Track: Auto Club Speedway, 2-mile D-shaped oval
Race: 3 of 38
Event: Auto Club 400 (400 miles, 200 laps)
No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang
Stage One: 22nd
Stage Two: 21st
Stage Three: 22nd
Michael McDowell took the green flag in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 from the 8th position at Auto Club Speedway. He noted early on that his car was tight, making it hard for him to move around and try different lanes without sliding the nose of his race car. The No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang would go on to finish Stage 1 in the 22nd position.
Under the Stage 1 caution, Drew Blickensderfer made the call for 4 tires, fuel, a trackbar adjustment and to add grille tape. Once racing resumed, McDowell still noted that he, “needed more front turn” and would finish Stage 2, 21st.
During the Stage 2 caution, McDowell brought his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang down pit road for 4 tires, an air pressure adjustment and fuel. This round of adjustments seemed to help improve throttle gain in turns 1 and 2, however the No. 34 Ford still lacked rear grip. As the checkered flag flew, Michael McDowell brought his Love’s Travel Stops Ford home 22nd.
McDowell on Fontana: “I’m proud of my No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops team for battling hard all weekend long. We felt like we had a pretty decent hot rod at the end of final practice and obviously qualified really well, but a mixture of the cold weather and a few other factors seemed to change the handling of our car early on in the race. We started off tight and just seemed to lack turn all race long, but we were able to come away with a 22nd place finish and gain a few positions in the points standings. I’m looking forward to heading home next weekend to Phoenix Raceway with Love’s Travel Stops back on the car and hope to have a strong performance for my hometown crowd.”