Michael McDowell survived from a single car spin with Bubba Wallace to finishing the best he can.
He’s proud of what the team has got everything on hand from start to finish.
He started the race in 29th where his position remained for the 2/3rds of this stage despite picking up rear corner damage on Lap 3.
After the caution of Corey LaJoie on Lap 22, McDowell picked up four tires and fuel as he relied upon on his strategy to stay up ahead of the other cars.
That plan worked when he’s able to move up several positions before McDowell came home 21st at the end of Stage 1.
During the stage break, the No.34 did provide tires and adjustments.
However, McDowell had to come pit road for the second time because the fuel tank isn’t full enough.
Nevertheless, the No.34 car remained inside the Top 25 bubble having set up consistent lap times as he came home 24th at the halfway mark.
When McDowell came on pit road before Stage 3 began, he’s happy with the car based on his lap times as they made a wedge adjustment along with new tires and fuel.
Though, the No.34 car’s condition began to slip away before the race halted for a while over rain.
When NASCAR officials resumed the race after the rain stopped, McDowell wanted to make more changes to help ease the pressure of the car.
That’s where the No.34 pit crew put a bit more work on the rear corner damage from the accident on Lap 3 which affected his progress earlier in the final stage.
In addition to fixing up the damage, McDowell had new tires and full fuel to help him finish towards the checkered flag.
It enabled McDowell to stick with his strategy before he came home in 22nd ahead of Ty Dillon.
AAA Drive for Autism 400, Race Summary
- Start: 29th
- Middle: 24th
- Finish: 22nd
- Highest Position: 19th
- Lowest Position: 38th
- Average Position: 25th
- Pass Difference: 6
- Laps: 397/400
- Driver Rating: 49.2
Michael McDowell’s 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Summary
- 11 Starts
- 2935 of 3635 laps completed, 80.7%
- 11 Laps led
- One Top 10, 9.1%
- Five Top 25 finishes
- Average Start: 11.8 & Finish: 14.9
- DNFs: Three, Engine (Las Vegas), Crash (Bristol and Talladega).
- He currently sits 30th in the Drivers’ Standings with 141 points.
- 9th, Daytona
- 24th, Atlanta
- 37th, Las Vegas
- 32nd, Phoenix
- 26th, Fontana
- 21st, Martinsville
- 14th, Texas
- 38th, Bristol
- 31st, Richmond
- 32nd, Talladega
- 22nd, Dover
Despite not satisfied with the result, McDowell bounced back to show what McDowell’s ability can do to communicate with his Crew Chief & Spotter on the race track.
Despite raising concerns about going a little loose, McDowell used the caution to overcome these problems from Lap 3 to going out fast ahead of the cars & finish in the Top 25.
If McDowell would want to improve next time around, then he would need a reliable race car.
That means he would need to need to practice/qualify a bit faster inside the Top 20 to show better consistency and preparation towards race day.
It would’ve helped him overcome by wasting time with damage and move on to boost McDowell’s chances of coming home in the Top 15 mark.
Apart from that, McDowell & the No.34 crew worked hard to have the damage fixed, manage tires and fuel well despite finishing 22nd with three laps down.
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References: Racing Reference (Image & Statistics).