Race Preview: Sonoma Raceway
Event: Toyota - Save Mart 350
Date: Sunday, June 22, 2014
Venue: Sonoma Raceway
Leavine Family Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series History at Sonoma Raceway ... Team owner Bob Leavine has one start at the Sonoma, Calif., facility. In 2012, the Concord, N.C.-based organization had trouble early in the race, but rallied the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Ford to finish 25th at the Sonoma road course. A spark plug wire was the difference between finishing a lap down and finishing in the top 10 after qualifying 22nd for the 112-lap event.
LFR's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series History ... Since entering the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2011, the Concord, N.C.-based organization has logged 46 starts, which includes one top-10 finish, an average starting position of 32.9, and an average finishing position of 36.3.
Follow Leavine Family Racing on Social Media ... To keep up-to-date with the latest news, information and exclusive content, visit Leavine Family Racing's Twitter page - @LeavineFamily95 and Facebook page – Facebook.com/LeavineFamilyRacing. Also, follow Michael McDowell on his personal Twitter page - @Mc_Driver, and “Like” Michael McDowell on his official Facebook page at Facebook.com/MichaelMcdowell.
Catch the Action ... The Toyota - Save Mart 350 will be broadcast live on TNT on Sunday, June 22, starting with the pre-race show at 2:00 p.m. ET. It will also be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
No. 95 K-LOVE Ford Fusion
This Week's Leavine Family Racing Ford Fusion at Sonoma Raceway ... Michael McDowell will pilot Chassis No. PRS-834 in the Toyota - Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. This Ford Fusion is new to the Wally Rogers-led team.
McDowell in "The Golden State" ... Although this weekend marks McDowell's first Sonoma Raceway appearance with Leavine Family Racing; the Glendale, Ariz., driver has made two other NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at the 1,99-mile road course. He earned a career-best 28th-place finish at the track in June 2008. McDowell also has one GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series start at the track, where he finished 10th in 2006.
“Rights and Lefts” are a Right Fit for McDowell … McDowell came up through the racing ranks not only making left hand turns, but also turning right most of the time. Like most racers, McDowell made his early mark in go-kart racing. Following go-karts, McDowell headed to the Star Mazda Series, where he was the 2003 Rookie of the Year and the 2004 North American Champion. Following his Star Mazda career, McDowell co-drove a Daytona Prototype with Champ Car veteran Memo Gidley. Also in 2005, McDowell made his Champ Car debut at Mexico City, where he finished 11th. The following season, McDowell returned in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, finishing fourth in points and collecting one win (at VIR). It was only then that McDowell began his oval-track career, racing in the ARCA Racing Series in 2007.
Road Course Stats … In seven previous NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road course races, McDowell has an average starting position of 27.1, and an average finishing position of 33.4. In 12 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts on a road course, McDowell has posted three top-five and five top-10 finishes including two pole awards.
Positive, Encouraging K-LOVE … K-LOVE Radio, part of EMF Broadcasting, is headquartered in Rocklin, Calif., a growing community in northern California about 30 miles east of Sacramento.
New Colors for K-LOVE ... McDowell will debut a brand new paint scheme for Leavine Family Racing’s No. 95 Ford this weekend at Sonoma Raceway. The No. 95 Ford Fusion team will sport blue, yellow and black colors with K-LOVE adorning the hood and quarter panels and K-LOVE’s “music city” added to the background.
Michael McDowell Quote:
"It is fun to be in the backyard of our sponsor, K-LOVE. We have lots of K-LOVE folks coming to support Leavine Family Racing. The new blue and black colors, together with the combination of the road course, are good for me.
“Sonoma Raceway is where I cut my teeth racing. I worked and drove for local Sonoma teams coming up through the ranks of racing. I also lived in Northern California for a period of my young adult life.''