Short Track, Long Day for Leavine Family Racing
Both pedals got a workout at Martinsville Speedway from Michael McDowell this past Sunday. The 0.526-mile track's unique shape gave the Leavine Family Racing (LFR) driver two straightaways and two very tight corners where the brakes got tested. Starting from the 32nd position, McDowell and the No. 95 Triangle Office Equipment Ford Fusion faced handling issues throughout the 500-lap event, finishing 37th due to a brake issue when the checkered flag flew at Martinsville Speedway. The early laps of the race looked promising as the No. 95 machine made its way to 27th position on Lap 10 for the first restart of the day. Shortly after, however, the Glendale, Ariz., driver reported the first of many developing issues with the breaks. The Leavine Family Racing driver fell to 37th before being called to pit road on lap 105 by crew chief Wally Rogers for wedge and tire pressure adjustments, four tires, fuel and to check the Ford Fusion for any problems. As the race continued, McDowell began to struggle with loose-handling on the entry and exit. The Triangle Office Equipment crew never gave up, making an array of adjustments to the No. 95 in hopes of remedying the issue. As the field maneuvered around the half-mile short track, long green flag runs paired with ongoing handling issues caused the team to lose laps. Some late chassis and air pressure adjustments provided some relief for McDowell which allowed him to climb to 29th by Lap 366, but ultimately he brought the red, white and blue machine to pit road on Lap 481 to resolve the brake issue. Eight laps later, as the team was unable to make the needed repairs to the No. 95 Ford, McDowell was forced to bring his car to the garage. Maintaining a top-30 running position throughout the majority of race, McDowell finished the day in the in 37th position.
Start – 32 Finish – 37 Points - 7
Michael McDowell Quote:
“All I can say is wow, what a really long day for Leavine Family Racing. We had a gear problem and consistent brake issues from about Lap 70 on. It finally broke with 20 laps to go. On to Texas Motor Speedway.”