HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 23: Michael McDowell, driver of the #34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 23, 2022 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Front Row Motorsports)
Front Row Motorsports (FRM) will have new crew chiefs for both the No. 34 and No. 38 teams for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. The announcement is part of several changes within the organization.
Veteran lead race engineer Travis Peterson will assume the new crew chief duties for the No. 34 after spending the last five seasons at Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing (RFK) working with drivers Chris Buescher, Ryan Newman, and Matt Kenseth. Prior to his time at RFK, Peterson served as a race engineer at Hendrick Motorsports for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and JR Motorsports.
FRM is also in the process of making leadership changes with its No. 38 Cup Series team. Former No. 38 crew chief, Seth Barbour, has been named FRM’s Technical Director and will oversee all track engineering and car preparation processes for both FRM Cup Series entries. A new crew chief for the No. 38 team will be announced later.
In other team leadership news, former No. 34 car chief, Ryan Bergenty, has been promoted to Performance Director. In his role, Bergenty will oversee all body and chassis assembly for all FRM entries. On top of Bergenty’s duties on the body and chassis side, he will work with the team crew chiefs to optimize each week’s build while staying within the competitive guidelines each race.
Raised in Kannapolis, NC, Peterson was born to be a crew chief. Moving with his family di lui to North Carolina from Wisconsin as a child so his father di lui could work at Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), Peterson spent his high school years at the race shop learning his craft. He later graduated from UNC Charlotte with a degree in Mechanical Engineering while doing his internship at JGR.
Peterson, 31, quickly rose to the ranks of a race engineer at JR Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports for Dale Earnhardt Jr. before becoming the lead race engineer for the No. 17 team at RFK. Peterson was called upon to be the crew chief for the No. 17 team earlier this year and has earned two top-10 finishes as a crew chief in the Cup Series in only five races. Additionally, Peterson has wins and a championship in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and several wins in the NASCAR Cup Series as a race engineer.
He now takes the reigns of the No. 34 Ford Mustang team that is coming off a season with 12 top-10 and two top-five finishes. Peterson will bring additional ideas and experiences with hopes of propelling the No. 34 back into the Playoffs.
“The past two seasons Front Row Motorsports has seen success and we’re taking the next steps forward,” said Jerry Freeze, General Manager, Front Row Motorsports. “We know that Travis is a person that can immediately come in, take the baton, and continue to move the No. 34 team to the front. We also made several changes internally to help with car preparation and engineering for all our race cars and trucks. Our final piece is finding a new leader for the No. 38 team. We’re confident that with these changes that we’ll be even better next season.”
In a new role, Peterson is ready for his next challenge.
“I think there are a lot of people in the NASCAR garage who are noticing what Front Row Motorsports has accomplished with the new car and their truck program,” said Peterson. “This is an opportunity to come into a winning and championship organization and help take that next step of getting more wins in the Cup Series and be in the Playoffs. I’m ready to get to work. I’ve always had the goal of becoming a crew chief and now I’m ready to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Peterson and all other new roles begin immediately.
— Front Row Motorsports —