The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to restrictor plate racing this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Leavine Family Racing and their No. 95 driver, Michael McDowell are looking to capitalize on their past superspeedway success.
The full-time No. 95 Chevrolet-based team comes with the rest of the NASCAR garage to the longest oval track in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS). Both McDowell and Leavine Family Racing (LFR) are eager to capitalize on McDowell’s past superspeedway success.
The No. 95 driver looks forward to his return to superspeedway racing. The pair of restrictor plate tracks on the schedule act as somewhat of a wildcard and equalizer on the NASCAR schedule, and superspeedway racing success is something he and LFR have been able to succeed on together as a team.
McDowell and LFR’s last superspeedway race was the season opening Daytona 500, where they were consistently in the front for the race’s entirety. Ultimately, the team earned a Top-15 finish in the 2017 running of the Daytona 500.
McDowell said that the superspeedways are always a good place on the schedule to be able to run up front, with a possible chance at a win.
“Daytona seems to go better for us than Talladega but a lot of that is finishing and not having any damage,” McDowell said.
“It seems like the races at Talladega get a little wild for us, but superspeedways have been a strong suit for this LFR team. We got a pretty good start at Daytona. I feel like we could go to Talladega and have a shot to get in the playoffs.”
Talladega also means a little off-track competition for the single car team of LFR. The team will once again host a cook-off challenge at Talladega. Last year, LFR faced off in the inaugural Talladega cook-off challenge against Roush Fenway Racing. For this second challenge, LFR is facing off against another blue oval team and a fellow single car team. LFR will match up against Richard Petty Motorsports, to determine who the best cook in the MENCS garage is.
The Talladega Spring cook-off challenge will take place on Sunday, May 7 at 12PM ET simultaneously with the MENCS driver and crew chief meeting.
The Geico 500 will two hours later at 2PM ET, with the green flag dropping around 2:20PM. The race will be broadcast on television on the FOX network. Radio coverage will be on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Satellite NASCAR Channel 90.