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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 finished 15th in the Daytona 500, which made him one of the better fantasy values this spring. In the Geico 500 at Talladega SuperSpeedway, he barely missed sweeping the top 20 with a result of 21st.
In most salary cap games, McDowell is one of the 10 cheapest drivers, so when he finishes in or near the top half of the field he is a great way to extend one’s budget. Last week, a broken rear end snapped a 16-race stretch in which McDowell was running at the end of the show. He will be determined to restart that streak. Jun 30 - 3:35 PM

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Michael McDowell has one of the five-best place differentials in 2016. With an average starting position of 31.25 and finish of 26.75 in 12 starts, he finished 4.5 spots better and those extra points are often very important to success in a fantasy league.

McDowell has finished worse than he started only three times this year. When he is behind the wheel, fantasy owners can be relatively confident that his grid position is only the start of his success in a race.
Jun 24 - 4:54 PM

Richard Childress Racing added Ben Kennedy, Sam Hornish Jr., AJ Allmendinger and Michael McDowell to its 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) team roster to drive the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro in races at Iowa Speedway, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Road America and Kentucky Speedway.

Michael McDowell takes to the seat of the Rheem Chevrolet at Road America. The No. 2 team earned the victory at the Plymouth, Wisc.-based track last season with driver Paul Menard. McDowell has 12 road course starts in the XFINITY Series, collecting three top-five and five top-10 finishes with two pole awards.-Richard Childress Racing
Jun 8 - 5:01 PM

Michael McDowell spun harmlessly in the Sprint Showdown with four laps remaining in the first segment.

McDowell will certainly fail to transfer to the all-star race, but he is gaining valuable experience that will transfer to next week’s Coke 600.
May 21 - 11:43 AM

Michael McDowell was the last driver to hit the track Friday afternoon. He posted a lap of 156.993 mph, which put him 32nd on the speed chart.

This is significant since all drivers have to have a chance to post a time in practice in order for this to be used to set the lineup for the AAA 400 if qualification is rained out. Even without posting a lap, the session would have been complete since the team had sufficient opportunity to practice, but McDowell’s speed makes him a fairly interesting bargain basement value.
May 13 - 12:08 PM

In 16 starts on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks in the No. 95, Michael McDowell has been running at the end of all but one race. He blew an engine in the 2014 Las Vegas Motor Speedway event. He has been on track ever since.

McDowell’s best finish in that span of races was a 27th at Atlanta last spring, but this team is not giving up and were only one lap off the pace at Vegas this spring. A 29th in that race showed considerable improvement over the previous year.
May 3 - 5:00 PM

Michael McDowell has been running at the end of all five races he entered this season. His best finish was a 15th in the Daytona 500, a race for which he was forced to qualify trough the Can-Am 150 Duel.

McDowell finished on the lead lap in that race and again last week at Auto Club Speedway. This team is lightly funded and often flies under the radar, which could make them dark horse contenders when they are bargain-basement priced.
Mar 24 - 12:55 PM

Michael McDowell has made six previous starts at Auto Club Speedway. He has fallen back from his qualification effort in his last five including 42nd from 35th last year.

McDowell usually has to worry about simply making the show, so the team has not spent enough laps in race trim. If he qualifies modestly, he will reverse that trend this week and could be a provisionally good value.
Mar 18 - 2:39 PM

A 39-car entry list—one fewer than the maximum of 40 cars—has encouraged the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing team to compete at Phoenix International Raceway for the first time since 2014.

That year, McDowell took the No. 95 to a pair of low-30s results. He recorded his best finish on this track in fall 2014 with a 31st, but with fewer cars in the field this week he could be an odds-on favorite to finish in the top 30.
Mar 8 - 6:31 PM

Michael McDowell will climb back behind the wheel of the No. 95 this week after giving up the primary ride to Michael Waltrip for the Daytona 500. This will be his eighth attempt at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

McDowell failed to qualify there twice, once with the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing car in 2014. He won’t have that problem in 2016 with a field of less than 40 cars and a guaranteed start under the charter system. Last year he scored a very respectable 27th in this same car.
Feb 25 - 12:18 PM

Michael McDowell was the highest-finishing Open driver in the first Can Am 150 Duel at Daytona.

This is great for the Leavine Family team, because gave up his primary ride to Michael Waltrip for the big show. McDowell finished 14th in his Duel.
Feb 18 - 8:20 PM

Leavine Family Racing joins with Circle Sport Racing to run the full 36-race schedule in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS).

The team enters an alliance with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and will switch to Chevrolet SS race cars powered by ECR Engines. Michael McDowell, who is entering his third season driving for Leavine Family Racing, will be the primary driver and compete in at least 26 NSCS races in 2016. RCR driver Ty Dillon, who finished third in the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship, will pilot the team’s entry for the remaining NSCS races. Specific races for each driver are being determined but both drivers will enter the Daytona 500.
Jan 21 - 11:43 PM

Winning fantasy leagues are just as often about managing the bottom of the roster as well as the top. In 16 starts in 2015, Michael McDowell and the Leavine Family Racing team scored 14 top-35 finishes.

McDowell was a consistently strong value at his cap level. With the exception of a freak accident at Richmond International Raceway when he ran into a service vehicle under caution, McDowell’s worst result was a 36th. He was forced to work on qualification trim most weekends in order to make the show, however, and earned positive place-differential points only five times for finishing better than he started.
Wed, Dec 2, 2015 10:54:00 AM

Michael McDowell (#95 Thrivent Financial Ford Fusion) finished 33rd in the November 22nd NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Florida's Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The Leavine Family Racing driver started 29th in the lineup and completed 264 laps of the 267-lap event. McDowell, who competed in 16 of the season's 36 races, closed out the season 39th in the final 2015 Sprint Cup Series driver championship standings.
Mon, Nov 23, 2015 03:51:00 PM

Michael McDowell finished 41st at Homestead in 2012 and he was even worse the following year with a 43rd in 2013. Last year he finally found a good setup, however, and scored a very impressive 21st in the Ford 400.

McDowell has been stronger this year as the No. 95 team has concentrated on running as strong as possible in a part time schedule. McDowell represents a risk to fantasy players, but as a differentiator, he can be a great way to stretch the salary cap budget.
Thu, Nov 19, 2015 09:05:00 PM