Pole and Fast Lap for McDowell at Portland After starting on pole, and then being hit on the last restart Michael McDowell found himself at the back of the pack, but was able to make it up to an eleventh place finish this past weekend in round...
Pole and Fast Lap for McDowell at Portland
After starting on pole, and then being hit on the last restart Michael McDowell found himself at the back of the pack, but was able to make it up to an eleventh place finish this past weekend in round five of the Star Mazda Series North American Championship at Portland International Raceway. Despite the disappointing finish, McDowell proved that he was still the driver to beat, turning the fastest lap of the day each of the three days at Portland, including capturing his fourth consecutive pole position and setting the fast lap of the race on Saturday as one of the support races for the American LeMans Series.
"I had a lot of confidence going into this race after winning the last three and putting it on pole here," said a disappointed McDowell, "but I also knew that pulling off a fourth win would be hard, and in racing anything can happen." As it turned out McDowell's fourth win in a row did not happen. At the start of the race, series veteran Mike Potekhen was able to take the lead going into the Festival Chicane. McDowell was happy with his car and content to bide his time in second place and wait for an opening to take the lead back.
There were three full course yellows in the race. Dan DiLeo explained, "On the final restart Raphael Matos got the jump on me and at the same time I got a jump on Michael McDowell and we came down towards the Festival Chicane three wide." Unfortunately when the three cars entered the corner Matos contacted McDowell and the two cars were forced to watch the field pass them by before being able to continue.
McDowell leaves Portland in third place in the championship and more determined than ever. "My team and I are here to win races and as long as they keep giving me a great car we will keep putting the Star Racecars, Drive4USA car up front," said McDowell with conviction.
Round Five of the Star Mazda Series North American Championship presented by Goodyear will be televised on Speed Channel on August 22 at 12:00pm Eastern Time.