Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing (LFR) are thrilled to kick-off the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) season at the 59th running of the Daytona 500.
Entering their first full season together, McDowell and LFR are looking to build off last year’s momentum and pick up where they left off after earning ten Top-20 finishes, including a 10th place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway at the 2016 season finale.
“I’m definitely excited to get this season started, especially at Daytona where we know we can run well,” said McDowell. “We’ve run in the Top-10 at Daytona, so hopefully we can do that this time and get ourselves in a position at the end of the race to sneak in and win. With the format now, a win gets you in the playoffs. That could be really big for a small team like ours.”
During the team’s last trip to Daytona International Speedway, McDowell earned his third Top-10 at the 2.5-mile tri-oval.
Also beginning his first full season with LFR is Todd Parrott, who will be returning to the roll of crew chief he began full-time with the team back in October of 2016.
“There has been a lot of hard work that has gone into the off-season by the whole team,” said Parrott. “We have been rebuilding everything and making sure it is ready to go when we unload in Daytona. There are definitely a few challenges that come with Daytona. The duels play a big part this season since they pay points for the playoffs, so we definitely have to race hard and stay out of trouble. Michael does extremely well at restrictor plate tracks, so we just need to work on strategy during our pit stops. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what we’ve got as a team.”
McDowell and LFR are also excited to announce the return of K-LOVE Radio as a primary sponsor for select races during the 2017 MENCS season. K-LOVE has had a long-standing presence with both McDowell and LFR for a number of years and will continue the partnership, as McDowell will pilot the No. 95 K-LOVE Chevrolet SS in the 59th running of the Daytona 500.
Qualifying for the Daytona 500 will take place on Sunday, February 20, followed by the Can-Am Duel on Thursday, February 23 beginning at 7PM ET. Race fans can follow @LFR95 on Twitter and Leavine Family Racing on Facebook for Speedweeks and Daytona 500 updates.