Sunset on a Busy Weekend in the Valley of the Sun
Michael McDowell scored a 33rd-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday afternoon, driving the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Ford for Leavine Family Racing (LFR). The Glendale, Ariz. driver started the 312-lap event from the 26th position. In the opening laps, McDowell reported a loose-handling condition to crew chief Wally Rogers, and after the competition caution on Lap 35, Rogers gambled, making the call to take the wave-around. Laps later, McDowell pitted for fuel, four tires and chassis adjustments under green flag conditions. McDowell made minor contact with the No. 7 on Lap 187 due to a spinout in Turn 2. The team continued to make chassis adjustments during routine pit stops under both yellow flag and green flag conditions, but handling continued to be an issue. In the closing stages of the race, McDowell wrangled in his car, and was posting lap times competitive with lead lap competitors, ultimately finishing 33rd.
It was a busy weekend for McDowell, as his schedule was marked to the minute with sponsor appearances, meet-and-greets, and a tweet-up where he helped Phoenix International Raceway celebrate the race track’s 50th “Golden” anniversary.
Next Sunday, McDowell and the No. 95 team will compete at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Start - 26 Finish - 33 Laps Led - 0 Points - 11
Michael McDowell QUOTE:
"It is fun to race here in front of my hometown crowd. It wasn’t the day we ultimately hoped for, but it was still a solid day, and a good rebound from last week. We have something good to build on now. There have been a lot of changes this year with the new car, and this was my first race with this team. So we’ll go back to the shop and improve some things, but most importantly, it came out to be a good day for us. We don’t have a torn-up car so that is good. Time to move on to Vegas."