At a track that has not been kind to McDowell and his Fr8Auctions.com Ford team in the past, the team went into the weekend looking to change that narrative going into this past weekend's race. Starting the race in thirteenth after a good qualifying lap, the team did not skip a beat racing well inside the top-15 for the duration of the all-green first stage.
With a loose handling race car, the Fr8Auctions.com team took the few chances they had to correct the handling for McDowell, by taking swings at the chassis by way of wedge adjustments. With a car now more fit to McDowell's liking, the team would have to fight from one lap down, however, still inside the top-15 after an all-green second stage. Fighting hard to gain their lap back by way of the wave-around or free pass, the team would get their chance at the end of stage three.
With a mostly green stage three as well, the drama began within fifty to go. Through a series of cautions, McDowell fought hard to become the first car one lap down, and with the last caution with less than thirty laps remaining, the team would get their chance. With fresh tires and a perfectly handling race car, the team would just fall short of passing for position after starting at the tail end of the field for receiving the free pass, with the few amount of laps that were left. McDowell and his Fr8Auctions.com/Brave Like Wyatt team would finish on the lead lap in 17th after battling for just over half the race to get back on the lead lap.
"Not the day we had hoped for, but a lead lap and top-20 finish is great even though we always hope for more. We just missed it in the second half of the race and weren't able to capitalize on gaining back track position. We got back on the lead lap very late, but were too far behind for that last restart, but I'm proud of Blake and everyone on the Fr8Auctions.com/Brave Like Wyatt team for fighting hard and not giving up all race, and giving us a shot at it in the end."
In the team's final weekend of the season, Zane Smith will look to capture his first Truck title on Friday, while it's a homecoming weekend for Michael McDowell and last rookie race for Todd Gilliland on the Cup side this Sunday.