“@KyleWeatherman makes me smile every week,” McDowell tweeted on August 6 as the Xfinity Series drivers took part in qualifying. “Not just because he is crushing it wheeling the [No. 34] but because I appreciate the grind, I know the grind and I know it pays off too. Keep after it Kyle.”
McDowell’s comments took place as Weatherman posted a fast qualifying lap in the No. 34 Jesse Iwuji Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. The journeyman completed his lap in 38.262 seconds, which was good enough to secure the eighth position on the starting grid. He then spent the afternoon at Michigan International Speedway racing around the top 10 before finishing 16th overall.
McDowell is someone with considerable experience grinding while trying to make some moves. He spent time in open-wheel racing series before moving to stock car racing in 2006. He has since made more than 500 starts across the Xfinity Series and Cup Series while suiting up for more than a dozen teams.
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McDowell dealt with his fair share of struggles, especially in the Cup Series, but he continued grinding until he won the Daytona 500 and celebrated his first-ever trip to Victory Lane in his 358th career start. Fast-forward to 2022, and McDowell is in the middle of his best season statistically with nine top-10 finishes.
Weatherman Has Secured Top-10 Starting Positions in the Past
This race weekend at Michigan International Speedway marked the third time in Weatherman’s Xfinity Series career that he had secured a top-10 starting position. The first was in 2020 when NASCAR set the starting order for the overwhelming majority of the races.
Weatherman lined up eighth overall for the second race at Kentucky Speedway while driving Mike Harmon Racing. He had finished eighth in the first race of the doubleheader, which led to him securing a top-10 spot in the second race’s starting order. However, his second race at the track came to an early end after a crash.
Weatherman’s second top-10 start took place early in the 2022 season. He joined DGM Racing at Phoenix Raceway, and he posted a strong qualifying lap in the No. 92 Chevrolet Camaro. Weatherman was able to secure the 10th spot on the grid for the Xfinity Series race in Arizona.
Weatherman Has Become a Key Driver for JIM
Weatherman and Mike Harmon Racing parted ways prior to the 2022 season, which led to questions about where the Missouri native would head. The answer actually featured multiple teams.
Weatherman kicked off his season with DGM Racing, and he made five starts for the team while posting a season-best finish of eighth at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He then stepped in as a key driver for Jesse Iwuji Motorsports while sharing the No. 34 Chevrolet with co-owner Jesse Iwuji.
The fourth-year Xfinity Series driver has made 10 starts in the No. 34, and he has delivered a few solid performances. He fought for a top-10 finish at Darlington Raceway and secured his second eighth-place finish of the season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.