Landon Cassill won’t return to Front Row Motorsports, becomes free agent

At just 28 years old, Landon Cassill has already made 253 starts in the NASCAR Cup Series. If it’s possible for a Millennial to be considered a veteran driver, that’s Cassill.

But the journey will have to continue elsewhere next season. Cassill said he was informed Monday he will not return to Front Row Motorsports in 2018, and he will now begin the process of finding a new ride.

A driver with a cult following on Twitter, Cassill has been behind two popular social media campaigns during his time at Front Row. Last year, he got fans to tweet “38, nice” in honor of his car number at the time; this season, he’s been retweeting fans who take a photo at sponsor Love’s Travel Stops and say they can’t find the driver there.

Cassill said via phone call on Tuesday he was not told why he was out of a ride, other than the team was making “radical changes” for next season. In a statement to this website, the team said it was appreciative for his time there but offered no further details.

“We’re thankful for the last two years having Landon as a teammate and an ambassador for our sponsors, and we’ll keep working hard with him and the No. 34 team for the best possible results the remainder of the 2017 season,” a spokesperson said.

Cassill acknowledged he was surprised by the decision, but said “there’s no message of despair.” After getting over the initial shock, he said, there’s been a feeling of anticipation to see what else is out there.

“I’m kind of excited to see what doors open up for me,” he said. “I have a unique resume in this sport right now. I think my youth is what kind of helps stay plugged in on a social side and off-track side, and then I just have a tremendous amount of experience in the Cup Series — maybe not having the limelight of a top-notch team, but I’d like to work myself into one of those scenarios where I can showcase what I’ve learned.”

This position isn’t new for Cassill, who has driven for seven race teams in the Cup Series as well as four different teams in the Xfinity Series while making 118 starts there.

The Iowa native was originally a Hendrick Motorsports development driver but ultimately had to come up through the Cup ranks in an old-school way: Starting with start-and-park teams, then slowly climbing the ladder in the small team ranks.

His latest stop was Front Row, where he’s averaged a 26th-place finish over two seasons for a team that counts a top-25 result as a good day and a top-20 as a great one.

Along the way, he built a following of underdog-loving fans who appreciate Cassill’s savvy when it comes to the Internet culture.

“One of my big motivations right now is to succeed for all these people who are so emotionally invested in following me and see where I go and what I do,” he said. “I don’t want to let my fans down. And I say that genuinely and feel that, because I know there are fans who have stuck with me for a long time. I feel a sense of responsibility for them as much as I do my own family that I have to provide for.”

Cassill said he would be open to talking to anyone across NASCAR’s three national series (“I don’t turn down any phone calls when I’m in these situations,” he said) but would prefer to land somewhere that has a “road map for me to continue to grow my success.”

“I’ve had a lot of things in my career where my hard work has paid off and put me in positions to keep myself in the business, and I don’t really plan on stopping that at all,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in myself in how I do things to go about being a professional race car driver that I don’t think will change. I think for me this is just another chapter in my career and my life.

“It’s tough, because sometimes these changes are the best things for opening doors, but they’re the hardest thing in the moment. That’s probably what my family and I are going to be dealing with right now.”


25 Replies to “Landon Cassill won’t return to Front Row Motorsports, becomes free agent”

  1. I hear SHR still hasn’t nailed down who’s in the 10 next year… I know it’s not going to happen, but it’s not like Almirola is that much better of a driver.

      1. I wish you the best and. i know you will get a ride. Your to good of a driver with experience not to have one.

    1. Tony Stewart confirmed they signed a driver last night in an iracing race. Couldn’t name driver

    1. One would think if Armodillo was going with Smithfield maybe a sniff of it would have come out by now. 77 shuting down per owner unless a sponsor comes about. Not sure why no word on Monster if they are going to come back with the 41. If so Kurt would stay I guess. And seems he would be a little more miffed and vocal if he wasn’t coming back. My guy is Kurt so I’m hoping he stays. Can’t see Kenseth going to a lesser ride,yet Kayne did but I’m thinking Hendrick will help them next year more. I bet Danika is done. If Ty didn’t go to RCR I doubt anyone will go to 27 unless a sponsor comes and then a quality driver(like Cassil) might go there? Lol that would be cool. We shall see…….

      1. LFR is a RCR affiliate, Hendrick technical support isn’t part of Kahne’s deal with LFR

  2. I remember back in 2000 setting with him at kartweek in Daytona Fla and him tell me one day I be in NASCAR and he made his dream come true
    It would be nice to see him with a team like SHR

  3. SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCK! Dammit! He’s such a nice kid. I truly hope something great comes his way and it does soon. Don’t want him to worry and fret for too long. Thanks for sharing this with us Jeff. And Landon – you have tons of folks that believe in you – so nevah give up

  4. Landon is from my home state, so I always pulled for him, but in the past couple of years I think he has really separated himself from the crowd in terms of personality and definitely on social media. That’s worth a lot in these times. His driving abilities are decent, if not hampered by the mediocre equipment he’s been handed. I think he has a lot of upside.

    Dale Jr. made a nice example of him and a couple of other drivers on the DJD today. Talked about how he and a few others are admirable because what they do is”harder” than it is for drivers up front.

    Hopefully he gets a ride.

  5. Here’s hoping he lands in the #27….with a solid full season sponsor(s). A talented, still young driver and great communication on social media and with fans. He’s fun to follow on Twitter…..wish more drivers would participate in twitter like him. Hey if not Cup… bout a top ride in Xfinity.

  6. What a great guy meeting him in homestead fl back in 2015 was great his such a nice guy I told him all 4 of us were from Ireland ???????? and he was so excited that we were there to see the race I hope he get a good ride as he deserves it

  7. Saw this kid all but win the snowball derby. Has the talent . Just has never had the ride. Don’t be too proud to get in one of those xfinity cars or drive for a top notch truck team. If you were with JR motorsports or another class act team you could win the cup.

  8. I hate to hear this for Landon, but he has proven himself enough to find a new ride. He has been in this situation before and new opportunities have come along. Any car owner would be wise to hire a driver that can get more out of a car than it has, doesn’t tear up equipment and is media and sponsor friendly. Landon fits all the above mentioned attributes. Good luck Landon!

  9. One of the things that makes me the maddest, is the fact the wait until the end of the season. Not that there would have been any better opportunity in the beginning of the season it’s just the principle of the matter.

  10. I deeply feel for you, Landon. Great driver, great person. Far the most charismatic person at Nascar. I hope you get a good ride in 2018. Best wishes from Brasil.

  11. From all of your fans and fellow racers back home at the downs we wish you well and k ow you will succeed and continue to make us proud we will be cheering for you Landon you are in our prayers

  12. Hard to imagine Front Row picking up a better driver than Landon, given their situation. Hard to imagine Love’s finding a better representative either. I’ll be waiting to see which team is wise enough to pick you up, Landon !

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