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Scott Speed Puts Leavine Family Racing and New Sponsor DISH Network into Daytona 500

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Scott Speed Puts Leavine Family Racing and New Sponsor DISH Network into Daytona 500
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.  (February 23, 2013) – Scott Speed knew his window to make the starting lineup for Sunday’s Daytona 500 was closing in the final laps of Thursday’s Budweiser Duels.
 
Then an actual missing window helped Speed and the rest of the Leavine Family Racing (LFR) race team qualify for the biggest NASCAR race of the season and resulted in a new sponsor for the Texas-based team with DISH Network.
 
A leading satellite TV company, DISH Network, will be the primary sponsor on the No. 95 Ford Fusion with Speed for the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 24 at the Daytona International Speedway.
 
“We’re excited to team up with Leavine Family Racing on the No. 95 DISH Ford Fusion to help promote the Hopper,” said James Moorhead, chief marketing officer for DISH. “Racing fans are passionate and dedicated – just like our customers. We love this opportunity to engage with a fan base that really mirrors the innovative spirit at DISH where we push the limits of technology and challenge the status quo.”
 
Speed ran as high as eighth in the first 150-mile qualifying race at the Daytona International Speedway, but a problem with the brakes on a scheduled pit stop forced a longer stop which put No. 95 machine toward the back of the 21-car field. He got as high as 16th at the finish with the top 15 automatically advancing to Sunday’s race.
 
Moments later, NASCAR officials moved Speed up to 15th – and into the Daytona 500 – when sixth-place Martin Truex Jr. finished without a side passenger window.
 
“We got lucky to get in because of the window, but at the same time we ran way better than that all race,” Speed said. “That window coming out of the car cost us an easy transfer spot anyway because it’s faster. The window giveth and it taketh away.”
 
Based on NASCAR’s unique qualifying rules, Leavine Family Racing would likely still have advanced into the Daytona 500. By finishing 15th, however, team owner Bob Leavine no longer had to worry about any of the complicated exemptions.
 
“We’re in,” he said with an enormous sigh of relief. “I feel blessed.”
 
Speed clearly had a racecar worthy of stock car racing’s Super Bowl. With three more practice sessions remaining before the green flag on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, Speed and crew chief Wally Rogers believe they have enough of a baseline to be competitive in the new Gen-6 racer.
 
“Scott did a really good job, especially when he got in the outside line,” Rogers said. “We’re learning so much about the car with every lap. Scott was patient and the car had good solid speed in it. Making the race is a huge relief for everyone at Leavine Family Racing. We’re a small team, and this is a very big deal for us.”
 
The team didn’t learn of Truex’s problems until they were walking down pit road after the race.
 
“We heard it on the (public address) speaker,” Leavine said. “All I could imagine was going home. Then we heard we were in. It’s one of the most incredible feelings I’ve ever had at a racetrack.”
 
Speed will start 31st in the Daytona 500.
 
“It was hard once we got to the back after the pit stop because we didn’t have anyone back there to help us,” Speed said. “We finally got back up there and picked off a few of them.
 
“You had to have a good car to be able to do that. That’s a credit to everyone at LFR. This is a proud moment for everyone. We’re in the Daytona 500. I will never get tired of hearing that.”
 
-95-
 
About DISH
 
DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), through its subsidiary DISH Network L.L.C., provides approximately 14.056 million satellite TV customers, as of Dec. 31, 2012, with the highest quality programming and technology with the most choices at the best value, including HD Free for Life. Subscribers enjoy the largest high definition line-up with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international channels, and award-winning HD and DVR technology. DISH Network Corporation’s subsidiary, Blockbuster L.L.C., delivers family entertainment to millions of customers around the world. DISH Network Corporation is a Fortune 200 company. Visit www.dish.com.

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