McDowell on Watkins Glen"Watkins Glen is one of my favorite tracks. I really feel like that should be a race where we contend. One of my best runs was several years ago in the Front Row car. We qualified well but had a part failure in the race. I really feel like now that we’ve run Sonoma and got to test the Charlotte Roval, I’ve got a little experience in Front Row Motorsports’ road course cars. And I feel like I know what I need at Waktins Glen. I’ve got a pretty good seat-of-the-pants feel of what I need to get there. It’s definitely a big race for us and for K-LOVE Radio. It’s one we circle.
"We've got some momentum going into this weekend. We had a good top-20 finish at Pocono and a good overall performance by our Front Row Motorsports team all weekend. We're making improvements, they're showing up on the racetrack and we absolutely expect to have a good showing at Watkins Glen."
McDowell Watkins Glen Stats
9 starts, 1 top-15, 3 top-20s
Best finish: 12th
Sunday, Aug. 5, 11:15am - The Bog (Watkins Glen International; special ticket required)
No. 34 Dockside Logistics Ford
Started: 13th | Finished: 16th
"Overall, it was a great day, position-wise. We made good gains. First run, our car wasn't very good but we made good adjustments. We had decent speed that middle part of the race, but the caution just fell at the wrong time for us so we lost a little bit of track position. Lucky for us the restarts were crazy enough at the end that we were able to get some spots back. It was a solid day for both cars, top 20 is a good day for Front Row Motorsports. This is something to build on and take good momentum going on to Watkins Glen. "
McDowell on Pocono"It’s always fun going to racetracks twice under somewhat similar conditions. A lot of times, we’ll go to somewhere like Phoenix at the beginning of the year and the end of the year, and things are much different. But going to Pocono, it’s not back-to-back, but it doesn’t feel like that big of a break in between. So, I do feel like you can fine-tune. We definitely have some gains to make. We didn’t have a bad finish of 21st in June. I feel like we executed the race well. But that’s a place where I would really like to run in the teens. So, we’re going to have to put a little bit more potential in the car.
"Restarts are intense for sure. A lot of it has to do with what lane you’re in and which lane’s rolling. Sometimes your lane’s not rolling and you really can’t do much. And then other times, you’ll get that opportunity to be aggressive and get three or four spots. And you don’t really know until you get rolling half-way down the straightaway. People start to fan out, and holes open and close.
"It seemed like this year the aggression level is the same, but people are more precise. We’re not having big wrecks anymore like we used to the last two or three years. It seems like people keep the intensity level up without having big issues now. But it’s always fun to get four- or five-wide."
McDowell Pocono Stats
Best finish: 18th
No. 34 Starkey Hearing Foundation Ford
Started: 29th | Finished: 26th
"We had to use our backup for the race after wrecking our Starkey Hearing Foundation Ford in practice Saturday, so that put us behind from the start of the race. But the guys did a good job getting it ready. We didn't have any issues and everything ran fine, we just could've used a little more speed."
No. 34 Love's Travel Stops/Roller Bites Ford
Started: 23rd | Finished: 24th
"We kind of struggled today. Luckily the 38 team carried the banner for Front Row Motorsports. We never got our Love's Travel Stops/Roller Bites Ford quite where it needed to be, although we salvaged an OK day with it. But we know we can be better than that. Our teammate ran in the top 20 all day and we know we can do the same."
McDowell on Daytona/Kentucky"We are coming out of Daytona with mixed feelings. Obviously we are disappointed with how the night ended, getting caught up in a crash. But I'm proud of how we ran. We had a really fast car, ran up front, led laps and earned stage points. We were a contender for the win up until that late accident. It was encouraging and a confidence boost even if it didn't go our way in the end.
"Now we've got our Love's Travel Stops/Roller Bites Ford back at another intermediate track, where we've also seen some improvement in our program. I spent a few days at Kentucky doing the wheel force test. It’s a fun racetrack. It’s still treacherous. The groove has not widened out. They’ve drug tires, they’ve done all those things, but it’s still very slick. It isn’t until you get about halfway through the race, you start to build the confidence to move around. You’re really walking on egg shells the first half of the weekend. We see a lot of cars spin out by themselves there or get up in the gray and get into the wall. You’ve got to be aggressive, but you can’t miss the line by six inches because you might make a mistake."
McDowell Kentucky Stats
Best finish: 23rd
Saturday, July 14, Noon - Love's Travel Stops (976 Hwy 1039, Sparta, KY)
Saturday, July 14, 4pm - Ford Performance Display (Kentucky Speedway Fan Zone)
No. 34 K-LOVE Radio Ford
Started: 8th | Finished: 26th (accident)
"It’s just plate racing. We lost a little bit of track position and that just put us in the back there and everybody is fighting hard for the same real estate at the end. But I’m really proud of everyone at Front Row Motorsports because we had a really fast car. I was able to push Ricky (Stenhouse) to both the first stage and second stage wins, and we finished second in the second stage. We overcame a lot and got within a few laps of being in position and couldn't finish it.”
No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford
Started: 26th | Finished: 21st
"The team did a great job -- strategy, pit stops and everything. We took a 25th-place car and almost ran top-20, so I'm pretty happy with that. We've got work to do to find speed, but the execution was great today. We got the most out of our Love's Travel Stops Ford."
Team FRM PR