Chicagoland Ends Early For Michael McDowell 21-Year-old Victim of Circumstance in ARCA RE/MAX Event When a team faces adversity, all they can hope to do is to take what they can away from it, learn from the experience and move on. That is how ...
Chicagoland Ends Early For Michael McDowell
21-Year-old Victim of Circumstance in ARCA RE/MAX Event
When a team faces adversity, all they can hope to do is to take what they can away from it, learn from the experience and move on. That is how Michael McDowell and the #2 Z-Line Designs/Southern New Hampshire University / Eddie Sharp Racing Dodge plan to look at the SK Hand Tools 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series event this past weekend at Chicagoland Speedway (IL).
The team went into Chicago with high hopes. They tested a few weeks ago and were very pleased with the results. A problem in qualifying resulted in the team having to change tires before the green flag, forcing McDowell to start from the back of the field. Once the race started, a first lap incident occurred in front of McDowell.
With no place to go, McDowell began working his way around the carnage but unfortunately was tagged from behind causing the likeable North Carolina resident to get involved in the wreck and end his day almost as quick as it began.
"Because we spun in qualifying, we flat-spotted the tires," said McDowell. "So we had to come down pit road before the green flag to change the tires, and that put us to the tail end of the pack. When we got back out, we were able to pass a lot of cars and were starting to work our way up when cars started to pile up in front of us. I checked up for the accident and someone behind us didn't see it, and they just drove all over us. We were kind of an innocent bystander, but the race was over for us after that."
Putting Chicagoland behind them, the Denver, NC - based team will next compete in the Eddie Gilstrap Fall Classic by Advance Auto Parts at Salem Speedway this Saturday. At this point, McDowell's ARCA experience has been on mile and mile-and-a-half tracks. This weekend's 200-lap event at Salem Speedway Salem will be his first start at a short track.
"I am looking forward to going to Salem and turning our week around," added McDowell. "We had such a good car at Chicago and really wanted to show what we had; it just didn't work out well for us. "Now there is a lot of pressure on me to do a good job at Salem. And Salem is going to be such a new experience for me, because I have never been on a short track before and it is a whole different style of racing. I have two ARCA races under my belt but unfortunately I haven't finished either one, and that is not what I want to do - finish."
Despite his lack of experience racing on short tracks, McDowell is excited about this upcoming weekend and what the team can do together. "We went up and tested Salem last week before we headed to Chicago, and that went really well. We did about 130 laps in order for me to get a handle on the place. "It's pretty high banked, and it's awesome, just a lot of fun. The car was good last week, and I expect that it will be good again, and hopefully we can show what we are capable of."
The Eddie Gilstrap Motors ARCA Fall Classic at Salem Speedway will get underway Saturday, September 16th, at 7:15pm.