Leaving Family Racing announced Thursday via press release that driver Michael McDowell, and championship winning crew chief Todd Parrott will return to the organization for the 2017 MENCS campaign.

With seven races remaining in the 2016 season, Parrott took over as crew chief for McDowell. The late season combination added up to top-15 at Charlotte, four top-20 finishes, and a top 10 finish at Homestead.

With McDowell behind the wheel of the No.95 full-time for all 36 races in 2017, the organization is now Chase eligible for the first time since the team opened its doors in 2011. The 2016 season saw the No.95 team feature two drivers – Michael McDowell for 31 starts, and Ty Dillon for seven.

“I’m excited to be returning full-time with LFR for the 2017 season,” McDowell stated. “I look forward to continuing to work with Todd as well and kicking off our season with a strong start at the DAYTONA 500 in February.”

The Phoenix, Arizona native is entering his 10th season in NASCAR’s Premier Series. McDowell earned his first NASCAR touring series win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Road America while piloting the No. 2 entry for Richard Childress Racing. Both RCR and LFR share a technical alliance, which has become a common team-building tactic in recent years. Since the beginning of the alliance in 2016, LFR has seen steady improvement in its finishes, resources, and qualifying efforts.

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McDowell recorded just two DNF’s (Did Not Finish) in the 2016 Campaign

Crew Chief Todd Parrott expressed excitement has the 2017 Daytona 500 is rapidly approaching.

“I can’t wait for the 2017 season to get here and look forward to having a great year with Michael and the team,” said Parrott. “I’m appreciative of the opportunity LFR has given me to once again assume the crew chief role for the team and am ready to get started on the upcoming season.”

Vice President of Leavine Family Racing Jeremy Lange believes that due to the recent performance of his team with McDowell, the organization can have a steady future, with more sponsors and better efforts on the race track.

“With both Michael and Todd returning to the team this season we are looking to maintain the consistency we found towards the end of last year and continue to push forward and build off the positive momentum,” said Jeremy Lange, Vice President of Leavine Family Racing. “We had great performances on the track last year and we’re hoping that continuing in that direction will lead to more sponsorships for the team. We do have some partner renewals that we will be announcing soon and are excited to add more.”

The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season kicks off with the 59th running of the Daytona 500 on February 26th, broadcasted live on FOX.