McDowell on Darlington"Darlington throwback weekend is always neat. I’m not a history buff on the sport, so it’s really fun when people have the throwback schemes, and I go back and look and read the stories – the who’s, the why’s and the what’s. It’s been very educational for me. And Love's Travel Stops gets into it, too, with their throwback scheme going back to the look of their first travel stop. They opened their first location in 1981 in Amarillo, Texas, and the design of the fuel canopies and the building facade is replicated in this paint scheme.
"Darlington is such a cool racetrack. When you go there, it just feels like you take a step back in time. Even the camping. You don’t see a lot of big rigs there. You see a lot of tents and a lot of tailgating. It’s just a fun atmosphere.
"The racing is tough. Darlington has always been really tough. The first year I ran there in 2008 was right after the repave. And the track has changed so much since that repave. I never raced on the old surface, but people say it’s just like the old surface now. I was able to do a test there a few weeks ago. It’s just a great racetrack. Tires wear out, you’ve got to be disciplined, you’ve got to be smooth. And you’ve got to run right up against the wall, which is tough to do there."
McDowell Darlington stats
6 starts, 1 top-20
Best finish: 19th
No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford
Started: 31st | Finished: 37th (accident)
"We started pretty far back with our Love’s Ford, and really I was stopped and not in the wreck at all and then about five seconds later got blasted from behind. It seemed like a long time before the other cars got slowed down. It’s heartbreaking to be out so early, and not of your own doing. But this is racing and that’s what happens sometimes."
McDowell on Bristol"We had a super fast race car in April. And my race lasted a full 60 seconds. Took the green, ran two laps, spun out, and really didn’t have that much damage. But we expired the damage clock, and our race was over. It was really unfortunate.
"So, for me, I definitely want to try to get redemption there. I hope we can back up our speed and qualifying effort again. David (Ragan) and I were in the top 10 in all the practices. Our Love's Travel Stops team qualified ninth. We were just having a great weekend as a team. So, we had that type of speed there, and hopefully we can come back and repeat that and finish off the race strong."
McDowell Bristol Stats
16 starts, 3 top-20s
Best finish: 18th
No. 34 Dockside Logistics Ford
Started: 29th | Finished: 25th
"We didn't quite have the speed we needed today. The fuel strategy could've worked out better in our favor, too, but we were a few laps short and had to pit under green in the closing laps. The set-up for this track is tough to figure out. We're not quite there yet, but we're definitely learning from it each time."
McDowell on Michigan"The first Michigan race was kind of a struggle. We just struggled with getting the balance of the race car and just having speed. So, we made some changes with our set-up, knowing we needed a different approach. I'm eager to get there and unload and see what kind of improvements we can make. We’ve got to change things up.
"Michigan is really fast and really challenging with the current downforce package we have. It's difficult to pass, so we'll definitely need to qualify as best as we can to give ourselves a good starting position.”
Team FRM PR