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NASCAR Silly Season and News

Chevellion

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Kenseth is such a better choice.
His performance has been pretty lackluster; only two top-10s and 1 top-5 after 15 races, compared to Kurt's 10 top-10s and 3 top-5s over the same period. Would be interesting to see if a younger driver could pick back up where Larson left off.
 

TheOutlaw1272

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Leavine Family Racing has been sold, but they will finish out the 2020 season with Christopher Bell.

From NASCAR.com:


Bob Leavine announced Tuesday morning that he has sold his family-owned racing team, indicating that Leavine Family Racing will cease operations at the end of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Leavine has fielded cars in NASCAR’s top division since 2011, when it embarked on a four-race stint with veteran David Starr. The team currently campaigns the No. 95 Toyota for Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Christopher Bell, who ranks 23rd in Cup Series points.

In his statement, Leavine indicated that COVID-19 epidemic’s impact on the economy was “just not something we are able to overcome in order to continue racing beyond this season.” The coronavirus outbreak shut the sport down from mid-March to mid-May.

“This decision has not been made lightly,” Leavine said in a statement. “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.”

Leavine Family Racing flew the banners of all three manufacturers during its time in the sport, transitioning from Ford (2011-2015) to Chevrolet (2016-2018) to Toyota (2019-2020). Its final shift to Toyota Racing Development included a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Other drivers who suited up for LFR’s No. 95 entry include Michael McDowell, Kasey Kahne, Matt DiBenedetto, Ty Dillon and Scott Speed. It was DiBenedetto who delivered the team’s best finish, a spirited second-place effort in Bristol’s annual night race last season.
 

Dodgeman4345

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Joe Gibbs Racing kills off another team. Lol.

Another team for Rick Ware Racing. Lol.
 

Connor J Shields

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It seems like the position of being a Joe Gibbs Racing affiliate is cursed. Almost every team that worked with JGR is now out of NASCAR. As for the buyer, I heard rumors on Twitter that Spire Motorsports bought Levine Family Racing's assets.
 

Sebastian Ruiz

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It seems like the position of being a Joe Gibbs Racing affiliate is cursed. Almost every team that worked with JGR is now out of NASCAR. As for the buyer, I heard rumors on Twitter that Spire Motorsports bought Levine Family Racing's assets.
The Joe Gibbs Curse strikes again.
 

oddball

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Holy cow. Can we stop blaming Joe Gibbs for everything that goes wrong with a Toyota affiliated team? First of all, let's be honest and saying that both the Front Row and Levine teams were small budget teams funding out of their own pocket. By the sounds of it, Front Row wasn't go to last too much longer. Levine Racing is a poor man's Front Row. Levine himself stated that if the sport didn't get going soon, his team was in trouble. Let's stop blaming Joe Gibbs for destroying organizations that are living on the edge of collapsing.
 

MDLDesigns

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Holy cow. Can we stop blaming Joe Gibbs for everything that goes wrong with a Toyota affiliated team? First of all, let's be honest and saying that both the Front Row and Levine teams were small budget teams funding out of their own pocket. By the sounds of it, Front Row wasn't go to last too much longer. Levine Racing is a poor man's Front Row. Levine himself stated that if the sport didn't get going soon, his team was in trouble. Let's stop blaming Joe Gibbs for destroying organizations that are living on the edge of collapsing.
Furniture Row. not Front Row. you got your FRR's a little mixed up.
 

MillsLayne

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Holy cow. Can we stop blaming Joe Gibbs for everything that goes wrong with a Toyota affiliated team? First of all, let's be honest and saying that both the Front Row and Levine teams were small budget teams funding out of their own pocket. By the sounds of it, Front Row wasn't go to last too much longer. Levine Racing is a poor man's Front Row. Levine himself stated that if the sport didn't get going soon, his team was in trouble. Let's stop blaming Joe Gibbs for destroying organizations that are living on the edge of collapsing.
It's easy for everyone to do that because of who drives for them. That's literally it. I'm a KB fan, but I'm not unaware of his polarizing demeanor, then add in Denny, MTJ (Jones seems neutral) and the fact that they run Toyotas, and you have a shit storm of hate from a lot of fans.
 

mtblillie

It's MTB Lillie, not MT Billy
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I'm pretty sure that Furniture Row said themselves that the alliance with JGR is what did them in (not to mention all the in-fighting). I mean, they may have been a smaller team, but they did win a championship and then fold the next day, it's not like they were premium running 35th every race and only cashing in on the charter money.

I have nothing against JGR, and while I don't doubt it was a factor, I don't think they are wholly responsible for LFR, but don't act like they are innocent of the FRR thing.
 

CCM284

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I mean, let's look at the teams who have partnered with JGR/TRD and have shut down within 3 years. HOF Racing partnered with JGR and Toyota in 2008, then switched to Fords and folded at the end of 2009. FRR partnered with JGR and TRD in 2016 and folded at the end of 2018. XCI Racing partnered with JGR and only ran 1 cup race in 2019 before disappearing. And now we have LFR who partnered with JGR in 2019 and are going to fold at the end 0f 2020.

The common links between all of these teams are partnerships with JGR and Toyota so it's safe to assume that these partnerships are contributing in some form to the demise of these teams. I don't think JGR and TRD are the main reason why these teams have folded, but IMO they have contributed to the downfall of these teams.
 

starscream24

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I mean. These are way too many coincidences to just not see the link here lol.
 

MillsLayne

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One thing we haven't talked about yet that this solidifies, though, is it's either Bell or Jones in the 20 next year, and when it's announced that it's Bell's ride, where does Jones go? The 48? Or, does HMS downsize to three cars like it's been rumored and Bowman goes to the 48? Maybe the 42?
 

db512

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The actual common thread between all of this is the price to be competitive in the Cup series. All these teams were pretty much non-competitive before their alliances. They were small teams with small budgets that tried to align themselves with a top team and manufacturer in an attempt to win and be competitive. Doing this shortened the time line on how long they could operate and when it didn't work they flat ran out of money. So you could argue that the cost of competitive equipment ran them out.

HOF never really struck gold in any respect with drivers or manufacturers so their move was kind of a last ditch effort imo.

FRR got to the top and when 5 hour energy pulled out of the sport and took their money with them the time ran out. I think if 5 hour stayed they could have continued and at the same time JGR had every right to raise their prices since FRR had just won a title.

XCI I believe was a legal issue so totally unrelated to any of this I think.

And now with LFR it was made pretty clear the pandemic had a lot to do with them selling. It not only affected the team itself but also the other family business that got them their in the first place.

So while it's easy to blame JGR it really does just seem to be a coincidence but also just the underlying problem with the sport as a whole, the cost to field a highly competitive team is just too much. And the teams can't find the support they need to fund competitive rides. Hopefully the new car and new possible business models may change this and allow the sport to grow.
 

db512

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One thing we haven't talked about yet that this solidifies, though, is it's either Bell or Jones in the 20 next year, and when it's announced that it's Bell's ride, where does Jones go? The 48? Or, does HMS downsize to three cars like it's been rumored and Bowman goes to the 48? Maybe the 42?
I think this is easy for JGR and Toyota. They have a deal with Bell and nothing with Jones. So unfortunately I see Jones headed else where.
 
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