Michael McDowell Puts NASCAR on Notice Ahead of Road America

Michael McDowell

Getty Michael McDowell expects to contend for the win.

Front Row Motorsports driver Michael McDowell hasn’t visited Victory Lane since the 2021 Daytona 500. However, he has big plans for the NASCAR Cup Series weekend at Road America.

The driver of the No. 34 Ford Mustang spoke about the upcoming road course race and set some big expectations for himself. He acknowledged that the team has to make some moves, especially with only nine races remaining in the regular season. Road America presents an opportunity for him to capture the win and punch his ticket to the playoffs.

“I don’t think we can pinpoint any specific race where we can for sure say that it is our race to win or lose, but we all know the time to make it happen is now,” McDowell said in a release from Front Row Motorsports. “We expect to run well and be in contention at all the remaining races. But based on history and performance, and my personal history, this weekend is our weekend to show off again.”

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McDowell Has Previous Success at Road America

Michael McDowell

GettyMichael McDowell has a previous win at Road America.

The trip to Road America will be McDowell’s second as a Cup Series driver, but he has previous experience at the track in a different series. He made five starts at the track in the Xfinity Series while driving for three different teams, and he posted an average finish of 16.7.

McDowell’s first trip to Road America came to an early end in 2010 due to engine failure. He finished 33rd after originally qualifying fifth overall. However, his next three starts — all with Joe Gibbs Racing — resulted in 12th, second, and 34th-place finishes.

The Arizona native’s best performance took place during the 2016 season. He joined Richard Childress Racing and qualified second overall in the No. 2 Chevrolet. McDowell then led 24 of the 48 laps before capturing the win over teammate Brendan Gaughan. This victory was his first in a national NASCAR series.

McDowell Has Set Career-Best Numbers in 2022

Michael McDowell

GettyMichael McDowell has contended for strong finishes in 2022.

While McDowell has not taken Front Row Motorsports back to Victory Lane, he has achieved success in other areas. He has already surpassed his career-best number for top-10 finishes with six, and he has drastically improved his average finish to 17.1.

McDowell’s best performance of the season — statistically speaking — took place during the most recent road course race. He qualified fourth overall at Sonoma Raceway before going toe-to-toe with some of the most accomplished road course racers in the sport. McDowell ultimately ended his day third overall to help him lock up 37 points.

The most recent race on the schedule, Nashville Superspeedway, featured another consistent performance. McDowell didn’t crack the top 10 at the end of the race, but he hovered around that mark throughout the afternoon and into the night before finishing 13th overall. He also scored a stage point during the second segment.

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