FRM Talladega Recap: McDowell Comes Close to Win. Alfredo Earns Best Cup Finish on Sunday
A Recap of the Weekend Past
Coming off Turn 4 on the final lap, Michael McDowell and the No. 34 Love's Travel Stops team were in position to win their second NASCAR Cup Series race of the season Sunday at the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. McDowell was in second, just behind eventual race winner Brad Keselowski.
McDowell swung his Ford Mustang to the outside line to make the pass through the tri-oval. The Love's Travel Stops No. 34 machine was able to get to the side of Keselowski for the lead before the draft of third-place running William Byron pushed Keselowski to the win. Byron was also able to draft ahead of McDowell for second and the Love's team finished third-their second top-five and fourth top-10 finish of the season.
Just behind the top-three, Anthony Alfredo was charging to the front in his Speedy Cash Ford Mustang. With a force of momentum and a fast Mustang, Alfredo pushed through field and made his way around the pack of lead cars to finish 12th. It was Alfredo's best Cup finish in his career.
McDowell is now eighth in the playoff standings and Alfredo moved back into 29th and gained on fellow rookie driver Chase Briscoe in the season-long championship.
It was a game of patience for Alfredo during Sunday's race. The No. 38 Speedy Cash Mustang was just that all afternoon, speedy. But, Alfredo was smart enough to understand that he needed to be there at the end to capitalize. A string of bad luck recently, Alfredo wanted to ensure a great finish for the team on Sunday. Alfredo was more conservative than he wanted to be in Stage 1 and 2, but after bigger accidents collected others, he knew it was the best strategy. Alfredo also knew the No. 38 Speedy Cash Ford had the power and handling to race with the lead pack. He just had to wait until the end when it mattered and avoid accidents. So, in the last Stage, Alfredo kept himself in touch with the pack, pitted with his Ford teammates, and then was right where he needed to be when the race went into overtime. It was no holds bar in the final two laps and Alfredo showed his best all season. He made moves to get to the right line and advanced all the way to 12th on the final lap. He avoided spinning cars and had a clean car after the race. Alfredo maximized his day, raced a smart race and the strategy paid off with a great finish. ANTHONY ALFREDO. NO. 38 SPEEDY CASH FORD MUSTANG. FINISHED 12. "I'm really proud of everyone on the team. We kept the nose of our Speedy Cash Ford Mustang clean and I got my first top-15 finish. We were there at the end when it matters most. It's challenging to be patient, waiting until the end. You want to be up there, but you have to be there at the end, too. We played it safe, but then raced for it at the end and made a lot of positions. I have to thank everyone on this program that supports me. I can't wait for the next race. This gives us a lot of confidence."
It was an historical race for McDowell on Sunday. He finished in the top-10 in both Stage 1 and 2 before finishing third at the end. It's the first time in FRM history that a car has earned points all race. It proved what a great performance that McDowell and the No. 34 Love's Travel Stops team put together all day at Talladega. McDowell finished eighth at the end of Stage 1 and fourth at the end of Stage 2. McDowell was trying to win Stage 2 before getting shuffled to fourth. The final Stage, McDowell easily showed that he had a car capable of winning. And, just as he did in the Daytona 500, locked his front bumper to Keselowski. The duo advanced to the lead on the final lap, and it was almost a repeat of the Daytona 500. McDowell did everything in his power to win. Racing to the outside, he had no help, as the top-three had pulled away a bit from the cars behind. Keselowski got the draft he needed and McDowell finished third. But, McDowell and his No. 34 Love's Travel Stops team made it known they were one of the best team's all day in Talladega and can compete with anyone at a superspeedway this season.
MICHAEL MCDOWELL. NO. 34 LOVE'S TRAVEL STOPS FORD MUSTANG. FINISHED THIRD. "It was another great day for us in our Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang. It was a top-three finish. I thought we had a chance at it in the end. Brad did a good job. I tried to suck him down, to get to his outside, but I didn't the momentum that we needed. I was hoping that the 24 would help a little bit. But, all-in-all, a great day for FRM, Love's Travel Stops, Speedco and all our partners. I'm thankful for the team and how far that we've come. We're putting together a great season."
ABOUT FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS Front Row Motorsports (FRM) is a winning organization in the NASCAR Cup and Camping World Truck Series and the 2021 Daytona 500 champions. The team was founded in 2004 and is owned by successful entrepreneur, Bob Jenkins. FRM fields the No. 34 and the No. 38 NASCAR Cup Series teams along with the No. 38 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team– from its Mooresville, N.C. headquarters. Visit teamfrm.com and follow FRM on social media: Twitter at @Team_FRM, Instagram at @team_frm and Facebook at facebook.com/FrontRowMotorsports.