NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran driver Michael McDowell is eager to return to Sonoma Raceway, a track that brought him early success in his racing career, with the hopes of continuing those achievements behind the wheel of the No. 95 K-LOVE Radio Chevrolet this weekend.
Sonoma has been a place of many firsts for the Glendale, Ariz. native, as McDowell began his professional racing career there with World Speed Motorsports. He secured his first professional win at Sonoma in the Formula Renault Series in 2001. McDowell’s career grew from there as he won seven races en route to winning the 2004 Star Mazda Championship.
“Sonoma holds a special place in my heart,” said McDowell. “It’s where it all started for me professionally. To me, Sonoma is just as much of a home track as Phoenix. I spent a lot of time in that area when I started my professional racing career as a driver, and I even worked in the race shops behind Turn 11 for a few years.”
McDowell is no stranger to strong performances at road courses, as he stacked up multiple wins in the Formula Renault Series, and a win in the Rolex Grand-Am Series in Mexico City in 2005 during his career.
Also with a notable resume of his own, CSLFR Crew Chief Dave Winston has had the opportunity to work with a number of skilled stock car drivers at Sonoma in years past.
“I’m looking forward to going to Sonoma with an accomplished, veteran, road course racer,” said Winston. “I have had the opportunity to race there with some very good drivers where we have been competitive, so this is something I’m really excited about. Road courses have been good to me in the past, including a pole in 2013, but this is by far the most confident I have felt heading out there.”
To help McDowell continue his success at Sonoma, Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing will bring a brand new designated road course chassis from Richard Childress Racing.
With that and his appreciation for road courses, McDowell has full confidence in his crew chief’s ability to lead the No. 95 K-LOVE Chevrolet SS to a solid finish.
“Dave (Winston) has had his share of great road course races,” said McDowell. “I think we have the formula for success with his strategy, knowledge, experience, and a great car.”
McDowell will return to Sonoma Raceway for the Toyota – Save Mart 350 with Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing on Sunday, June 26 at 3:00 p.m. EST. Race fans can tune-in to FS1 for live coverage and follow @CSLFR95 on Twitter for updates.