McDowell has started the 2021 season with an eighth-place finish at the Daytona Road Course, Sunday's sixth-place finish at the mile-and-a-half Homestead-Miami Speedway, and began the season by winning the Daytona 500 on the Daytona International Superspeedway. McDowell and his No. 34 team has succeeded unlike any other team to start the season- all on diverse track configurations.
The three Top-10 finishes is the best start in FRM history and in McDowell's Cup career, but it's the determination of the No. 34 Ford team that has been the most impressive.
Sunday, McDowell started the 267-lap race in sixth. He settled just outside the Top-10 during Stage One, as the team worked on the handling of his Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang. McDowell just needed minor adjustments and easily paced around the Top-15. He finished Stage One in 19th.
To start Stage Two, the team only made minor adjustments as McDowell took care of his equipment. Tire wear is always critical at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and McDowell was smart behind the wheel. He was rewarded with a 20th-place finish at the end of Stage Two, but in position to race hard in the final Stage.
McDowell picked up spots early in the final Stage and quickly moved to 11th before the caution waved. The Love's Travel Stops Ford pit crew made another great pit stop and McDowell was inside the Top-10. McDowell raced there for the final 60 laps of the race. Even on old tires, McDowell made passes from ninth to finish sixth.
McDowell and the team are now fourth in the driver point standings.
MICHAEL MCDOWELL. NO. 34 LOVE'S TRAVEL STOPS FORD MUSTANG. FINISHED SIXTH
"I think tonight says a whole lot for this whole Front Row Motorsports organization. We’re just making huge improvements, and to come here to a very challenging mile-and-a-half and run in the Top-10, and not luck our way in, we raced there all night long, is super impressive. Thank you to everybody back at the shop. I’ve got to thank Love’s Travel Stops, Speedco, Fr8 Auctions, CarParts.com and Speedy Cash, and especially Ford and Roush Yates Engines. This whole team is super strong right now. Everything is clicking. The momentum is going and it’s pretty awesome right now. It’s exciting to be a part of this organization and to have this momentum. Like I said, this is a win for us to come to Homestead and run in the Top-10.”