Leavine Family Racing sold

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Leavine Family Racing sold

NASCAR

Leavine Family Racing sold

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Leavine Family Racing and its assets have been sold, team owner Bob Leavine announced Tuesday morning.

The single-car team, fielding the No. 95 Toyota for Christopher Bell, will finish out the rest of the season. Leavine did not reveal who purchased the team.

“It’s with great sadness today that I announce the sale of the Leavine Family Racing team, assets and charter,” said Leavine in a statement. “Since 2011, Sharon and our entire family have enjoyed being a part of the NASCAR community with Matt DiLiberto joining the family as a co-owner in 2016. We will say goodbye at the conclusion of the 2020  NASCAR Cup Series season.

“This decision has not been made lightly. Family has always been a part of the team’s name, and this is how we view every member of our race team – as our family. There is no good time to make this announcement, but doing it earlier allows our people to explore employment opportunities, for next season, to provide for their families. There will be opportunities with the new owners, which was important to our decision.

“This year has been challenging for not only our race team but our industry, our country, and the entire world. The pandemic has impacted our economy, and unfortunately, that’s just not something we are able to overcome in order to continue racing beyond this season.

“Leavine Family Racing will continue to compete through the end of 2020, and we want to leave on a positive note – contending for top-finishes with Christopher Bell, Toyota, TRD, and all of our partners. Thank you to everyone for your support through this journey. Thank you to our partners and fans, and most of all, thank you to everyone who has been part of the Leavine Family Racing family over the last decade.”

Bell is a rookie of the year contender this season. He’s earned five top-10 finishes through the first 20 races.

Leavine Family Racing took a step forward this season in signing Bell and aligning with Joe Gibbs Racing and receiving further support from Toyota. The partnership is akin to what Gibbs had with Furniture Row Racing before that team shut its doors following the 2018 season.

“We want to thank Bob and Sharon Leavine, Matt DiLiberto, Jeremy Lange and everyone at Leavine Family Racing (LFR) for a successful partnership,” read a statement by Toyota.

“We entered this 2020 racing season with high hopes for LFR and the team has not disappointed. While the season may not have started out as everyone wanted, after returning from the shutdown due to COVID-19, LFR rebounded with some very strong on-track performances. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world and more closely, the entire NASCAR family in so many ways and for LFR, that has forced the sale of the race team. We’re certainly disappointed and saddened by the news, but most importantly, we want to wish Bob, Sharon, Matt, Jeremy and everyone impacted the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

Leavine has fielded cars in the Cup Series since 2011 for various drivers. Michael McDowell and Ty Dillon split the car in 2016 when the organization ran a full season for the first time. Kasey Kahne and Matt DiBenedetto also ran for the team, with DiBenedetto earning the company a career-best finish in the championship standings last year at 22nd.

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