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Michael McDowell

Team: Leavine Family-Circle Sport-95
Age / DOB:  (31) / 12/21/1984
Ht / Wt:  6'0' / 170

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Michael McDowell slapped the wall a minute after the New Hampshire Motor Speedway went back to green following Austin Dillon’s crash. With three minutes remaining in practice for the Bad Boy 300, he slapped the wall but did not do enough damage to cause him to roll out a backup.
McDowell scored top-10 points in NASCAR Daily Fantasy Contests two weeks ago at Richmond International Raceway and should be considered a dark horse this week. This slight incident does not hurt his handicap in any way; in fact, since he was practicing on the edge, it is likely this team came to race this weekend. Sep 23 - 1:01 PM

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Michael McDowell earned his fourth top-20 finish in the past nine Cup races with a 12th at Richmond International Raceway in the Federated Auto Parts 400.

McDowell is regularly one of the cheapest drives in salary cap games and that makes him an incredibly good value when he finishes this well. With top-20s in nearly half of his recent attempts, this team is showing the importance of consistency in the cockpit. This current streak began with a 10th at Kentucky Speedway and McDowell has been in the No. 95 Circle Sport/Leavine Family team car in all but one of the races during that span.
Sep 12 - 12:35 PM

Michael McDowell has not made a start at Darlington Raceway since 2013 when the Southern 500 was run in May. He parked early and finished 42nd. In fact, McDowell has been running at the end of only one previous start on this track and that was in 2008 in the Dodge Challenger 500.

McDowell has made four starts at Darlington and he has finished worse than he qualified every time. He failed to make the 2012 edition of this race. McDowell has been qualifying well in 2016, so look for that negative place-differential trend to continue.
Sep 3 - 11:43 AM

Sprint Cup regular Michael McDowell (No. 95 Chevrolet SS), driving the Richard Childress Racing No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro, won the Road America 180, his first victory in 94 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) races.

This is his second top-10 finish in five NXS races at Road America. Brendan Gaughan (second) posted his third top-10 finish in five races at Road America. It is his 12th top-10 finish in 2016. Brennan Poole (third), making his first start at Road America, was the highest finishing Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender. Elliott Sadler leads the NXS Championship standings by 47 points over Daniel Suarez.
Aug 27 - 8:34 PM

"Hopefully we’ll get it a little bit better for him before Sunday," Sam Hornish Jr. told reporters in Friday’s practice session, referencing his shaking down the No. 95 car that will be driven by Michael McDowell this Sunday. Battling extremely free conditions, Hornish is unaccustomed to the new low down force package, but hopes to "keep heading in the right direction."

With 20 minutes remaining in the first practice, Hornish was 34th on the speed chart. The No. 95 Circle Sport/Leavine Family team will start near the back based on qualification speeds, but McDowell should be able to earn place-differential points.
Aug 26 - 1:05 PM

Sprint Cup regular Michael McDowell, driving the No. 2 Rheem Chevrolet Camaro, led the first practice session for the XFINITY Series Road America 180 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI.

The lap of 108.847 mph lap was the best of the 31 cars completing laps in this session. No. 18 Owen Kelly, No. 22 Alex Tagliani, No. 42 Justin Marks and No. 62 Brendan Gaughan are the rest of the top five on the speed chart. John Jackson in the No. 40 Dodge was the slowest.
Aug 26 - 12:00 PM

Michael McDowell will make his first start with the RCR No. 2 Rheem Chevrolet Camaro team at Road America.

In two previous NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Road America, McDowell has recorded one pole award and a runner-up finish. He holds an average starting position of 3.2, coupled with an average finishing position of 20.2. The NASCAR regular is no stranger to road course racing, McDowell has captured two pole awards, three top-five and five top-10 finishes in 12 road course starts in the XFINITY Series. He also has 31 starts in the NASCAR Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series, earning one victory, two pole awards and four podium finishes.-Richard Childress Racing
Aug 23 - 3:33 PM

Two top-25s in five starts in the No. 95 at Bristol Motor Speedway make Michael McDowell an interesting choice this week. He finished 18th in August 2014 and 22nd the following spring.

McDowell will be completely under the radar this week, but he should be far enough out of the pack to keep from getting banged about. That could be good for at least a top-30 if there is sufficient attrition and could make him a great differentiator among long-shot, dark horses.
Aug 19 - 10:23 AM

Michael McDowell has climbed out of the No. 95 on a few occasions this year to make room for pre-rookie Ty Dillon, but he has been a solid value on other occasions. In 18 starts, he has scored one top-10, another top-15, and four total top-20s.

McDowell’s two best runs came on the wild card restrictor-plate, superspeedway in Daytona, but he was a much more predictable good value last week. With a solid road course background, he was predicted to run well at Watkins Glen International and finished 17th after qualifying 11th.
Aug 12 - 4:27 PM

Michael McDowell was notably fast in qualification for the Cheez-it 355 at the Glen. He posted a speed of 125.370 mph that was good enough for 11th on the grid.

McDowell is a solid dark horse, but he is not an automatic pick. He qualified in the top 12 twice previously on this track and finished in the high-30s both times. He is practically assured to lose place-differential points this week.
Aug 6 - 3:58 PM

Michael McDowell’s career on road courses has been marked by some solid runs and some bad luck. When he stays out of trouble, he can finish in the top 25 like he did last August at Watkins Glen International. When he struggles, he finishes near the back of the pack like he did at Sonoma Raceway.

McDowell has a road racing background, which contributed to his 20th-place finish in last year’s Cheez-it 355 result. The No. 95 team has limited recourses, however, and broke a rear gear this June at Sonoma.
Aug 5 - 11:19 AM

Michael McDowell will celebrate his 200th career Sprint Cup Series start when he takes the green flag at Watkins Glen International this Sunday.

The nine-year NASCAR veteran will pilot the No. 95 Thrivent Financial Chevrolet for Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing in the Cheez-It 355. McDowell is thrilled to celebrate this milestone at a track filled with such rich racing history and where he has recorded seven starts. Last year he was able to capture his best finish, a Top-20, which he hopes to improve on after the team tested at the track just last week and had fast times on the leaderboard during green flag runs. Said McDowell. "I’m excited for another road course race. We had a great test at Watkins Glen last week, and it was very helpful having the test since they have a new surface at the track now."-Zerolight Communications
Aug 3 - 1:23 PM

Michael McDowell failed to advance to the second round of qualification, but he logged an impressive time nonetheless. His lap of 182.819 mph puts him 27th on the grid for the Crown Royal Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard.

That is a minor victory for the team, but it makes McDowell a questionable value in games that offer place-differential points. McDowell could easily cost fantasy points if he runs into trouble early and finishes in the high-30s.
Jul 23 - 2:37 PM

Michael McDowell improved by nearly 10 positions in Friday’s two practice sessions. He was 31st fastest in the morning session with a lap of 175.829 mph and was 22nd-best in the afternoon at 180.839.

Most drivers focused on qualification runs in the first session and race trim in the afternoon. Some notable drivers who McDowell passed included Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Matt Kenseth—all of whom should out-qualify him on Saturday. Still, jumping up the speed chart will contribute to a level of confidence.
Jul 22 - 9:32 PM

Michael McDowell finished 10th in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona after starting 37th. His 27 place-differential points coupled with a 10th-place result made him one of this week’s top fantasy earners and the feel-good story of the week.

McDowell now has three top-10s and another top-15 in his last six races at Daytona. He was one of this week’s featured sleepers and rewarded his fans with optimal points.
Jul 3 - 12:49 AM