Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing to field two cars for Daytona 500

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Ty Dillon and Michael McDowell each will be entered by Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing for the Daytona 500, the team announced Thursday morning.

Dillon will drive the No. 95 car, which will be guaranteed a starting spot in the field because the team’s charter is attached to that car. His car will be sponsored by Cheerios and Kroger. Todd Parrott will be his crew chief.

McDowell will drive the No. 59 car sponsored by Thrivent Financial/K-Love Radio. Dave Winston will be his crew chief. McDowell will vie for one of four open spots in the 40-car field because the team does not have a charter for that car.

Dillon finished 28th in his Daytona 500 debut last year. He’s finished in the top 10 in two of his five Xfinity starts at Daytona International Speedway.

“The Daytona 500 is such a prestigious race and it’s an incredible honor to be able to compete on this stage,” Dillon said in a team release.  “Last season I learned a lot and experienced a lot. I got to race up front with the leaders, raced in the back, had some damage we had to repair and eventually finished 28th. This season, we’re going to go out there like any other team and try to win the race.”

McDowell is seeking to make his fifth start in the Daytona 500. He finished ninth in the 2013 race.

“I think it’s a good track in that it allows any team to have a shot at running well,” McDowell said in a team release. “It’s one of the ‘opportunity’ races for our team to run up front and finish well.” The changes that we made in off season — switching to Chevrolet and aligning with RCR — has provided us with, by far, the best equipment, car and motor combination that we’ve ever brought to a superspeedway.  It’s pretty exciting because we’ve had good results at superspeedways in the past.  Hands down this is the best car we’ve ever brought to Daytona.”

The team announced last month that Dillon and McDowell will share driving duties in the No. 95 car this season. McDowell will run a majority of the races in the car.