Michael McDowell Captures Career-Best Finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway

October 10,2016
Michael McDowell Captures Career-Best Finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway

CONCORD, N.C. (October 10, 2016) – NASCAR driver Michael McDowell and Circle Sport - Leavine Family Racing (CSLFR) captured a 14th place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway after Hurricane Matthew postponed the Bank of America 500 to Sunday.

McDowell and CSLFR had a strong car all weekend, finishing in the Top-20 on the leaderboard in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) practice and making it through to the second round of qualifying.

After starting the race in 22nd position, McDowell battled a tight-handling No. 95 Thrivent Financial Chevrolet SS and worked his way up as far as nineteenth before being forced to make a green flag pit stop for tires and fuel. Just as McDowell made it on to pit road, the caution flag came out putting him a lap down. The team knew they would be able to make up positions, as McDowell was running similar times to the race leaders'.

This 14th place finish marked the team's ninth Top-20 of the season, as well as the team's best finish at a mile and a half track during the 2016 NSCS season.

"It was a good day, and we had great speed," said McDowell. "We got caught up during that first caution on pit road – it was just bad timing. We got trapped a lap down, but we were able to fight back and get the 'Lucky Dog.' I felt like we had a Top-20 car all day, and that's pretty good for us at CSLFR! This was a big jump for us from where we were a few weeks ago."

Crew chief Todd Parrott was thrilled to capture a solid finish and knew the No. 95 Chevrolet would be fast from the moment the team arrived at their home track, only a short distance from the CSLFR race shop.

"We were strong today," said Parrott. "I knew that the first day we unloaded the car. From the first time Michael went off into Turn 3 and the car did what it did, I knew we were going to have a good car. We just needed all the chips to fall in the right way. Fortunately, we got a few breaks today and missed a wreck. The guys on pit road did an excellent job, and all of our engineers did their part as well. Everyone has to pull their weight and pay attention to all the details, and that's exactly what we did."

Team owner Bob Leavine is proud of his team, and recognizes how their hard work has paid off and allowed them to make great strides this season.

"I am really proud of our team and the steps we've taken," said Leavine. "We've had to make some difficult changes, but I'm proud that we are able to give our sponsors a better finishing car. This is probably our best mile and a half finish ever in six years, and this is probably the toughest mile and a half track for us, so I am really elated and proud of these guys. They worked hard to do this. We had a vision and we got there."

Next up for McDowell and CSLFR is the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway that will take place on Sunday, October 16 where the No. 95 Chevrolet will sport a special Habitat Builds paint scheme.


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