Friday, Jul 01

Tough Ending to Strong Run by Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing at Auto Club Speedway

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) finished up its west cost swing this week at Auto Club Speedway where driver Michael McDowell and the Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing (CSLFR) team fought hard but had a disappointing finish of 31st in the Auto Club 400.

The No. 95 team put together strong runs all day, running as high as 19th with 40 laps to go. Ultimately the tires fell off and McDowell held on to bring home a 31st place finish.

“Our finish doesn’t show how we ran today,” said McDowell. “It was a tough end to a solid day. We will keep pressing forward.”

McDowell started the race in 30th position in the No. 95 WRL General Contractors Chevrolet. During the first green flag run, McDowell reported the car was free off the corner and moved around the track to find the line that worked best for him. The team worked hard under the first caution of the day to tighten up the car.

The race played out well for the CSLFR team as McDowell had a solid line in Turns 1 & 2 and worked with spotter, Steve Barkdoll, on finding the quickest lines in Turns 3 & 4 as the day progressed and the car handling changed.

With 40 laps remaining in the race, McDowell had the No. 95 up to 19th position.  Unfortunately, the tires quickly fell off, dropping the team to 27th when the final caution came out.  The team finished the race on the lead lap in 31st position.

Following the Auto Club 400, McDowell is 32nd in the NSCS point standings after completing 99 percent of the laps run with an average finish of 26.8 in the first five races of the season.

The Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing team will have extra time to prepare during the upcoming off-weekend and then head to Martinsville Speedway for the STP 500 on April 3.

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