With the name of Sergeant First Class John Jarrell printed on his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang, Michael McDowell took the green flag in Sunday’s Coca Cola 600 from the 27th position. McDowell noted early in Stage 1 that the bumps in Turns 3 and 4 were playing a factor in his race and would take the green-white checkered flag from the 29th position. Under the stage 1 caution, Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer called for 4 tires, fuel, pulled packer and a trackbar adjustment.
Taking the green flag in Stage 2, McDowell mentioned that the calls on pit road definitely helped his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang as he ran comfortably inside of the top 25 throughout the stage and would go on to finish Stage 2 in 24th. Under the Stage 2 caution, McDowell came to pit road for 4 tires, fuel and added grille tape.
Throughout Stage 3, the No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops team did a good job of steadily making improvements to their Ford Mustang as McDowell knocked on the door of the top 20 all stage long, finishing Stage 3 in the 21st position. During the stage, McDowell noted that his car was on the tight side to begin, however became more free as he raced. Under the Stage 3 caution, the No. 34 Love’s Travel Stop Ford Mustang pitted for 4 tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment.
In the final stage of the Coca Cola 600, Michael McDowell and his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops team picked up right where they left off in Stage 3 by running in the 21st position for a majority of the final stage. With 2 laps remaining in the race, the caution flag flew making McDowell the Lucky Dog, which put him back on the lead lap for the overtime restart and would go on to take the checkered flag in the 19th position.
McDowell on Charlotte:
“Our No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang had a tough time getting over the bumps in Turns 3 and 4 to start today’s Coca-Cola 600, but Drew and my guys on pit road did a good job of making adjustments all race long to get us more competitive. Thankfully, we caught a lucky caution with 2 laps to go and were able to get back on the lead lap. It was great to have Love’s Travel Stops back on board with us and I’m proud to have been able to represent Sergeant First Class John Jarrell on my car. We’ll regroup at the shop tomorrow and look ahead to coming back even stronger at Charlotte on Wednesday.”