By AMANDA VINCENT
Leavine Family Racing, the small NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team that fields the No. 95 Ford for driver Michael McDowell, is soldiering on, despite a fire at its race shop on the night of May 7.
“We can confirm there was a fire at our Concord, N.C., shot,” the first statement from the race team regarding the fire read.” Luckily, no one was injured. We are working with the fire department and local officials to determine what happened. We’ve heard from the fire department there was significant damage to the back of the race shop. As you can imagine, we are still working to assess the full situation.”
Four backup cars and one primary the team planned to use for at least one of the two road course races later this season were stored in the area of the fire and, therefore, received extensive damage.
The team employs 14 people, owner Bob Leavine told NASCAR.com. Team plans from the beginning of the season have been to field the No. 95 in at least 20 Sprint Cup races. So far, the team has competed in six races, including the most recent race at Kansas Speedway on May 9, just two days after the fire.
The team also plans to compete in the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday night.
“We do not anticipate this to impact the team’s competition schedule,” a later statement from the team read. “Our next race is the Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Four race cars were damaged in the fire; these were primarily back-up cars. A complete investigation is taking place to assess the overall damage and cause of the fire.”
Although the fire was primarily in a storage area of the race shop, the team may have to find a new home.
“After receiving more information from a restoration company than inspected the fire damage at the shop today, we were informed that structural damage may cause us to move our racing operations,” the statement from Friday read. “We are currently exploring all options.”
For now, the team has a spot at the Team Penske shop. Leavine Family Racing has a technical alliance with Team Penske.
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