NASCAR driver Michael McDowell and Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing earned a driver and team best finish (23rd) and qualifying position (27th) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) this weekend.
As a growing single-car race team, CSLFR is seeking consistent Top-25 finishes during the 2016 season. The Brickyard 400 was an important race for the team to get back on track after a parts failure at New Hampshire the race prior.
“Our car was a Top-25 race car and that’s where we want to be every week,” said McDowell after the race. “We improved both during this race weekend and we’ve improved as a team to this point. I think we had a decent car today, we just didn’t catch a break with the cautions.”
Kicking off the race weekend at IMS, the No. 95 Thrivent Financial team worked diligently during two practice sessions on Friday to adjust the No. 95 Thrivent Financial Chevrolet which had “loose” handling for most of the day.
McDowell secured a fast lap during qualifying to place the No. 95 Chevy 27th on the starting grid for Sunday’s race.
The team fought hard on Sunday, working on handling of the race car during pit stops and pushing to gain positions on the track.
McDowell avoided a handful of late race wrecks on the track and had solid restarts to keep the No. 95 Thrivent Financial Chevrolet in position for a Top-25 finish.
In the second overtime attempt to finish the race, McDowell picked up another position on the track and took the checkered flag in 23rd position.