No. 34 A&W All-American Food Ford
Started: 24th | Finished: 21st
"The long run was good, the short runs we struggled a little bit. We had a brake fan issue there that kept flipping the breaker, so I’m not sure if we got something stuck in it, but we didn’t have a whole lot of brakes left to challenge at the end. I don’t think it cost us a whole lot, maybe a couple spots, but every point matters. We still haven’t reached our potential, but we’re close to the top 20, so not bad."
McDowell on Martinsville"Martinsville is a great track for Front Row Motorsports -- a lot because David Ragan is very good there. He's got the program tuned in at Martinsville. So, I'm looking forward to it for that reason, to be able to learn a little bit off of him and his data. I've always managed the race well as far as brakes and long runs, but I've never qualified super stellar. So, hopefully I can pick that up and make the day a little bit easier. Normally if you start in the teens or 20s, you can have a pretty uneventful first half. When you qualify near the back, you have to work a lot harder.
"It's very physical at Martinsville. And very easy to make mistakes. The one nice thing about Martinsville is you get away with a few mistakes a race. Unlike Talladega or Daytona, where you just get it wrong by a few inches and cause a 'big one,' at Martinsville you just run in to somebody and knock the bumper in a little bit. But it's a grueling race for sure."
McDowell Martinsville Stats
14 starts, 2 top-20s
No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford
Started: 22nd | Finished: 26th
"We fought a lot of things today. I think everybody did; it's just a slick track. More than anything, we just didn't have as much speed as we were hoping for all weekend. We've got to work on that. But we'll go back to the drawing board and get ready for Martinsville. Our team has a good history there, so we're looking forward to it."
STATESVILLE, N.C. (March 13, 2017) – A group of California-based U.S. Marines will enjoy a VIP race experience at Auto Club Speedway before their next deployment, courtesy of Love’s Travel Stops and Michael McDowell’s No. 34 team. Five members of Lima Co. 1st Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, based at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif., will be guests of the team for Sunday’s Auto Club 400.
Cpl. Tanner Reihm, Cpl. Dalton Muma, Lance Cpl. Ryan McLean, Lance Cpl. Jacob Milton and Cpl. Tyler Yonley recently completed a month-long Integrated Training Exercise in preparation for their upcoming deployment with the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF). Before they go, they will get to enjoy a VIP race day experience at the Fontana, Calif., track, including a meet-and-greet with McDowell and pre-race ceremonies on pit road with the team.
“This is a great experience for me and these close friends of mine – another chance to cut loose and unwind a bit before we deploy again,” Cpl. Reihm said. “Two years ago, Dalton Muma and I got to attend this race and we had an amazing time, and we were welcomed with open arms by the Front Row team and all of the NASCAR teams. I wanted to share that experience again with my fellow Marines who share a love for NASCAR like me.”
McDowell is proud to join Love’s in giving the Marines a special day to show appreciation for their service and sacrifice.
“I feel the NASCAR community always steps up in showing appreciation for our military,” the 10-year Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series veteran said. “And I’m really proud that our Love’s team is going to personally have the opportunity to host this local group of guys on race day and give them an all-access experience. I will be extremely proud to be standing next to them on pit road when our anthem plays.”
Cpl. Reihm is the son of Love’s Travel Stops employee Heather Scoggins, who works at Love’s Oklahoma City, Okla., headquarters.
“It makes my heart proud that these young men have stepped up to fight for our country. They lay their lives on the line for all of us to remain free, and they receive very little in return,” Scoggins said. “It makes my heart happy that this opportunity has been arranged for them. It gives them a chance to enjoy a little bit of the ‘real world’ before they deploy. I know that each of them is beyond excited, and they will carry the wonderful memories with them on deployment.”
The Love’s Travel Stops team will have another show of support for the military on the race car itself. For the third consecutive season, Love’s will show its continued support for the Special Forces Charitable Trust on the Ford Fusion’s rear quarter panels. The organization provides support for the U.S. Army Special Forces community and their families.
The Auto Club 400 is scheduled to air live on FOX, with coverage beginning Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
No. 34 K-LOVE Radio Ford
Started: 31st | Finished: 32nd
"That might've been the toughest race I've ever driven. We lost power steering about a hundred laps in and went the rest of the way without it. We had made some gains on Saturday, and I was looking forward to a better day on Sunday. We've got some points to make up now, so we'll regroup and get back at it next week in California."
McDowell on Phoenix"It's always great racing at my home track, and it's getting a much-deserved upgrade right now. We've had attendance up and down all throughout the country, but not at Phoenix. Phoenix has been rock-solid sellout crowds, campers for miles. Out of all the places we go to, even Daytona, there are more people camping at Phoenix than there are anywhere else. We have great fans. They are loyal, they love racing, they love the atmosphere. And the culture that the track is going to be able to create for the fan is going to be amazing. So, of all the places we go to, and not just because it's my hometown, they really deserve it. They've done a great job keeping people in the stands.
"This will be our first race this season with K-LOVE Radio on our Ford. They've been a long-time supporter of my racing career, and it's great that they are continuing to do so now that I'm at Front Row Motorsports. For me, it's always fun to go home. It's pretty cool to have so much support in your hometown, both from the fans and from an important partner."
McDowell Phoenix Stats
Best finish: 22nd
No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford
Started: 15th | Finished: 37th (engine)
"We started to lose some power and had a lot of smoke in the cockpit. Normally they don’t fix themselves. The Love’s Ford was fast today. We had a good strategy and played it out. We were able to maintain that first run but unfortunately it just wasn’t meant to be for us today. I am really proud of everyone at Front Row Motorsports. We brought a fast car here. We came in here 15th in points and had a good run going and were hoping to stay in the top 15. We will go to Phoenix and hopefully we will unload with a fast Ford again and make sure we get to the end."
Team FRM PR