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Monday, February 10, 2014
Updated: February 13, 7:44 AM ET
Cup preview: Leavine Family Racing

By John Oreovicz
ESPN.com

Michael McDowell
Michael McDowell is scheduled to drive 20 Sprint Cup Series races for Leavine Family Racing in 2014.

One in a series of 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team previews ahead of the season-opening Daytona 500:

Bob Leavine
Bob Leavine welcomes Michael McDowell to the cockpit of the No. 95 Ford.

LEAVINE FAMILY RACING

Principal owners: Bob & Sharon Leavine

Manufacturer: Ford

Engine source: Roush Yates Engines

Alliances: Team Penske (chassis technology)

Driver (crew chief): Michael McDowell (Wally Rogers)

2013's top finisher: Scott Speed, 41st

2013 grade: C-minus

2014 preseason grade: C

2014 outlook: After three years running a partial Sprint Cup schedule. Leavine Family Racing plans to again contest 20 races in 2014 with driver Michael McDowell with the eventual goal of ramping up to a full-time effort. McDowell's longtime sponsor K-LOVE Radio is on board for the Daytona 500 and two other races, while Black Dragon Tools and Triangle Office Equipment have signed on as associate backers. Scott Speed scored LFR's best result to date with a ninth-place finish in the fall 2013 Talladega race. LFR also plans to contest a limited Nationwide Series schedule with Reed Sorenson.

Quotable: "We were able to finish the 2013 season strong and that gives us confidence for next season. We made significant progress throughout the season, and with the competition level so high, forward progress of any kind is always encouraging. I think I can speak for the entire family by saying that we are all extremely excited to get to Daytona again in February." -- Bob Leavine

DRIVER LINEUP

Michael McDowell
McDowell

Michael McDowell (No. 95 Ford): "Bob Leavine and I started talking four-five months ago when I drove their car at the All-Star race [Showdown]. It was a great opportunity to kind of sit in for one weekend to see what the team was all about and work with Wally [Rogers] and those guys. What attracted me to Bob is the kind of person he is, with the moral qualities and faith-based beliefs that I have. That aligned with K-LOVE and what we all stand for as people. I'm just glad I don't have to start-and-park anymore. Running 20 quality races allows us to manage our program, put out quality equipment and have the opportunity to run well."
2014 goal: A top-15 race finish