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Scott Speed gets 15-race deal for 2012
14 December 2011
Former F1 driver Scott Speed has signed up with Leavine Family Racing (LFR) to race in 15 of next season's 36 Sprint Cup races.
"We are pleased to have Scott Speed join our team," team owner Bob Leavine said.
This will make it Speed's fifth season in Cup competition, and he's also appeared in 18 Nationwide Series races and 16 Camping World Truck Series events over the past four years since he was ousted from his seat in the Toro Rosso F1 team.
"I am excited to team up with Bob Leavine and his guys at Leavine Family Racing," said Speed. "They have a solid group of guys working on the team and I think it will be a real fun deal."
Both driver and team boss stressed that the aim was to boost the new LRF team - which entered its first eight Cup races in 2011 with David Starr at the wheel of the #95 - into becoming a truly competitive Cup operation.
"We, as a team, want to give Scott the equipment and the resources he needs to win - and that is what I believe he will do for us in return," said Bob Leavine. "Scott is a proven driver. He was the first American to race in Formula One since Michael Andretti and has a lot to offer our program as a teammate and a competitor."
"Our goal is to build this race team to become competitive," agreed Speed. "We know it will be baby steps, but we are all excited to get it rolling."
Speed, 28, has struggled to find a regular seat in NASCAR since he split acrimoniously with the Red Bull Racing Cup team at the end of 2010 after earning two top-10 finishes and leading 21 laps.
He attempted to make a return to open wheel racing at the centennial Indianapolis 500, but problems with the Dragon Racing team thwarted his attempts to qualify for the starting grid. Instead, he was able to make 13 appearances back in NASCAR Sprint Cup with Front Row Motorsports and Whitney Motorsports, making 89 Cup career starts in total.
Sponsorship for the 15-race run was not announced.
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