By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
The final race for Leavine Family Racing as a Chevy Racing team never got off the ground. The team, in its’ third full-time season, lost 26 laps due to an oil leak under the parade laps for the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Next season, the team will be a member of the Toyota Racing Development camp.
Regan Smith in the teams’ No. 95 Dumont Jets Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 started well behind the preverbal eight ball. In the car designed to be a tribute to LFR’s original driver, Kasey Kahne who was sidelined earlier in the season, had a message, “Thanks Kasey!” on the TV Panel.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ‘super sub’ was left chasing others throughout the entirety of the race in a bid to climb from last-place. Despite the difference in speed of Smith’s car versus those ahead of him, there was never enough time for him to gain positions, ending the race in last, 14 laps behind Tanner Berryhill in 38th, and 27 laps behind the leader.
In three full seasons with Chevrolet, LFR earned two top-five and five top-10 finishes. The organization’s best finish, fourth-place (twice) came with Kasey Kahne and Michael McDowell at Daytona International Speedway. McDowell earned the teams’ only non-restrictor plate top-10 finish at Homestead in 2016.
LFR’s best finish in Owner’s Points 26th, came in 2017 with McDowell. The team ended the 2018 season 27th in Owner’s Points.
Next season, LFR will assume the position that Furniture Row Racing, which is shutting down, currently holds. With a Joe Gibbs Racing alliance, the team will bring Matt Dibenedetto into the fold as it intends to move up the running order.