Kansas: Michael McDowell preview

McDowell Takes Advantage of Test at Lowe's Motor Speedway Before Heading to Kansas CONCORD, N.C. (September 23, 2008) -- Yesterday, Michael McDowell took full advantage of the seven hour NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at the 1.5-mile ...

McDowell Takes Advantage of Test at Lowe's Motor Speedway Before Heading to Kansas

CONCORD, N.C. (September 23, 2008) -- Yesterday, Michael McDowell took full advantage of the seven hour NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway quad oval and he prepares to test again today before heading to Kansas Speedway.

"I need all the laps I can get around Lowe's Motor Speedway even though I ran there in May," said McDowell, who finished 32nd earlier this season. "Obviously it really helps me as a rookie that we are able to test before we race there in two weeks. I've only ran 20 Cup races so I am still learning. The Champion Mortgage Toyota was really good in Turns 1 and 2 halfway through practice. Near the end, it got a little too tight and I couldn't get it turned enough. We kept working on it. We'll continue our efforts today before traveling to Kansas on Thursday."

All three Michael Waltrip Racing teams will load up at the conclusion of the test Wednesday night and head to the Cornelius, N.C. shop to load up for Kansas Speedway. This will be McDowell's first trip to Kansas Speedway with his #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota team, but he did complete 99 of 100 laps to finish 11th in the ARCA RE/MAX Series event last year with Eddie Sharp Racing.

"At least I have made some laps there and know what the place looks like," McDowell said. "Any laps are better than no laps."

Since McDowell has limited experience at the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval, he welcomes advice from Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann. Waltrip finished 10th in the most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event with his #55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota at Dover International Speedway and Reutimann has been on a roll with his #44 UPS Toyota Camry posting two top-10 and three top-15 finishes in the last four races.

"The #44 UPS Toyota team has really turned the corner," McDowell said. "That's exciting for us because we know the cars are getting better and it's starting to show in all of the teams."

This will be McDowell's second trip to the state of Kansas this season. In July, he trained with local law enforcement on a high-speed course in a simulated chase behind another law enforcement official. McDowell discussed driving safety with law enforcement and also with Metropolitan Community College students who were present for the high-speed chase.

"I have a lot of respect for their line of work," McDowell said. "It's just like a race in a sense for these officers. Your adrenaline gets going and you get kind of pumped so you're in the zone, and the officers have to deal with that all the time. The pursuit was the highlight for me. It felt like I was in a race -- maybe a little too much. They said I wasn't allowed to beat and bang on them like I was. I got into a little trouble when I sort of wrecked one of their cars. Well, I was demonstrating what not to do."

-credit: mwr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Michael McDowell , David Reutimann
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing