No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang
Stage One: 20th
Stage Two: 12th
Stage Three: 18th
Sunday’s originally scheduled Geico 500 would finally see the green flag on Monday afternoon after weather postponed the 188-lap contest at Talladega Superspeedway. Michael McDowell and his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang started the 500-mile event from the 26th position and would stay towards the rear of the field throughout Stage 1 in hopes of avoiding any potential wrecks. As the laps began to wind down in Stage 1, the caution flag would fly due to rain, bringing out the red flag. Thankfully, the rain would not last and Stage 1 would be completed under caution, with Michael McDowell taking the green- and white-checkered flag from the 20th position.
During Stage 2, the plan remained the same for Michael McDowell and his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops team as they would continue to race comfortably towards the rear of the lead pack. McDowell finished the stage in 12th place. Under the Stage 2 caution, Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer made the call for 4 tires and fuel as McDowell was pleased with the performance of his Ford Mustang.
In the final stage of Monday’s race, Michael McDowell and the No. 34 team continued their strategy of “playing it safe.” With only a handful of laps remaining, McDowell radioed to the team to say, “there’s still going to be a big one. We’re going to wait to make our move until after it.” As predicted, the caution flag would fly with less than 5 laps to go, setting up a green, white, checkered finish at Talladega. The final lap would see two separate wrecks that McDowell and his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang were able to navigate with help from veteran Spotter, Rocky Ryan. Unfortunately, McDowell lost some momentum in the process would take the checkered flag from the 18th position.
McDowell on Talladega:
“That final lap was insane. I felt like the first two stages were a lot less crazy than normal Talladega racing, but the final stage was exactly like what we all had anticipated. Everyone at Front Row Motorsports did a great job of building me a fast No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang. Our car had a lot of speed and was able to suck-up really well in the draft. Our plan all race long was to play it safe and stay towards the rear of the field in hopes of avoiding any potential wrecks that might occur. Our strategy worked out great and we were in contention on the last lap, until the wrecks started. Thanks to Love’s Travel Stops for coming on board with us today at Talladega. I’m ready to head to Pocono Raceway this weekend for what should be an exciting two days of action-packed racing.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!