Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing (LFR) are excited to race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), an historic track across all forms of racing, for the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400.
McDowell, who is competing in his first full Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) season, is looking to add to the rich history of the monumental facility famous for having the winner of its contests kiss the brick start / finish line.
McDowell is looking to record another track-best finish at IMS, as he and LFR have had an impressive MENCS season together, with their best finish being fourth place, as well as four Top-15 finishes and seven Top-20 finishes. The 2017 MENCS season also marks LFR’s best since their inception in 2011, as well as McDowell’s best season since his start in 2008. During the team’s last trip to IMS, McDowell earned his best track finish of 23rd place in the 2016 Brickyard 400.
“Indy is a tough weekend,” said McDowell. “It’s an extraordinary place to go to. The atmosphere and just overall feel of the weekend is just big and much like the Daytona 500 for us. It’s hot, it’s a hard race, and it’s just an all out challenging weekend!
The track and weather change a lot, and it’s a track where you feel like you have the least amount of time, because it’s not one we go to twice. I feel like it’s a track that takes a while to get used to, so we will definitely make the most out of each practice session. It’s the Brickyard – it’s a big race!”
An LFR team member is also excited to return to his home track. Jimmy “Red” Melick, LFR’s interior mechanic, was born and raised just outside of Indianapolis, IN. Jimmy has been with LFR since 2015, working as both a tire specialist and interior mechanic. Before joining LFR, Jimmy worked on Marco Andretti’s Verizon IndyCar team.
The Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 will take place on Sunday July 23, at 2:30pm ET. Race fans can tune-in to NBC for live race coverage and follow @LFR95 on Twitter for weekend updates.