Michael McDowell Post-Race Report: Martinsville Speedway

No. 34 CarParts.com | Davico Mfg Ford Mustang
Started: 24th
Finished: 28th
  • Stage One: 37th
  • Stage Two: 33rd
  • Stage Three: 28th
  • The No. 34 CarParts.com | Davico Mfg Ford Mustang of Michael McDowell started Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway from the 24th position. Shortly after the green flag waved, McDowell cued the radio to say that he had a “big (left-rear tire) rub” and would be forced to pit under green for left-side tires and to clearance the fender, to which he would come out five laps down. At the Competition Caution on Lap 62, Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer instructed McDowell to stay on track in order to take a wave-around opportunity and would then be scored four laps down. McDowell would go on to take the first green- and white-checkered flag from the 37th position, four laps down. During the Stage 1 Caution, the No. 34 CarParts.com | Davico Mfg Ford Mustang came to pit road for 4 tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment after McDowell noted that the “right-rear (tire) wants to chatter a little bit.”
  • Although being scored in the 36th position and four laps down, McDowell would continue to lay down fast lap times and show off the speed in his No. 34 CarParts.com | Davico Mfg Ford Mustang. The caution flag would fly on Lap 184 and McDowell would stay on track to take another wave-around opportunity and close the deficit to three laps. After a long stint on old tires, the caution flag would be displayed once again on Lap 217 and McDowell would pit for 4 tires and fuel; telling the team that his race car was “getting tight rolling the middle (of the corner).” He would go on to finish Stage 2 in 33rd place, three laps down. During the second Stage Break Caution, McDowell would stay on track to take advantage of another wave-around opportunity, closing the gap to two laps down.
  • The Final Stage of Sunday’s 263-mile race at Martinsville Speedway would see a total of three cautions; the first coming on Lap 353 to which McDowell would pit for fuel and 4 fresh Goodyear tires after a lengthy 136-lap run on his previous set. The remaining two cautions would fall on Laps 401 and 442 and McDowell would stay on track during both to take two more wave-around opportunities, however he would still remain two laps down as he was passed by the leader just prior to both cautions occurring. McDowell and the No. 34 CarParts.com | Davico Mfg team continued to battle hard all race. Unfortunately the five lap deficit was too large to overcome and the No. 34 CarParts.com | Davico Mfg Ford Mustang would take the checkered flag at Martnsville Speedway from the 28th position, three laps down.
McDowell on Martinsville:
  • “I’m really disappointed with the way that our race unfolded today at Martinsville Speedway. We got hit hard in the left-rear quarter panel shortly after the green flag dropped, causing a bad tire rub and forced us to have to pit under green for left-side tires and damage repair. At Martinsville, you never want to come to pit road unless it’s during a caution because a green flag pit stop pretty much guarantees that you’re going to lose a few laps. From that point on, our goal was to try and take advantage of as many wave-around and Lucky Dog opportunities as possible in order to get back on the Lead Lap. Unfortunately, with cautions falling at unfavorable times and having to race on old tires for long stints, it made it difficult for us to get all of our laps back. It’s unfortunate because our No. 34 CarParts.com / Davico Manufacturing Ford Mustang was so fast all race long. I can’t thank CarParts.com enough for all of their support this season and it was great to welcome their friends at Davico Manufacturing on board with us this weekend as well. We still have one more race in the season, so we’ll head home tonight and shift our focus to Phoenix and try to close out the 2020 season on a high note, next Sunday.”