Report of Cole Whitt in for David Ragan at Front Row Motorsports ‘not true’

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Oooops.

Anthony Marlowe, co-owner of BK Racing, on Tuesday night tweeted congratulations to his driver, Cole Whitt, for reportedly joining Front Row Motorsports as driver of the No. 34 Ford in 2015.

That tweet came as quite a surprise because we — and probably most people in NASCAR — had not heard about David Ragan leaving the No. 34, which he’s driven the last three Sprint Cup seasons.

But Wednesday morning, Front Row officials said it was “not true” that it had signed Whitt to replace Ragan, or even for just joining the organization period, according to a story on NASCAR.com.

Marlowe, meanwhile, has not issued any further statements or tweets clarifying or correcting the original tweet from last night.

The 23-year-old Whitt had a trying rookie Sprint Cup season in 2014. He, along with Parker Kligerman, began the year with Swan Racing, which folded less than 10 races into the 36-race schedule.

Marlowe and Whitt then joined BK Racing as co-owner and driver, respectively, and Whitt went on to finish the season 31st. Kligerman, meanwhile, raced sparingly but served as a regular analyst on NBCSN’s NASCAR America.

Ragan was fully expected to return for a fourth season with Front Row Motorsports, and unless something comes out to the contrary in the coming days, will once again drive the No. 34 in 2015 for FRM owner Bob Jenkins.

Ragan is the only driver to have won a Sprint Cup race for FRM, winning at Talladega in May 2013, with teammate David Gilliland finishing a close second.

Ragan had a difficult season in 2014, finishing tied (with Michael Annett) for 32nd in the standings, just one point behind Whitt’s finish. Ragan earned just one top-10 finish (fall, Martinsville).

Gilliland finished 30th in the standings but did not have any top-10 finishes.

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Karam, Daly get IndyCar rides with Carlin for Iowa

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NEWTON, Iowa – Sage Karam returns for the second-straight race and Conor Daly is back for another race with Carlin Racing at this weekend’s Iowa 300 NTT IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway.

For Karam, it’s his third start of the 2019 season and his second straight with Carlin. In his five starts at Iowa Speedway dating back to 2010, Karam has never finished outside of the top three, recording four wins (USF2000 – 2010, Indy Pro 2000 – 2011 and 2012, Indy Lights – 2013) and scoring his first NTT IndyCar Series podium in 2015 with a third-place finish.

“I’m really excited to be back again this weekend with Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for the Iowa 300. Iowa Speedway has always been a good track for me in the past, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to work there,” Karam said. “Coming off of a very productive weekend in Toronto, I’m looking forward to applying everything I’ve learned and continuing to work with the team to get the best results possible. A huge thank you to everyone at Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for a great opportunity to race at one of my favorite tracks.”

Daly is back in a second Carlin entry. Earlier this year, the popular driver finished 11th for Carlin in the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8. At Iowa, he will drive the team’s No. 23 Gallagher Chevrolet.

Daly finished 10th in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge for Andretti Autosport.

Daly raced at Iowa in 2016 for Dale Coyne Racing (finishing 21st) and in 2017 for A.J. Foyt Racing (finishing 19th).

The combination gives Carlin two more drivers to gather additional feedback on the car. Max Chilton remains the team’s primary driver but announced recently that he will forego all oval races to concentrate on street and road courses.

That created opportunities for Karam and Daly.

“We were very impressed with Sage’s steady progression throughout the Toronto race weekend and his willingness to learn and adapt,” said Carlin Team Principal Trevor Carlin. “The fact that he hadn’t been on a street course since 2015 and was still able to come right out of the gate confident and constantly improving every session was extremely impressive.

“The SmartStop Self Storage Chevrolet looked great out on track and their group has been a pleasure to work with, so we couldn’t be more pleased to have them back this weekend in Iowa. Sage has done really well in Iowa in the past, so hopefully we can use his experience and our past success at Iowa Speedway to come away with a good result for the team and our partners at SmartStop Self Storage.”

The Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway will take place on Saturday, July 20th at 7:15 pm ET and will be televised on NBCSN.