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.
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.
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."
--- JeffGluck.com ---
UPDATE: On Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, Front Row Motorsports general manager Jerry Freeze told a small group of reporters that this could be the first of several decisions to change the overall dynamic of the midtier program.
"As it concerns Landon, we're just trying to improve our program and thought we had some opportunities that would put us in a better place,"
Freeze said. "It was looking like there wasn't going to be an opportunity for Landon for next year, so we wanted to be fair to him and let him know that as soon as we could."
"There's a lot of cards still left to be dealt and try to figure out what's going to put us in the best place competitively as an organization. So I don't know. There may be more changes to come with some of the folks we got around our program and hopefully partners -- some coming on board, new ones, and stuff that we're talking about that I think is going to be really exciting."
There are several notable free agents available after this season, a list that already includes Matt Kenseth, Danica Patrick and possibly Kurt Busch.
Could they be targets of Front Row for next season?
"You never know," Freeze said with a laugh, before adding that he has received numerous calls since making the Cassill announcement last week.
It's worth noting that David Ragan hasn't been re-signed for 2018 either, although the team has yet to make a decision with that car as well.
"He's not signed for next year, so he could very well decide to do something if he wanted to go that direction," Freeze said. "We're talking to him and being really candid about our direction. We haven't made any firm decisions about re-signing him or letting him move on."
--- Autoweek ---