Leavine Family Racing hopes to return to shop hit by fire
Leavine Family Racing is one of the smaller teams in the Sprint Cup Series, but when a fire hit their race shop Friday morning in Concord, North Carolina, the NASCAR community came out in full force to offer their support.
Team vice president Jeremy Lange told FOXSports.com Monday afternoon things have been "chaotic" since the fire broke out at the rear of the race shop on Friday morning. He said the most difficult part of the situation was being nearly 1,000 miles away in Kansas.
"You automatically assume the worst when you hear fire," Lange said. "There was a lot of heat and a lot of smoke. There is ash and soot all throughout the shop."
Despite losing four cars and a host of other parts, Lange indicated the fire would not cause the team to miss any races and they remain committed to running their full schedule.
"We have faced challenges as a small team in the sport," he said. "We’ll approach this no different."
Since returning from this weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway, the single-car team with driver Michael McDowell is working out of a free space at the Team Penske shop.
While the team said in a statement on Friday the fire may force the team to relocate permanently, Lange said that is not the plan.
"The plan is to be back in that building," he said. "Our team has a lot of blood, sweat and tears in that building, and we don’t want to walk away from that."
In addition to the four cars, Lange said he "can’t even fathom" the total net loss from the fire. The team is putting together a checklist and in the coming days will go through the parts and pieces to see what, if anything, can be salvaged.
The building was been without water and electricity throughout the weekend, but had the water service cut back on Monday morning. Investigators from both the fire department and the insurance company worked over the building on Friday and were back on site Monday.
While Lange said it has been "frustrating not having answers," the support shown from the NASCAR community has been "tremendous."
"It is important to know people out there want us to succeed," he said. "We won’t let the fire define us. We will overcome this and move forward."
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.