 showing came at Circuit of the Americas where he finished seventh.
Michael McDowell Qualifies for NASCAR Playoffs but Fails to Advance
Despite a late-season swoon, the No. 34 team was able to stay above 30th in the points and qualify for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. McDowell did not last long in the battle for the championship though as he fell so far behind that NBC took him off the points battle list during the Bristol cut-off race. He had some rough finishes to end the season and wound up 16th in the final point standings.
McDowell had one win, two top-5s and five top-10s on the 2021 season overall. He had an average finish of 20.5 in his playoff season. He will be back in the No. 34 car for Front Row Motorsports next season to try and get back to victory lane.
Anothny Alfredo — No. 38
Anthony Alfredo came into the 2021 season as a NASCAR Cup Series rookie with no prior full-season experience in any NASCAR national series circuit. The 22-year-old’s inexperience showed early on in the season.
Over the first quarter of the season, Anthony Alfredo averaged only a 29th-place finish. A 12th-place showing at Talladega Superspeedway was his best through the first half of the year and certainly did not change his luck going forward. While he followed up the Talladega result by at least finishing better than 29th in the next five races, it remained a struggle.
Anthony Alfredo Finally Scores First Top-10 at Talladega
After a 17th-place run at Nashville, Alfredo consistently finished outside of the top-20. He would earn his best finish of the year in the second visit to Talladega. That 10th-place result marked his only top-10 of the season and was followed by a horrendous stretch of three DNF results in the final five races of the year.
Front Row Motorsports Decides to Move on from Alfredo in 2022
Anthony Alfredo’s 27.5 average finish and nine total DNFs this season were enough for Front Row Motorsports to decide not to bring him back in 2022. Alfredo is currently looking for a ride and it almost certainly will not be in the NASCAR Cup Series.