Monday, Feb 06

Leavine Family Racing Expects the Pocono ARCA 200 was Worth the Wait

Tuesday, Jun 05 2080

Michael Leavine hopes the adage "good things happen to those who wait" applies to the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menard's.

If so, the developmental driver for Leavine Family Racing (LFR) should be ready for a breakthrough at Saturday's Pocono ARCA 200 at the Pocono Raceway.

The race will be Leavine's second of eight selected ARCA Racing Series starts this year. The last was March 10 at the Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway where he finished 31st.

"It may have been three months since we last raced, but we haven't stopped working on our No. 95 WRL General Contractors Ford Fusion," Leavine said. "When you can pick and choose your races, you can play to your strengths. I ran Pocono last year and I really enjoyed the challenge of that track. I'm eager about being able to jump in and work on the set-up without having to learn the track like I had to a year ago."

The car has a winning pedigree. Chassis No. 349 was purchased from Roush Fenway Racing and it's the car Carl Edwards drove to Nationwide Series victory at Gateway International Raceway in 2008.

The No. 95 Ford was prepared at the team's Sprint Cup Series shop in Concord, N.C. It also will have a Roush Yates engine under the hood.

Leavine finished 28th at Pocono last year in just his second career ARCA Racing Series start.

Pocono has three distinctive corners. The first is banked 14 degrees to resemble the now-defunct Trenton Speedway; the second, known as the "Tunnel Turn," is banked nine degrees to resemble the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; and the third is banked a mere six degrees to resemble The Milwaukee Mile.

An additional challenge this year at Pocono is a new asphalt top, so every team on the grid will be forced to build new notes.

"The track's grip level will be completely different," crew chief Michael "Grumpy" Cheek said. "But some things don't change. We have some experience there so we don't have the challenges of learning a new track."

The Leavine Family Racing team will concentrate on the third turn since it sets up the 2-mile-long run down the longest straightaway on the ARCA schedule.

"You want a running start on the front straightaway," Leavine said. "The driver who's on the gas the quickest getting off Turn 3 is the driver who's got a big advantage over everyone else."

Saturday's race will be the fifth career start for Leavine, the grandson of team owner Sharon Leavine.



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