When you come to superspeedways, you expect many drivers to be strong, but there’s always one driver that is always in contention to win as the laps wind down. That driver is the No. 34 of Michael McDowell. McDowell has been close multiple times to pulling off the upset victory at either Daytona or Talladega, but always seem to fall short.
McDowell started the day in 22nd but was relatively quiet. He didn’t lead any laps but found himself in a position to win at the end. When the final restart came, McDowell was once again lined up in the second row.
However, there was not enough time to get around the leaders nor did he have any help to go with him when it came to the finish. Ultimately, McDowell came home with a fifth-place result at Talladega.
“You could always do something different,” McDowell said to MRN Radio describing the finish. “The Loves Travel Stop Ford was fast. We had a good day, keeping ourselves in position. If I could go back, I’d block that 6 (Ryan Newman) who had that run coming but I didn’t think he had enough help with him. I knew I had the two fastest cars in my lane with the 12 (Blaney) and the 10 (Almirola). Wanted to make sure we stayed with them until we got to the front straightaway coming to the checkered.”
“I was hoping the 10 would get next to the 12, but the 6 and the 11 somehow got a big run, not sure where that came from. All in all, a good day, another top-five finish at a superspeedway. We still got our goals too. Everybody is in the Playoffs but I’m trying to get to 25th in points and today we closed the gap in that. We have a bunch of top-fives, but no wins. One day, we’ll get in position.”
The fifth-place finish was his second top-five finish of the season and the third of McDowell’s career.