Coming off of a strong run at Sonoma Raceway last weekend, Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing head to Daytona International Speedway looking for another strong run. The team enters one of their best tracks with a lot of momentum on their sides.
In six starts in the Coke Zero 400, McDowell earned his career best finish in 2014 when he finished seventh. Daytona has been a good track to the Glendale Arizona native as of late. He was running up in the top-5 last season before falling back in the draft and crossing the finish line 10th, the first of two top-10 finishes the team gained last year. In the 59th Annual Daytona 500 earlier this season, McDowell secured a 15th-place finish, his first of six finishes inside the Top-20 this season.
“We had a great car during the Daytona 500 back in February,” said McDowell. “We ran out of gas with a lap to go and didn’t get the finish that we thought we had going, but my career best finish has come from Daytona. The Fourth of July race is hot, slick, and there’s a lot of sliding around, so it should be a lot of fun.”
The No. 95 WRL Contractors Chevy looked fast during Friday’s practice sessions. McDowell was 16th in first practice and second to Dale Earnhardt Jr. in final practice. McDowell moved up to 25th in points following a 14th-place finish last weekend at Sonoma.
Daytona is a track that often favors underdogs and is known as an equalizer. If McDowell can pull off a surprise victory this weekend at Daytona and can stay in the top-30 in points, he could put himself in position to qualify for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.