NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Michael McDowell and the Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing team are striving for a solid run at The Brickyard in the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 with the No. 95 Thrivent Financial Chevrolet SS after a power failure caused the team to end their day early in New Hampshire.
During the New Hampshire 301, McDowell was running fast lap times until being forced to come into the garage twice for a broken alternator belt and battery replacement. After the issues continued, the team parked the No. 95 for the remainder of the race and was relegated to a 39th place finish.
Fortunately, McDowell and Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing were able to make the most out of the on-track time and used the experience as a test for the fall New Hampshire Speedway event.
“It was unfortunate to have that failure plague us at New Hampshire,” said McDowell. “We had some really solid lap times and we were trying different things on the track. We were able to use some of the time to test different set-ups, so I am looking forward to coming back to New Hampshire later in the season and putting together a good run.”
This week, McDowell will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a place brimming with rich racing history that is very close to his heart. In his six starts at Indianapolis, McDowell’s best qualifying position is 28th and best finish is 26th. The veteran driver is more eager for this upcoming race than the Daytona 500, stemming from his passion and history with open wheel racing.
“The Brickyard 400 is the one race I look forward to every year,” said McDowell. “I know the Daytona 500 is the biggest race in NASCAR, but for me, racing at Indianapolis gives me chills.”
Crew Chief Dave Winston is also looking forward to his first trip to Indianapolis with McDowell, and is intent on adding another solid finish to the list the team has recorded this season.
“I take pride in racing at Indianapolis,” said Winston. “It’s such a historic track that you look forward to going there every year. A lot of teams will tell you that they go the extra mile for Indy in their work and trying to get the win. But, in reality, we do that every weekend with our team.”