Leavine Family Racing showing promise and progress

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It’s good to see good things happen to good people.

Even though it’s only a part-time racing effort, Leavine Family Racing is having its best season ever in Sprint Cup racing in 2014.

The Concord, N.C.-based, Ford-powered team will wind up competing in an all-time high 19 races this season, with plans to qualify for six of the remaining seven races on the schedule.

The No. 95 team, with driver Michael McDowell behind the wheel, will compete at Kansas, Charlotte, Talladega, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead.

The only remaining race the team will bypass is Martinsville.

“This is an important stretch of races for us,” McDowell said in a team media release. “We have an opportunity to build our data and information to prepare for the 2015 season. This season has really been about perseverance for us. We’ve had a steady course of action and have worked hard to continue on that path in spite of challenges.”

The team is definitely showing progress, with the best all-time finish in team history being seventh at Daytona, as well as an 18th-place showing at Bristol in the 13 races it has qualified for thus far in 2014. It’s hoping for a strong showing in this Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway.

“We’re looking forward to the race weekend and excited to be racing six out of the last seven events on the schedule,” crew chief Wally Rogers said. “Our team had a good test at Kansas earlier this year where we learned a lot and we’ll be looking to put that information to good use this weekend.”

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Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.