Leavine Family Racing Earns Hard Fought 30th-Place Finish in the Coca-Cola 600
Michael McDowell and the No. 95 JPO Absorbents Ford Fusion team finished 30th in the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday. McDowell qualified 30th on Thursday for the longest race on the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) schedule with new sponsor JPO Absorbents on the No. 95 Ford Fusion. The Leavine Family Racing (LFR) Ford was tight from the beginning of the 600-mile event as the race started with three-wide racing. McDowell communicated to crew chief Wally Rogers that the No. 95 machine was tight through the center, and he entered the pits under green flag conditions on Lap 46 for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments. Rogers called for McDowell to stay out during the first caution on Lap 109 to take the wave around in order to gain a lap and the scenario was repeated again when the caution flag waved on Lap 149. As the race progressed, McDowell methodically worked his way through the field to 29th position. McDowell continued to battle the handling of his No. 95 JPO Absorbents Ford during the first half of the race, so Rogers and the Leavine Family Racing team dug in and continued making adjustments to improve the car as the sun began to set and the track started to change. Throughout the remainder of the race, Rogers continued an aggressive strategy for tweaking the car setup to improve handling. Along the way, McDowell also refreshed during one of the stops by having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The series of adjustments provided some relief to McDowell, resulting in a climb to 28th leading his lap on Lap 265.The Glendale, Ariz., driver started passing cars on the track, working his way up to as high as 27th, giving it all he had. For the remainder of the event, McDowell’s “never-give-up” attitude paid off in the final portion of the 400-lap marathon, where he was able to maintain his position, bringing the No. 95 JPO Absorbents Ford Fusion home in 30th-place.
Start- 30 Finish- 30 Laps Led- 0
Michael McDowell Quote:
“We ran all the laps in the Coca-Cola 600 and we were able to learn a lot. It was not the outcome we wanted for our No. 95 JPO Absorbents team but we are moving forward.”