Sunday, August 9, 2015

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!

Cheez-It 355 at The Glen Race In Review

Joey Logano won today's Cheez-It 355 At The Glen. Kyle Busch finished 2nd followed by Kevin Harvick who was leading coming to the 3rd to final turn when he ran out of fuel. Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch Rounded out the Top 5. Not as eventful race from past years with only 1 red flag after a crash on the front stretch After Jamie McMurray lost an engine and caused a chain reaction wreck. Tony Stewart lost gears and placed him out of the race.

NASCAR Source Driver Of The Race

Michael McDowell and the Leavine Family Racing finished 20th in the race today, McD started 31st and built his way to a great day and LFR's first Top-20 Finish of 2015! We are excited to announce that Michael McDowell will be The Inaugural NASCAR Source - Driver Of The Week. Michael uses what he has to drive that car into the top 20 like he did today!

NASCAR Source Winning Move Of The Race

Joey Logano wins this Inaugural Award. Joey had enough fuel and used that to his advantage. Unlike Joey Kevin Harvick didnt have enough fuel determinately Joey used it to his advantage. He used the mental game on his competitors and made them run themselves out of fuel. This ultimately won  the race for Joey and his #22 Shell Pennzoil team.

NASCAR Source Finishing Order

1 22 Joey Logano 
2 18 Kyle Busch
3 4 Kevin Harvick
4 20 Matt Kenseth
5 41 Kurt Busch
6 15 Clint Bowyer
7 2 Brad Keselowski
8 19 Carl Edwards
9 9 Sam Hornish Jr
10 48 Jimmie Johnson
11 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr
12 42 Kyle Larson
13 27 Paul Menard
14 16 Greg Biffle
15 31 Ryan Newman
16 43 Aric Almirola
17 10 Danica Patrick
18 13 Casey Mears
19 51 Justin Allgaier
20 95 Michael McDowell
21 35 Cole Whitt
22 6 Trevor Bayne
23 55 David Ragan
24 47 AJ Allmendinger
25 78 Martin Truex Jr
26 83 Matt DiBenedetto
27 11 Denny Hamlin
28 33 Alex Kennedy
29 7 Alex Bowman
30 23 J.J. Yeley
31 46 Michael Annett
32 32 Boris Said
33 38 David Gilliland
34 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr
35 40 Landon Cassill
36 3 Austin Dillon
37 34 Chris Buescher
38 98 Timmy Hill
39 26 Jeb Burton
40 1 Jamie McMurray
41 24 Jeff Gordon
42 5 Kasey Kahne
43 14 Tony Stewart

Next Race's

NASCAR returns to the Irish Hills!

NASCAR Will Return To Michigan. Kurt Busch is the defending winner at this track this year. Jeff Gordon won this race last season. Gordon is still winless, can he get his first win of 2015 in his final race at Michigan.

Leavine Family Racing wants to Race Full Time

"Michael McDowell is in his second year driving the #95 Ford for Leavine Family Racing, and it's surely been a difficult road. The team is running a limited schedule of 20 races with an eye on racing full-time in the future. "If you look at NASCAR, the top 25 cars are probably the top five or six teams," team owner Bob Leavine said. "It's tough to break into that. It was important to us to run quality races because we could have taken that money and scattered it out and ran a full year, but that wouldn't have gotten us to where we want to get." The family paid for the first four years of racing in an attempt to show a prospective partner that it was growing and trying to get better. Leavine said he didn't want to ask somebody for money to start the team. "That isn't us," Leavine said. "We want to raise the bar and say, 'If you help us, we can run better and be better.' We know we can." Leavine said his team's partnership with Penske Racing, which began two years ago, has been a lifesaver and is still developing. The team has bought its shop in North Carolina and is in the process of upgrading the facility. That means Leavine and his wife also will be moving from Texas into a rented townhouse in Concord. "I want to be close to the race team for the rest of this year to meet with our partners and try to achieve our goal," Leavine said. "I feel good about where we can go, and I'm excited about the fact that we can get there with help. We can't do it on our own."
"We're building and I think our biggest struggle and biggest fight we're up against is just being part-time," said McDowell, whose signature NASCAR moment was a violent crash during Cup qualifying at Texas in April 2008. "We'll go two weeks and have three weeks off. The development is happening so fast. For us, the next step and the big goal for our team is to not just run better, but to run every weekend." (Associated Press)
Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing had a very good speedweeks. They were 1st in the practice before Qualifying and made the Daytona 500 after a phenomenal Duel Performance

Leavine Family Racing has missed  Talladega, Kentucky, and Daytona in July.

Leavines' Shop Caught Fire In May but the team has rebounded from that day/