McDowell on Daytona"Daytona was great for us. We had a fast Love’s Ford all day, we earned stage points in every stage and came home with a top-10. It was a great start to our season. But, for me, Atlanta is when the season really starts. Daytona is obviously big and it’s important, but you don’t know what you have until you get to Atlanta. Everybody works their guts out in the off-season with procedures and processes trying to find speed, and then you get to Atlanta and you see where you’re at. So, everybody’s anxious to get there and get Friday going.
"Atlanta’s a tough place. It’s worn out, tire wear comes into play and a lot of other variables. But the good thing is it’s Atlanta -- it's been the same the last few years and it gives you a good indication of where you’re at."
McDowell Atlanta stats
Best finish: 29th
Current points ranking: 6th
No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford
Started: 22nd | Finished: 9th
"We had our ups and downs today for sure. I am thankful to get stage points in each stage. It takes a top-10 finish and makes it like a top-five. We had a fast Love’s Travel Stops Ford. Unfortunately we had a little mishap on pit road and lost a lap because of it, and we fought our guts out to get that lap back. I'm thankful to get out of Daytona with a top-10. Derrick Finley and the guys all did a great job."
McDowell on Daytona"I'm really excited to be here and to have laps under my belt in the Love's Ford. We had pretty smooth practices -- just a few growing pains on my end, getting things fine-tuned. We were working on the shifter and all the things you get used to over the years, because they change when you go to another team and another car. But everybody did a good job, and practice went pretty smoothly, and we're ready for the Duels and the 500.
"It's crazy that the Daytona 500 is going to be my 250th Cup start. There have been a lot of great drivers that have come through the series, and I feel very fortunate that I'm still here and have another opportunity this year. To make 250 is awesome, and to do it at Daytona is special. I've got a lot to look forward to this year and hopefully I can make it count."
McDowell Daytona Stats
13 starts, 1 top-5, 4 top-10s
Best finish: 4th
Milestone for Michael
The 2018 Daytona 500 will be McDowell's 250th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start.
Thursday, Feb. 15, 3pm - Ford Performance display (Daytona International Speedway Fan Zone)
STATESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 23, 2017) – K-LOVE Radio will join Michael McDowell in his move to Front Row Motorsports, partnering with the No. 34 Ford team for five races in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. K-LOVE is known nationally for its “Positive & Encouraging” message and has been part of McDowell’s racing career since 2010.
On the 2018 schedule, K-LOVE will be showcased on the No. 34 Ford at ISM Raceway (March), Richmond International Raceway (April), Daytona International Speedway (July), Watkins Glen International (August) and Charlotte Motor Speedway (September).
K-LOVE is a non-denominational, non-profit radio network with more than 400 radio signals in 44 states. Headquartered in Rocklin, Calif., its programming also streams live on klove.com.
“Sometimes sponsors come and go in racing, but I’m really proud that my relationship with K-LOVE has been a long-term one,” McDowell said. “Wherever I’m traveling, whether I’m having a good day or a bad day, K-LOVE is there – on the radio or online – with positive and encouraging music. I’m grateful for that, and I’m grateful for K-LOVE’s support throughout my career.”
K-LOVE’s CEO Mike Novak shared, “K-LOVE’s ongoing partnership with Michael McDowell has been exciting to say the least. NASCAR fans are so loyal to Michael and to K-LOVE, and for that we are thankful. And now to partner with Front Row Motorsports, we can’t wait to get 2018 started. See you at the races.”
The K-LOVE Ford will make its 2018 on-track debut at ISM Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz., on March 11. The Ticket Guardian 500 will air live on FOX.
K-LOVE creates compelling media designed to inspire and encourage people to develop a meaningful relationship with Christ. K-LOVE is a listener-supported Radio Network delivering a Positive & Encouraging message to millions of Listeners every week through its 446 signals across 47 states. For more information visit: www.klove.com.
Love’s Travel Stops Extends Successful Partnership with Front Row Motorsports into Sixth Season, Plans for 18 Races with McDowell
STATESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 22, 2017) – The Love’s Travel Stops and Front Row Motorsports partnership will extend into a sixth season in 2018. The familiar yellow and red Love’s paint scheme will return to the No. 34 Ford Fusion for 18 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races with driver Michael McDowell.
The Oklahoma City, Okla.-based company will adorn the No. 34 for a half-season schedule that includes the season-opening Daytona 500, both races at the company’s home track of Texas Motor Speedway, the Bristol Night Race and the Darlington Raceway throwback weekend.
The 2018 season marks a sixth straight year of successful partnership between Love’s Travel Stops and Front Row Motorsports. Love’s has progressively grown its NASCAR marketing program with the team, incorporating its employees, customers and business partners into its success.
“We look forward to kicking off another great season in Daytona with Front Row Motorsports and welcoming our new driver of the No. 34 Love’s Ford, Michael McDowell,” said Dave Frankenfield, vice president of marketing for Love’s Travel Stops. “Bob Jenkins and Jerry Freeze continue to provide great value and flexibility in our partnership while working tirelessly to put a competitive car on the track each week. They also help create a unique race-day experience that allows our customers and employees to be a part of the Love’s race team.”
Love’s Travel Stops is family-owned and operated with more than 440 locations in 41 states, offering clean, modern facilities stocked with fuel, food and supplies for travelers. McDowell, a 10-year veteran of the series, looks forward to being an ambassador for Love’s both at the track and away from it.
“I know first-hand what it’s like to drive a motorhome all over the country with my family on board,” says McDowell. “So, I know how important it is to have a clean and safe place to stop at any hour of the day to fuel up, grab some snacks and whatever else we need on a road trip. Love’s has all of that, both for regular consumers like me and for professional truck drivers who make a living out on the road.”
The Love’s Travel Stops team will make its first on-track appearance of the year during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway next month. The No. 34 team will compete in the Can-Am Duels, the qualifying races for the Daytona 500, on Thursday, Feb. 15. The Daytona 500 is scheduled to run on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2:30 p.m. ET and will air live on FOX.
Finley Named Crew Chief
Derrick Finley will be the one calling the shots atop the No. 34 pit box in 2018. Finley has been named crew chief for McDowell’s team after serving in the same role for Front Row Motorsports’ No. 38 team in 2017. The veteran crew chief has been with the organization since 2011.
For more information about Front Row Motorsports, visit teamfrm.com. For more information about Love’s Travel Stops, visit loves.com.
About Love’s Travel Stops:
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Founded in 1964, Love’s has more than 440 locations in 41 states. Love’s provides professional truck drivers and motorists with 24-hour access to clean and safe places to purchase gasoline, diesel fuel, travel items, electronics, snacks and more, as well as a selection of restaurant offerings. On-site Love’s Truck Tire Care centers offer roadside assistance, tire care and light mechanical services for professional truck drivers. Showers, CAT scales and other services for professional truck drivers are also available. Love’s, which remains family-owned and operated, employs more than 20,000 people. To learn more, visit www.loves.com.
No. 34 Love's Travel Stops/Roller Bites Ford
Started: 28th | Finished: 23rd
Final Driver Points Standing: 31st
"I thought we made some really good adjustments on our Love’s Ford midway through the race and improved on it. I think we would’ve had an even better finish had my brakes not kind of faded and I lost my advantage because of it. But it was a solid run to cap off the season."
Cassill on Homestead"I really enjoy Homestead. The tire fall-off is tremendous, and the cars get really loose on the long run. I tested the wheel force car there, which was beneficial because I’d never tested at Homestead before. Hoping it can help our Love's Travel Stops/Roller Bites team when we go back.
"It’s always a bittersweet race to go to because it always feels like the last day of school. But with the way the final four racing for the championship has shaken out, and knowing how Homestead always races, it's sure to be an exciting race. Fans will want to pack the stands for this one."
No. 34 Love's Travel Stops/Roller Bites Ford
Started: 32nd | Finished: 24th
"We had a pretty good Love’s Travel Stops/Roller Bites Ford. We just needed to be a little bit better to stay on the lead lap. And the way the race played out, it wasn’t very conducive for wave-arounds to give us the chance to get laps back. But we had some good speed and also gained some spots on pit road, so it was a solid top-25 day for us."
Cassill on Phoenix"We've been bringing some pretty good cars to the racetrack the last few weeks. We've definitely made some gains and have had some decent results. I'm looking forward to getting our Love's Travel Stops/Roller Bites Ford on track Friday. Phoenix is a fun track, and I think we can run well there this weekend.
"The upcoming changes for Phoenix are going to be wild. I think it’s a great move. NASCAR and ISC have already made some great changes there. It was a great racetrack before the last repave, but I can absolutely say it’s just as good since they repaved it. So, it'll be cool to see how the additional improvements make it even better."
No. 34 Love's Travel Stops/Speedco Ford
Started: 22nd | Finished: 26th
"We had a pretty good car. Our Love’s Travel Stops/Speedco Ford was best at the beginning of the race and toward the end of the race. We needed to be a little bit better in the middle part of the race to take better advantage of the cautions. I think with a little more luck there, we could’ve been a few spots better. But it was a pretty good weekend for us. It had decent speed off the truck, and I’m proud of our team for that."
Team FRM PR