Michael McDowell and his No. 34 CarParts.com Ford Mustang took the green flag in Wednesday’s “Toyota 500” from the 23rd position at Darlington Raceway. As the caution flag flew on Lap 4, he noted that his CarParts.com Ford Mustang, “seemed to fire off better,” compared to Sunday’s “Real Heroes 400.” The team made both trackbar and wedge adjustments under multiple cautions and would go on to finish Stage 1, 27th.
During Stage 2, McDowell battled hard inside of the top-20 for a majority of the stage as Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer made the call to stay out under the Lap 72 caution to gain track position. He was able to stay inside of the top-20 until the caution flag flew again on Lap 108. McDowell mentioned that his No. 34 CarParts.com Ford Mustang was tight in the center of the corners in traffic, so the team took 4 tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment. McDowell would finish Stage 2 from the 23rd position.
Under the Stage 2 caution, McDowell and his CarParts.com Ford Mustang came down pit road for 4 tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment in hopes of loosening up his tight race car for the final stage. During Stage 3, the adjustments made under caution prevailed as McDowell drove his CarParts.com Ford inside of the top-15. However, with less than 30 laps remaining, Mother Nature had other plans as rain began to fall and cars were called to pit road, where McDowell would finish the Toyota 500 from the 17th position.
McDowell on Darlington:
“It was a solid night for our No. 34 CarParts.com Ford Mustang. We definitely made improvements from our first race at Darlington Raceway, unfortunately the last restart didn’t go our way. The inside line was just really hard to get going and we lost a couple of spots, finishing 17th. We raced around a lot of competitive cars today and I felt really good. Everybody at Front Row Motorsports did a really good job this week, we just need a little bit more and we’ll be right where we want to be. All in all, it was a really good day. We built some confidence and my guys did a really good job on pit road. Lastly, I want to thank CarParts.com for coming on board for both Darlington races. I’ve really enjoyed promoting their brand all week long.”