McDowell Gets Cup Ride for 2014

Michael McDowell
Michael McDowell
Michael McDowell had previously driven for Leavine racing at the Sprint All-Star race.

CONCORD, N.C. — Leavine Family Racing announced Monday that Michael McDowell will drive the team’s No. 95 Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry in 2014.

McDowell, who has driven the No. 98 Ford for Phil Parsons Racing since 2012, will make his debut with the team in February during the season-opening 56th annual Daytona 500 at the Daytona Int’l Speedway.

McDowell, 28, has competed in the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series since 2007 and in the Sprint Cup Series since 2008. McDowell has 144 career starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. His best finish was ninth at the Daytona 500 this year.

“This is an extremely good opportunity for me,” said McDowell, who has worked with the Leavine Family Racing Sprint Cup team before, at this season’s Sprint All-Star race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. “Bob and I first started talking about the possibilities months ago. I’m happy to be a part of this organization.”

“Michael drove for us at the Sprint All-Star race and he left a great impression,” Leavine said. “When we started thinking about a driver for next year, he was at the top of our list.

“He has always impressed me. Michael gets the most out of his car, no matter what he’s driving or who he’s driving for. He takes care of his cars and gets good finishes. With his experience and ability, we feel he can excel in our equipment. As a team we are very excited, and his ability to work with everyone here at Leavine Family Racing will be important.”

Vice president of marketing and partnerships Jeremy Lange said the goal of the organization is to run one full-time team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in addition to competing in select Nationwide Series races in the No. 95 car.