Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing - A Team Thriving to Be The Best!

Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing announced at the beginning of the 2014 season that Michael would be joining LFR. This was the beginning of a ride that is still in progress.Michael McDowell was coming off a start and park deal with Phil Parsons Racing that had it's successs' and had its negatives. McDowell pushed his way up to a 9th place finish in the Daytona 500 and also McDowell's last Talladega with Phil Parsons Racing where he finished 15th. Michael finished 43rd 8 times in 2013 before his departure from PPR which is now Premium Motorsports.


2014 would be Michael's I guess you could call redemption year. When Michael McDowell got into the 95 in the Budweiser Duels he was in a situation like he had been in the past where he had to race his way into the Daytona 500. Michael started 21st and ended 21st missing the Daytona 500. Many just viewed this as so called growing pains. Michael needed to get adjusted with his new ride, his new crew and really just get back to the basics. The team would roll onto Las Vegas. The 95 ran 147 laps before the engine expired, their first DNF of  the season. Relief wouldn't come until Talladega where the team qualified 14th, the teams best qualifying of 2014, but during the race was collected in the big one. Daytona came and something just felt special. A track where they missed the race earlier in 2014. Michael had the JPO Absorbents Ford Fusion behind every big one that happened. When the rains came down that declared Aric Almirola the winner Michael was listed in the 7th position. Both Michael's and Leavine Family Racing's best finish! Then Watkins Glen came. As Michael exited Turn 9 Ryan Newman got loose and hit the wall coming back onto the track hitting McDowell in the rear end of his car and sending him into a wall airborne. The cars impact literally broke the wall. Michael would walk away from yet another wreck. Bristol came along with something special. Thrivent Financial would jump on board as a primary sponsor. McD was very happy with the car and was one of the lucky gladiators who had a good night in the Last Great Coliseum! Michael rolled the #95 to an 18th place finish! The rest of the season saw OK finishes but nothing inside the Top 25. Until Talladega their best qualifying was 14th at Talladega. In October Michael qualified in the 6th place finish his best career start! At Homestead Michael ran that 95 car hard. and got a 21st place finish with new sponsor The Parts House.


Thrivent and K-Love would return to the 95 in 2015. LFR would run a min of 20 races in 2015. Daytona came and the 95 camp looked to not be slowing down from their momentum from 2014. Michael paced the practice before Daytona 500 Qualifying getting the #1 position. During the duels the team went from 20th to 12th in one lap to land a ride in the 57th Annual Daytona 500. Michael would run up front all the way until the end when an unexpected pit stop filed the 95 to the 31st place. Atlanta was cold and the team finished 27th, The team would go to Las Vegas and rebound from last seasons engine failure to finish 30th.They'd skip the rest of the West Coast Swing and head to LFR's home turf Texas Motor Speedway. They would finish in the 31st place finish. Then the team headed back to Thunder Valley once again. Qualifying was great with a 19th place finish! The team fell to 22nd but that wasnt the bad part. An electrical fire before the start of the race made the team start from the back but McDowell used the rain to his advantage. Kansas had WRL Contractors on the car for the first time in 2015. Spongebob Square Pants also joined on. The team fell from 31st to 36th. The Team so far in 2015 has had 3 DNQ's. One from lack of speed and the other 2 were because of Rain and his lack of attempts. McDowell finished 20th today in Watkins Glen. The team will skip Michigan and return to a track that they have had success in the past called Thunder Valley!