Lira Motorsports driver David Levine and the No. 59 Furman University / Momo / Roush-Yates Engines team finished 17th on Friday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway in both the team and driver’s debut race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS).
After the race, Levine commented “That was awesome! P17 in my first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start! I learned even more than I can begin to explain in the first 12 laps! I can't thank my sponsors Furman University, Roush Yates, Momo and TraqGear enough for making this possible. I also want to acknowledge Andy Houston, who has spotted for me at several ARCA Races this year. He was up on top of the grandstands all day, coaching me. I don’t think I would have made the race without his help.”
Earlier in the day on Friday, Levine posted the 26th fastest time in the Ford EcoBoost 200's only practice session. The session was his first time behind the wheel of the team’s newly-built NCWTS Ford F-150. “The biggest adjustment in coming to the Truck Series from the ARCA Racing Series is the engine,” Levine stated. “The tapered spacer in the trucks is different than I’m used to. I need to work on keeping it wound-up more.”
Levine qualified for the 134-lap season finale for the series in the 22nd position. At the end of qualifying, the team let out a collective sigh of relief that practice and qualifying were not affected by the threat of rain that was constant throughout the day.
In the race, Levine had worked his way up to the 19th position when the team called him to pit road for four tires and fuel during a green flag run on lap 47. After pit stops cycled through for the rest of the field, David found himself in 20th, one-lap down when a caution came out on lap 62.
While all of the lead-lap trucks made pit stops under the caution, Sam Schram, Levine’s Crew Chief, made the decision for David to stay out and take the wave-around, putting the No. 59 truck back on the lead lap.
The next caution period on lap 75 gave the team the opportunity to come in once again for tires and fuel. A mis-step by one of the crew member, going over the wall too early, sent Levine to the tail end of the longest line on the restart. However, another caution came out a few laps later, and Levine stayed out while most of the leaders made pit stops.
After the caution, Levine restarted the race from the 3rd position on lap 89. Now racing on older tires than the rest of the field, he battled to remain in the top 20 while trucks with fresh tires made their way to the front of the field.
With laps winding down and the race on-track to finish with a 46 lap green flag run, Schram asked Levine to begin saving fuel. Levine responded by easing off the gas earlier in the turns, which saved enough gas for the Highland Park, IL driver to take the checkered flag in the 17th position.
“That was a good, clean race for us, being our first time in the Truck Series,” Levine concluded. “The only a mark on the truck was from when I got a little loose off two and nudged the fence. Thank you to everyone at Lira Motorsports. They poured their hearts and souls into this truck, and I am so proud to have been part of their debut in the Truck Series. I’m still working on securing sponsorship, but I’m hoping to get back in the truck series again next year!”
Lira Motorsports PR
Lira Motorsports PR