2015 Scheduled Races: (20 races minimum)
1) Daytona - 2/22, Thrivent Financial
2) Atlanta - 3/1, Thrivent Financial(2)
3) Las Vegas - 3/8, K-LOVE
4) Texas - 4/11, Thrivent Financial(3)
5) Bristol - 4/19, Thrivent Financial(4)
6) Talladega - 5/3, Thrivent Financial (DNQ)
7) Kansas - 5/9, WRL/Larry the Lobster
8) Charlotte, Sprint Showdown - 5/15, Thrivent Financial(5)
9) Charlotte - 5/24, Thrivent Financial(6)
10) Sonoma - 6/28, TBA
The rest TBA
Contract Status: Driver: 2015; Primary Sponsors: ?
Fire damages Leavine Family Racing shop UPDATE4: Firefighters were busy Friday morning putting out flames at a NASCAR team's race shop in Harrisburg. Crews from Harrisburg and Concord were called to #95-Leavine Family Racing's shop on Victory Lane around 7:00am and encountered flames and smoke coming from the building. Fire officials said crews were able to get the fire under control around 8:30am. Officials with the race team confirmed there was a fire at their shop and that nobody was hurt.(WSOC)
UPDATE: The cause of the blaze is not yet known. LFR field a single-car effort in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the #95 Ford that is piloted by Michael McDowell. "Everyone is safe and cars were involved," McDowell told Motorsport.com. When asked by Lee Spencer if the cars were a 'total loss,' he replied via text, "We are not sure yet ... Still working through all that. Majority of our team is here. We only have two people that stay back at shop."(Motorsport)
UPDATE 2: WSOC has updated their original story: The fire marshal told Channel 9 that they did not know how the fire started but that four race cars in the building were destroyed and there was extensive damage to an 8,000-square foot section of the shop. Officials with the race team confirmed there was a fire at their shop and that nobody was hurt.
UPDATE 3: Statement from Leavine Family Racing: "After receiving more information from a restoration company that inspected the fire damage at the shop today, we were informed that structural damage may cause us to move our racing operations. We are currently exploring all options. We do not anticipate this to impact the team's competition schedule. Our next race is the Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Four race cars were damaged in the fire - these were primarily back-up cars. A complete investigation is taking place to access the overall damage and cause of the fire.(Leavine Family Racing)(5-8-2015)
UPDATE 4: Four of the team's 12 cars were destroyed. Tools, parts and pieces were ruined. Ash and soot covered cars and equipment. Heat from the fire had melted windshields and popped tires. Yet, Leavine Family Racing will compete this weekend in the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Unable to work in its 20,000-square foot shop, Leavine Family Racing is preparing its cars for this weekend at Team Penske in an area formerly used by its Porsche racing program and not far from where the Sprint Cup cars of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are prepared. Leavine Family Racing is aligned with Team Penske. Friday's fire was contained to the back of Leavine Family Racing's shop and Lange said he's hopeful to be back working in the shop shortly after the Coca-Cola 600. The team, which is running a partial schedule, already had planned to race at Charlotte the next two weekends and skip races at Dover, Pocono and Michigan before returning at Sonoma in late June. The fire does not change that schedule. Lange said the cars destroyed were to be used as backup cars for upcoming races - the primary cars are located elsewhere in the building and were not damaged by the fire. One of the cars destroyed had been used at Sonoma previously but the team was planning on a new car for that race.(NBC Sports)(5-12-2015)
Leavine Family Racing announces summer camp: Leavine Family Racing announced its inaugural session of CAMP 95, a summer camp program designed to provide high school students with a behind-the-scenes look at the NASCAR racing industry. The camp will provide students with a chance to explore the many different careers available in racing, from engineering and building race cars to marketing and sponsorship roles. "An important part of our Leavine Family Racing team is focusing on the racing community and our local community," said Bob Leavine, team owner. "I am thrilled to give back to the community by using the organization as a way to provide these students with a look at some different career opportunities available to them." CAMP 95 is designed to help the team foster valuable connections with the younger generation of race fans. Leavine Family Racing looks to provide students with career advice and guidance during a period of time where they are expected to make life-changing decisions. With an inside look at the race team, Leavine Family Racing hopes the campers participating will recognize career options that they may not have previously thought of.
"I'm very excited to have the opportunity to show these students how many different roles there are in NASCAR in a hands-on environment like CAMP 95," said Wally Rogers, crew chief. "I hope that by explaining how I got started in the industry I can somehow make an impact on how they look at their future careers." The one-day camp will be held on Tuesday, June 16 at the race team's headquarters in Concord, N.C. The day will include a shop tour with crew chief, Wally Rogers, who will explain the team's start in NASCAR and the competition side of racing. Students will also gain insight into the engineering and technology side of the sport, as well as marketing and sponsorship roles found at every race team. Several key members of the NASCAR industry will also visit the campers. These speakers will share their experiences on how they got started in NASCAR and provide advice to the students as they begin to plan their careers. Students interested in CAMP 95 can find applications at www.lfr95.com. Applications are due by May 25 and only 30 campers will be selected to participate. These campers will be notified of their acceptance via email by June 1.(LFR)(5-2-2015)
Nickelodeon announces driver lineup for SpongeBob SquarePants 400 weekend: Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants will take over Kansas Speedway, for the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 weekend, May 8-9. The world's most famous sponge and his Bikini Bottom friends will take an adventurous ride on the cars of four NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, all vying to win the coveted SpongeBob SquarePants 400 trophy. The SpongeBob SquarePants 400 will feature an all-star NASCAR Sprint Cup lineup including:
Greg Biffle, driving the #16 Cheez-It/ Patrick Star Ford Fusion
Michael McDowell, driving the #95 WRL/Larry the Lobster Ford Fusion
Casey Mears, driving the #13 Squidward Tentacles Chevrolet SS
David Ragan, driving the #55 Aarons/SpongeBob SquarePants Toyota Camry
NASCAR driver Ben Kennedy will join in on the fun when he takes out his #11 Local Motors/ SpongeBob SquarePants Toyota Tundra for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway on Friday, May 8. Additionally, NASCAR XFINITY Series star Bubba Wallace will pilot the #6 SpongeBob SquarePants Ford Mustang for the Winn-Dixie XFINITY Series race on Saturday, May 2. His Ford machine will feature SpongeBob SquarePants and his friends Patrick, SquidWard, Mr. Krabs and Sandy Cheeks.
"It's really fun to be part of the Nickelodeon lineup for the Kansas race and get to feature Patrick Star and Cheez-It on our No. 16 Ford," said Biffle, who boasts a pair of victories on the 1.5-mile oval at Kansas. "Nickelodeon does a lot to bring sports to kids, which is something that is important and I'm glad to be a part of it. Kansas is a good track for us and Saturday night races are always exciting. Hopefully we can get another Kansas win."
Also at the speedway, attendees will be able to enjoy some pre-Mother's Day fun in the Nickelodeon Kids Zone, which will be located in the Kansas Speedway Fan Zone. The area will feature appearances from the SpongeBob SquarePants costumed characters, a SpongeBob SquarePants photo station and more.
On Wednesday, May 13, Nickelodeon will air episodes of Hammer Down, a docu-series produced by NASCAR Productions, in a special racing-themed night during the NickSportsprogramming block on Nicktoons. Hammer Down is an original, four-episode series featuring four of NASCAR's rising stars--Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Kenzie Ruston-that give fans an all-access pass into the young athletes' lives as they aspire to become elite NASCAR drivers, while also enjoying time with friends and coming of age as young adults. The NickSports programming block airs every Wednesday, from 9:00-11:00 pm (ET/PT).(Nickelodeon/VMG)(5-1-2015)
McDowell's sponsor makes donation in honor of Steve Byrnes: The NASCAR community often has a way of coming together in times of need unlike any other sport out there. That is evident this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway where the track, teams and drivers alike are honoring FOX Sports' own Steve Byrnes. However, Thrivent Financial, sponsor on Michael McDowell's #95 Levine Family Racing Ford has taken their support of Byrnes to the next level. Inspired by the powerful NASCAR community, Thrivent Financial will donate $9,500 to Stand Up To Cancer in honor of Byrnes. Greg Stacey, director of content marketing for Thrivent Financial, said the organization is proud to be part of the NASCAR community during times like this and hopes the donation will bring both awareness and help to all of those impacted by cancer. For McDowell, it is special to have a sponsor that is willing to go above and beyond to help out a member of the NASCAR community.(FoxSports)(4-19-2015)
K-LOVE Radio launches digital racing game: Through its partnership with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing, K-LOVE Radio has launched a digital racing game featuring the #95 Ford. The K-LOVE RACING game is an interactive game that features live action play along with educational "pit stops" where players answer questions to improve their race car performance. Correct answers during "pit stops" allow a player to increase the car's endurance and power, allowing them to race faster and earn more rewards. K-LOVE Radio is in its second year of partnership with Leavine Family Racing and sixth with McDowell. The Christian music network is the primary sponsor of the #95 Ford in five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season. The game can be accessed online at http://www.kloveracing.com.(Leavine Family Racing)(3-27-2015)
K-LOVE returns to sponsor McDowell at Vegas: The blue and black colors of K-LOVE Radio will take over the #95 Leavine Family Racing Ford Fusion of Michael McDowell this weekend at LVMS as the contemporary Christian radio network will be the primary paint scheme on the #95 for the first time this season. Leavine Family Racing continues its partnership with the Monte Carlo this weekend in Las Vegas as the hotel will be featured on the decklid and rear quarter panel of the #95 Ford (LFR), see images of both cars on the #95 Team Schemes page.(3-6-2015)
Pieter's Pals featured on the #95 at Daytona: the #95 Leavine Family Racing Ford will carry a Pieter's Pals logo on the car in the Daytona 500. The #95 team first featured Pieter's Pals at Charlotte in October. Michael McDowell's son Trace went to school with Pieter Swart, a 5 year old with cancer who passed away in September 2014. Today [Feb 22nd] would had been Pieter's 6th birthday. The team is also celebrating by asking fans to participate in the Lego drive to honor Pieter.(LFR Facebook)(2-22-2015)
Leavine Family Racing extends relationship with Thrivent Financial: Leavine Family Racing has announced an extended sponsorship with Thrivent Financial for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The financial services organization will be the primary sponsor on the #95 Ford Fusion driven by Michael McDowell for 10 races and an associate sponsor for another 10 races . Thrivent is a Fortune 500 not-for-profit financial services membership organization that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Thrivent offers a broad range of products and services-including life insurance, annuities and mutual funds-along with guidance from financial representatives nationwide. For more than a century, Thrivent has helped its nearly 2.4 million members make wise money choices that reflect their values and provided opportunities for them to be even more generous.
"It's clear we've aligned with the right race team and the right driver," said Craig Stacey, a Thrivent spokesperson. "The success of this relationship is rooted in the fact that Michael and LFR have strong values that align well with our mission. We're confident this sponsorship is helping us tell our story to more Christians who want to hear about our blend of faith and finances."
Thrivent will kick off this season as the primary sponsor on the #95 at the 57th annual DAYTONA 500, NASCAR's season-opener and most prestigious race. Other prominent races for the organization will include Bristol, Indianapolis and Charlotte. "We're thrilled to continue our partnership with Thrivent and extend it to 20 races this season," said Jeremy Lange, Vice President at Leavine Family Racing. "Last year we were able to share unique opportunities through our race team and within the sport. We're looking forward to continuing the momentum in 2015." Thrivent was introduced to NASCAR last year when they teamed with Leavine Family Racing for a multi-race sponsorship of the #95 including a primary sponsorship of the team at Bristol Motor Speedway in August where McDowell secured an 18th-place finish.
(Leavine Family Racing)
BOB LEAVINE, owner, Leavine Family Racing - YOU HAD A NICE YEAR LAST YEAR, TELL US ABOUT WHERE YOU EXPECT TO GO THIS YEAR WITH THE TEAM? "It was an exciting year. First I would like to thank the Wood Brothers for sharing the stage with us this year. This is very cool. 2014 was an exciting year for us. We made some gains and advances and as always sometimes it is one step forward and two steps back but we are excited about what we did. We had some personal bests including Daytona where Michael (McDowell) finished seventh and obviously it was our best finish also. We had solid finishes in Bristol with an 18th and 21st at Homestead. We are excited about that and the steps that we made. In 2015 the momentum is really built off of what we didn't get done last year. That is motivation. The successes are okay but if you don't learn from what you did wrong you aren't going to get any better. Our team is motivated by getting better. We are obviously a small team but a team with a lot of heart. I really appreciate the family, my wife and I, this group has become family to us and that is important to us. They really, really give it their all. Wally Rodgers has assembled a great group of guys and the desire and determination they show is awesome. We are going to run a minimum of 20 races this year and we are excited about our partners which you will hear about."(Ford Racing)
See images of the car/scheme on the #95 Team Schemes page.(1-28-2015)
McDowell and #95 LFR Team honors all 2014 sponsors on the car at Homestead: The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season was an important one for Leavine Family Racing. The growing single-car race team fielded the #95 Ford in 19 races this season, seven more races than 2013. Highlights of the season included a team-best 7th-place finish at Daytona and a hard-fought 18th place finish at Bristol. Heading to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the season finale race on Sunday, Michael McDowell and the LFR team continue their course of action and plan to push forth, in spite of any challenges, toward a solid finish for the 2014 season. "This has really been a growing year for us and we really want to work hard at Homestead and finish off this season strong," said McDowell. "We have an awesome group of sponsors behind us and our entire team is appreciative for their support and glad we can showcase all of them at the season finale race." The #95 paint scheme will sport colors from all of Leavine Family Racing's sponsors this weekend as a 'Thank You' for another great year of growth. Sponsors include: KLOVE, Thrivent Financial, TWD, JTS, Triangle Office Equipment and E6 apparel. The Parts House joins Leavine Family Racing as a new sponsor at Homestead and will be featured on the car with Parts Plus. The Parts House (TPH) is a warehouse distributor of premium automotive and heavy-duty truck parts and accessories for the automotive repair industry. Following Homestead, McDowell and the Leavine Family Racing team will join forces with Thrivent Financial and pack gifts for Operation Christmas Child, a Samaritan's Purse project, on Thursday, Nov. 20 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at Christ Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC.
As for 2015: "Wešre excited to have Michael McDowell back with Leavine Family Racing next year and wešre currently working to finalize our races and sponsors for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season."(LFR), see an image of the car on the #95 Team Schemes page.(11-13-2014)
Leavine Family Racing to hold a special presentation at Phoenix: #95-Michael McDowell will be returning to his hometown this week as the Leavine Family Racing team heads to Phoenix International Raceway for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500. McDowell was born in Glendale, Arizona and grew up racing BMX bicycles and karting. He won the World Karting Association Championship and back-to-back International Kart Federation championships before moving on to Formula racing and eventually entering NASCAR. "I always enjoy going to Phoenix and spending time with family," said McDowell. "We tested at PIR last month with some of the Chase contenders, so from a competition standpoint, I'm feeling confident for this race."
In honor of Veterans Day, Leavine Family Racing wants to thank the following #95 team members for their service to our country: Kenneth Roettger Jr., Active U.S.M.C. 1993-97; Bob Moore, Active Army 1976-80; Brad Carson, National Guard.
Leavine Family Racing will hold a special presentation in the media center at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday at 10:30am featuring Michael McDowell, Thrivent Financial and Operation Heal Our Patriots. Thrivent Financial will donate $10,000 to Operation Heal Our Patriots, a Samaritan's Purse program designed to strengthen the marriages of wounded members of the U.S. Military. The check presentation will include guests of honor Johnny and Shannon Montoya, a married couple from Prescott, Ariz., who is participating in the Operation Heal Our Patriots program. Johnny served in the Marine Corps from 2004 to 2008.(LFR)(11-8-2014)
New sponsor for Leavine Family Racing debuts at Bristol: Not only is it one of the most anticipated races of the season for NASCAR race fans, but Leavine Family Racing and Michael McDowell, driver of the #95 Thrivent Financial Ford Fusion, are also eager to return to Bristol Motor Speedway for the IRWIN Tools Night Race this Saturday, Aug. 23. McDowell and the #95 team had a very strong run during the spring Bristol race that ended abruptly in an accident. After two rain delay periods, McDowell had climbed his way up to the Top-15 when an on-track accident occurred causing heavy damage to the No. 95 and relegating the team to a 37th place finish. McDowell's #95 Ford Fusion will have a new paint scheme this weekend - a white and red scheme featuring Thrivent Financial, a new sponsor for LFR and the organization's first time in NASCAR. Leavine Family Racing recently created a time-lapsed video that documented the transition to the new paint scheme. A Bristol tradition, drivers get to choose their entrance song for driver introductions during the pre-race ceremony. In honor of the new sponsorship, McDowell has chosen "Thrive" by Casting Crowns. McDowell will have an extended role in the Bristol Motor Speedway ceremonies and will give the invocation prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. As part of its sponsorship with the team, Thrivent Financial is running a #DrivenToThrive sweepstakes and giving away McDowell's Thrivent firesuit and pieces of the #95 race car to fans who enter to win at www.thrivent.com/driventothrive. For each entry, Thrivent will donate $1 to support wounded veterans through the Operation Heal Our Patriots program. Thrivent will donate up to $10,000 as part of this initiative and its mission to live life generously.(LFR), see an image of the car/scheme on the #95 Team Schemes page.(8-21-2014)
Congrats to Michael & Jami McDowell: #95-McDowell tweeted Tuesday that his wife Jami had given birth to a daughter, "Rylie Kristine McDowell is a 8.1 lbs healthy sweet girl. [Jami] pulled last minute audible and went natural."(5-28-2014)
McDowell, Leavine Racing have sponsor: Leavine Family Racing is looking to make headway in 2014. The team enters its fourth season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a new driver, Michael McDowell, and a renewed focus on ensuring strong qualifying sessions to make it into the 43-car Sprint Cup Series field in all 20 of its scheduled races this season. "I'm not even sure I'm allowed to say this, but I'm glad I don't have to start and park anymore," said McDowell. "We really need to find out what works best for us in qualifying and we'll get that figured out. But running 20 races will allow us to really manage our program and build to the future." As will its alignment with K-Love, a contemporary Christian music radio programming service that can be heard by over 12 million listeners over 440 FM stations and 47 states. K-Love will sponsor all 20 races for the #95 Ford this season. "To be able to have that kind of fan base and the values of their programming really speaks to me on a personal level," said McDowell. "Not only does it fit into my beliefs, but that connection is important to building existing and future partnerships, too."(Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour Notes)(1-28-2014)
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, May 23, 2015, 1:00 pm/et
TV: FoxSports1 (FS1) 1:00pm/et
Born in MAY
22 Jay Guy, Joey Knuckles, Janice Almirola
23 Kerry Tharp, Harvey Walters, Wally Dallenbach Jr
24 Joey Logano, Ricky Craven, Chip Ganassi, Lesa France Kennedy, Amy Rice, Brent Sherman, Colt Hammond, Tommy Chong, Jack Smith
25 Bud Moore, Paul Andrews, A.J. Foyt IV, Spenny Clendenen, Ross Kenseth, Kevin Hulstein, Smokey Yunick
26 Stacy Compton, Adam Gravitt, Kenny Trout
27 April Horner, Jeremy Mayfield, Dick Berggren, Van Colley, John Bickford, Carol Einarsson
28 Ray Fox, Butch Stevens, Marvin Panch, Dan E. Donnely, Ron Lemasters Jr., David Joy, Michael Klein
29 Joe Weatherly, Ken Schrader, Bobby Hamilton, Al Unser, Jimmy Means, Todd Berrier, John F. Kennedy, Germán Quiroga, Steve Allen, Kaye Jenkins, Jessica Taylor
30 Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones, Reagan Page, Gale Wilson
31 Jerry 'Dad' Adamczyk, Jack Baldwin, Gayle Barnwell, Pat Calkins, Charlie Lewis, Krista Voda, Faith Anne Yeley
Born in JUNE
1 Ryan Pemberton, Jim Sauter, Lance Hooper, Anita Witzke, Brennan Pattie, Darel Dieringer
2 Kyle Petty, Sandy Jones, Scott Brewer
3 Jamie McMurray, Troy Selberg, Barney Oldfield, Mark Smith, Dave Collins, Mark Graves
4 Terry and Jerry Windell, Michael Dokken, Barry Dodson, Brienne Davis, Carl Kiekhaefer
5 Bobby Hillin, Butch Miller, Gary Nelson, Bob Osborne, Ronnie Hoover, Raymond Parks, Jason White
6 Max Jones, Justin Allgaier, Scott Radel, Steve Wilson
7 Tim Richmond, Robbie Loomis, Rodney Childers, Joe Ewert, Brian Sockwell, Jason Small, Tom Czerwinski
8 Frank Mundy, Kristen Labonte, Tabitha Burton, Tom Schacht, Carlos Contreras, Lloyd Moore, Joey Coulter
9 David Hobbs, Billy Bigley, Mackena Bell
10 Chad Walter, Avery Manion
11 Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Tyler Parrott, Layne Riggs, Taylor Elizabeth Schaffer, Patti Wheeler
12 Sue Raines, Joe Pittman, Sandy Kahne, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Brandon Benesch
13 Mark Marco, Harry Melling, R.D. Smith, Bryan Silas, Cory DeMarco
14 U.S. Army , Richard 'Slugger' Labbe, Doug Richert, Angela Styers, Dustin Stanley, Brett Thompson
15 Bobby Leslie, Willie Allen, Cami Parsons, Stefan Parsons, Bryan Clauson, Tabitha Stricklin
16 Pete Pistone, Ernie Cope, Shannon Myers, Kathyrn Huber
17 Kevin Hamlin, Rick Allen, Mike Jarrett
18 Jody Eastridge, Mimi Sabates
19 1st NASCAR race, David Stremme, Joe Lewis, Charlie Glotzbach, Steve Post, Kyle Pearce
20 Ron Hornaday Jr, Jerry Cook, Ritchie Petty, Cecil Gordon, Terry Ford, Paul Dallanbach, Mike Geato, Ella Sofia Gordon, Joe Cline