McDowell Catapults To A Top Ten At Daytona

Michael McDowell, Aric Almirola & Clint Bowyer

No. 34 Chicago Pneumatic Compressors Ford Mustang

Started: 30th
Finished: 10th

Stage One: 19th
Stage Two: 13th
Stage Three: 10th

The No. 34 CP (Chicago Pneumatic) Compressors Ford Mustang took the green flag from the 30th position for Sunday’s road course race at Daytona International Speedway after a new formula determined the starting lineup. In the first 4 laps of the race, McDowell would make an early charge through the field and find himself running in the 18th position. With less than 10 laps remaining in Stage 1, McDowell would radio to his team to say that he needed to be able to put more “power down.” Shortly after, Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer would call the No. 34 Ford Mustang to pit road under green for 4 tires, an air pressure adjustment and fuel, and McDowell would go on to take the Stage 1 green- and white-checkered flag from the 19th position.

The No. 34 CP Compressors Ford Mustang would stay out during the Stage Break Caution and take the Stage 2 green flag from the 9th position. The second stage would run caution-less as Blickensderfer would call McDowell to pit road with only a handful of laps remaining for 4 tires and fuel. Before pitting, McDowell noted that he still needed “more drive” and would go on to finish Stage 2 in 13th place.

Blickensderfer would make the call for the No. 34 to “stay out” during the Stage 2 caution and McDowell would line up 5th to start the final stage of Sunday’s 65-lap NASCAR Cup Series race on the Daytona Road Course. Under green, the No. 34 CP Compressors Ford Mustang would advance to 3rd with less than 30 laps go before lightning within 10 miles of the race track would bring out the caution, followed by the red flag. After returning to green, McDowell would continue his strong run as he raced inside of the top-10 before another caution would occur, this time with less than 5 laps remaining. Blickensderfer called McDowell to pit road for 4 tires and fuel in hopes that fresher tires would prevail in the closing laps and the No. 34 CP Compressors Ford Mustang would cross the finish line in 10th.

McDowell on the Daytona Road Course:

“Well it was an exciting day on the Daytona Road Course. We had a pretty good Chicago Pneumatic Compressors Ford Mustang, but obviously we wanted more. We were running pretty good there at the end and decided to pit under the last caution, which I thought was a good idea to try and get tires on our car and then hope for a couple more cautions, but that didn’t really work out since it stayed green until the end. We made up a lot of spots in the last few laps as I think we restarted around 19th and came home 10th, so an overall great day for everybody on our No. 34 team. I just really want to thank Chicago Pneumatic Compressors for coming on board for their second race; hopefully we got them a lot of TV exposure out there and a few more customers as well. We have a couple of big races coming up and a few more chances to make it into the playoffs, so we’ll see what we can do.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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