As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) took on Martinsville Speedway in the first short track race of 2016, driver Michael McDowell and Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing secured a 24th- place finish – the team’s second best finish of the season.
CSLFR had one of their strongest weekends this year, as the team ran in the Top-25 for the majority of the STP 500 after qualifying the No. 95 KLOVE Chevrolet SS in 27th place.
“We have improved each weekend and continue to learn a lot,” said McDowell. “We are already looking forward to coming back to Martinsville later this season. With a strong qualifying effort next time around, I’m sure we’ll be able to improve upon this finish.”
McDowell fought hard to stay on the lead lap for the first 100 laps of the race. Crew chief Dave Winston would use strategy during the caution at Lap 136 to take the wave around and get back on the lead lap.
The next long green flag run gave McDowell a chance to race his way into the top 20, running as high as 19th and fighting for position to be the lucky dog recipient for most of the run. The team would pit for four tires and fuel under the next caution and work to tighten up the car for McDowell.
The No. 95 crew had a stellar pit stop under the next caution period, earning praises from Winston and McDowell, as he would restart in the 23rd position on the coveted inside line.
McDowell stayed out under the next caution and restarted in the 24th position with 33 laps remaining in the race. Under the final caution the No. 95 team pitted for four tires and fuel and finished the race in the 24th position.
The Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing team heads to Texas Motor Speedway next for the Duck Commander 500 on April 9 with Ty Dillon behind the wheel.
Martinsville Speedway PR