Michael McDowell Post-Race Report: Phoenix Raceway

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  • On Sunday afternoon, Michael McDowell and his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops | Luber-finer Ford Mustang took to the track at Phoenix Raceway for the final race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. McDowell took the green flag in 29th place and would advance his position to 26th by the Competition Caution on Lap 32. Under caution, he noted that his race car was “tight in the middle, loose off,” prompting Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer to call McDowell to pit road for 4 tires, fuel, a wedge adjustment and added grille tape. McDowell continued to battle and would go on to take the Stage 1 green- and white-checkered flag from the 27th position. During the first Stage Break Caution, McDowell came to pit road for 4 tires, fuel, a wedge adjustment and a trackbar adjustment after mentioning that his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops | Luber-finer Ford Mustang was “a little free under braking … Plowing tight middle.”
  • The majority of Stage 2 ran caution-less, forcing teams to pit under green for tires and fuel. While the majority of his competitors had already pitted, McDowell remained on track to gain valuable track position. The No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops | Luber-finer Ford Mustang ran as high as third place at one point and would be running in 11th when the caution flag flew on Lap 88. Under caution, McDowell pitted for 4 tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment. Unfortunately, he would also pick up a speeding penalty during his trip to pit road and the No. 34 was forced to restart at the tail end of the field. McDowell would go on to finish Stage 2 in 21st place. During the second Stage Break Caution, McDowell told his team that their No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops | Luber-finer Ford Mustang was “still fighting (turn in) the center (of the corners) really bad” and would pit for 4 tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment.
  • In the Final Stage of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, McDowell continued to search for more speed in his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops | Luber-finer Ford Mustang. The stage would run caution-less from start to finish and teams would be forced to perform another round of green flag pit stops. On Lap 261, Blickensderfer would call the No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops | Luber-finer Ford Mustang to pit road for 4 tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment after McDowell noted that his race car was “tight middle, free off.” In the remaining 51 laps of the race, McDowell would overtake a handful of competitors and take the final checkered flag of the season from the 23rd position at Phoenix Raceway.
  • McDowell finished the season 23rd in the driver point standings and 25th in the owner point standings. He also recorded a career-best season with four Top-10 and ten Top-15 finishes.

McDowell on Phoenix:

  • “Well that’s a wrap on the 2020 season. It’s been crazy and I’m so thankful for everybody at Front Row Motorsports. It’s been a great year for us; we accomplished a couple of our goals that we set out to grab; didn’t hit them all, but we finally got in the Top-25 in the owner points. It was a dogfight all the way to the end and I’m just so thankful for all of my guys, everybody at Front Row (Motorsports) and our partners: Love’s Travel Stops, Speedco, Delo, Luber-finer, Prime Inc, MTS, Fr8Auctions, The Pete Store, Digital Ally with their Shield Cleansers and CarParts.com. We’ve had so many cool cars this year and I’m just thankful for how much improvement that we’ve had this year and I’m really excited about 2021.”

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