Michael Leavine accelerated his learning curve with a two-day test at the Mobile International Speedway this week.
The session accomplished two goals: It helped the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Ford team prepare for an ARCA Racing Series race on March 10 and it helped the 22-year-old driver become more familiar with his team.
Longtime NASCAR truck series driver Rick Crawford mentored Leavine during the test. He was pleased with what they accomplished.
"Michael has a lot of laps under his belt at this track after a day-and-a-half of testing," Crawford said. "He did a nice job, and was smooth on track. As a rookie it gave him the confidence to return as a real contender."
Leavine Family Racing was the first ARCA Racing Series team to take to the high-banked, half-mile Irvington, Ala, oval. The ARCA Racing Series will host another open test day at the speedway on Jan. 13.
Although Leavine has short track experience, particularly at tracks like Iowa Speedway, team owner Bob Leavine wanted his crew and driver to work through new challenges.
"Our team gave Michael a great car and he took advantage of it," Bob Leavine said.
Crew chief Brad Carson, who spent last season as car chief for the No.95 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, was working to find Leavine's comfort zone in their No. 95 Ford.
Three races into Leavine's ARCA Racing Series career, his best finish - 20th at Iowa - came on a short-track. It also highlighted the learning curve he faces with new tracks and competitors.
Leavine's team will be at half-mile Mobile International Speedway for the first of six scheduled ARCA Racing Series events for the Leavine Family Racing team.