Leavine Family Racing

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Leavine Family Racing
Leavine Family Racing.jpg
Owner(s) Bob Leavine
Sharon Leavine
Base Tyler, Texas
Concord, North Carolina
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Car numbers 59, 95
Race drivers 95. Michael McDowell
Sponsors 95. TBA
Manufacturer Chevrolet
Opened 2011
Career
Debut Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series:
2011 Samsung Mobile 500 (Texas)
Nationwide Series:
2013 Dollar General 300 (Charlotte)
ARCA Racing Series:
2012 Mobile ARCA 200 (Mobile)
Latest race

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series:
2016 Ford EcoBoost 400 (Homestead)


Nationwide Series:
2013 Dollar General 300 (Charlotte)
ARCA Racing Series:
2012 Kansas Lottery 98.9 (Kansas)
Races competed Total: 120
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: 112
Nationwide Series: 1
ARCA Racing Series: 7
Drivers' Championships Total: 0
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: 0
Nationwide Series: 0
ARCA Racing Series: 0
Race victories Total: 0
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: 0
Nationwide Series: 0
ARCA Racing Series: 0
Pole positions Total: 0
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: 0
Nationwide Series: 0
ARCA Racing Series: 0

Leavine Family Racing (formerly Circle Sport – Leavine Family Racing and originally Leavine Fenton Racing) is an American professional stock car racing team that currently competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The team currently fields the No. 95 Chevrolet SS full-time for Michael McDowell. Owned by Sharon and Bob Leavine, the team is headquartered in Tyler, Texas, but operates its racing team from a shop in Concord, North Carolina. In 2016, longtime NASCAR team owner Joe Falk became part of the ownership group, merging his Circle Sport operation with LFR, however as the 2016 season comes to an end, Falk left the team securing his charter, and causing LFR to purchase a charter from Tommy Baldwin Racing.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series[edit]

Car No. 95 history[edit]

The team's 2011 car
The team's 2013 car at Martinsville

Founded as Leavine Fenton Racing by Bob Leavine and Lance Fenton in early 2011, the team planned to compete on a limited basis in the Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series, with David Starr competing in the former for six events and Fenton driving in the latter for three.[1] Based in Tyler, Texas but with its race shop in Concord, North Carolina,[2] the team made its debut in the Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway in April of that year;[3] Starr qualified for the race, his first in Sprint Cup competition, and finished 38th following an accident.[4]

Following competing in the Sprint Showdown and Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway,[5] the team announced that Fenton's share in the team had been acquired by Leavine and his wife, Sharon; the team was renamed as Leavine Family Racing. Fenton had not attempted any Truck Series events before leaving the team.[6] After failing to qualify at Kentucky Speedway, the team next raced at Bristol Motor Speedway in August, scoring its best finish and Starr's career best in the series, 27th; LFR and Starr would fail to qualify for events at Chicagoland Speedway, Kansas Speedway and in the fall at Texas Motor Speedway over the remainder of the year, only making one further race, at Atlanta Motor Speedway where they posted a 29th-place finish.[7]

Starr left Leavine Family Racing following the 2011 season; for 2012, Leavine hired Scott Speed to drive the team's No. 95 Fords in the Sprint Cup Series, with Wally Rogers as crew chief;[8] a 15-race schedule in NASCAR's premier series was planned for the season.[9] The team qualified for races with Speed at Richmond International Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway with Speed, starting and parking, before finishing 25th at Sonoma Raceway.[10] The team also posted a 14th-place finish in the Sprint Showdown, a non-points event.[8] At the 2012 Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen, Speed finished 17th.

In August 2012 LFR announced that it had re-signed Speed for the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season, intending to run 28 events on the 36 race schedule.[11] The team had its best finish at the 2013 Aaron's 499 with a ninth-place finish, however they started and parked most other events. Speed left the team after the Atlanta race, citing his frustration with the team's starting and parking and hinting that the plan had been to run more full races. He was replaced on an interim basis by Reed Sorenson.[12]

In October 2013, Leavine Family Racing announced that Michael McDowell would drive the team's No. 95 Ford Fusion Cup Series entry in 2014.[13] They ran 20 of the 36 races. On January 28, 2014, Leavine announced that KLOVE, Thrivent Financial, and several other sponsors would sponsor all 20 scheduled races in the 2014 Sprint Cup season. The sponsorship meant the team would be able to run full races, and enabled it to form an alliance with Team Penske.

At the 2014 Coke Zero 400, McDowell and Leavine Family Racing finished their career-best with a 7th-place finish in the rain-shortened event. The team's performance was much improved with the Penske alliance, and additional sponsorship allowed the team to run seven of the final eight events, and 22 in total. The team finished 43rd in owners points.

McDowell returned in 2015, as did K-LOVE and Thrivent. The team once again planned to run at least 20 races, and maintained its Penske alliance. McDowell was able to make the Daytona 500, a race he had failed to qualify for in 2014. The team posted four DNQs in 2015, three of which were due to rainouts and an increase in full-time entries. In early summer, the team made the news in unfortunate fashion after part of their shop burned down. This forced them to take refuge on the Team Penske campus, inside their former sports car shop, until their own facility was repaired enough for them to return. The team ultimately slipped slightly to 44th in owner points, but did finish ahead of the No. 62, a team that attempted all 36 races.

In January 2016, longtime NASCAR team owner Joe Falk became an investor in LFR and the team switched to Chevrolet. Falk brought a charter granted to him, to the No. 95 team, guaranteeing the 95 its first full season of racing. The team formed an alliance with Richard Childress Racing. The No. 95 attempted all 36 races, with McDowell returning to run in at least 26 events with sponsorship from K-Love and Thrivent, and Ty Dillon driving in at max 10 races, with sponsorship from General Mills and AstraZeneca. McDowell ran the majority of the events,[14][15][16] and ran the Daytona 500 in a second entry, the No. 59.

Car No. 59 history[edit]

In 2016, CSLFR, as part of the Circle Sport merger, agreed to have Ty Dillon drive the No. 95 for the 2016 Daytona 500. McDowell would attempt the race in a second entry, the No. 59 Thrivent Financial / K-Love Chevy. McDowell qualified the 500 by finishing 14th in his Can-Am Duel race. McDowell had a commendable finish in the car during the Daytona 500, finishing 15th. This was the only start in 2016 for the No. 59 other than the season finale at Homestead. Before the weekend, the team acquired a charter from the No. 7 team of Tommy Baldwin Racing, which guaranteed the No. 59 a spot in the race. The car finished 10th in the race, after avoiding a big crash that took out the teammate's No. 95 car with just a few laps left in the race.

Nationwide Series[edit]

Car No. 95 history[edit]

In October 2013, LFR announced that they would be adding a Nationwide Series team to the team's operations, with the No. 95 Ford Mustang being driven by Reed Sorenson in selected races late in the 2013 season, with a full-time driver for the 2014 season to be announced.[17] However, the team has yet to field a car in the Nationwide Series (now the Xfinity Series).

ARCA Racing Series[edit]

Car No. 95 history[edit]

For the 2012 season, Leavine Family Racing added an ARCA Racing Series team to its racing efforts, with Michael Leavine, grandson of the team's owners, racing as a development driver.[18] A six-race schedule was planned for Leavine in the series for 2012;[19] In his first two races of the 2012 season, Leavine crashed in both, with a best finish of 26th at Pocono Raceway;[20] he withdrew following practice at his third attempted race at Michigan International Speedway.[21][22]

Drivers[edit]

Data from[23]

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series[edit]

Driver Races Wins Poles
Michael McDowell 35 0 0
Scott Speed 27 0 0
Reed Sorenson 6 0 0
David Starr 4 0 0
Blake Koch 1 0 0
Scott Riggs 1 0 0

Nationwide Series[edit]

Driver Races Wins Poles
Reed Sorenson 1 0 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Texans partner to form new race team". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports. January 7, 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  2. ^ "About Us". Leavine Family Racing. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  3. ^ Wright, Scott (April 8, 2011). "Leavine Fenton Racing team carries local hopes to Texas Motor Speedway". The Oklahoman. Oklahoama City, OK. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  4. ^ Rodman, Dave (April 14, 2011). "Leavine cites 'awesome' debut, despite result". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  5. ^ "NASCAR teams join new effort for tornado relief". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports. May 19, 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  6. ^ "Leavine Family Racing: Same Great Team, New Name". Catchfence.com. June 2, 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  7. ^ "David Starr - 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Results". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  8. ^ a b Linesburgh, Scott (June 24, 2012). "Still feeling need for Speed". The Record. Stockton, CA. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  9. ^ Bromberg, Nick (December 13, 2011). "Scott Speed to drive for Leavine Family Racing in 2012". From the Marbles. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  10. ^ "Scott Speed - 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Results". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  11. ^ "Scott Speed Re-signs with Leavine Family Racing". Catchfence.com via SPEED Channel/Fox Sports. August 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  12. ^ "Scott Speed loses drive with Leavine Family Racing NASCAR team". Autosport.com. September 5, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  13. ^ DiZinno, Tony (2013-10-28). "NASCAR notes: McDowell switches teams, Schrader to retire from Cup". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  14. ^ Team release (January 21, 2016). "LEAVINE FAMILY RACING, CIRCLE SPORT MERGE FOR FULL SLATE". Concord, North Carolina: nascar.com. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  15. ^ Team release (January 21, 2016). "THRIVENT IS PRIMARY SPONSOR FOR MICHAEL MCDOWELL". Minneapolis: nascar.com. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  16. ^ Team release (January 21, 2016). "RCR FORMS TECHNICAL ALLIANCE WITH CIRCLE SPORT-LEAVINE FAMILY RACING". Welcome, North Carolina: nascar.com. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "Leavine team expands into Xfinity Series". Yahoo! Sports. October 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  18. ^ "Michael Leavine's First ARCA Racing Series Start at Mobile will Have that Same Old Feeling". Catchfence.com. March 5, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  19. ^ Hembree, Mike (February 2, 2012). "The Slowing Of Speed". SPEED Channel. Fox Sports. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  20. ^ "Michael Leavine - 2012 ARCA Racing Series Results". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  21. ^ "ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Event #8, Michigan Int'l Speedway, Brooklyn MI, 6-15-12: RainEater Wiper Blades 200, Practice Results". Automobile Racing Club of America. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  22. ^ "2012 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Event #8, Michigan Int'l Speedway, Brooklyn Michigan, 6-15-12: RainEater Wiper Blades 200, Qualifying Results". Automobile Racing Club of America. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  23. ^ "Leavine Family Racing Owner Statistics". Racing-Reference. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 

External links[edit]