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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 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

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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

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

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