October 16, 2004, Monterey, California - Michael McDowell captured another pole position this past Saturday and finished second place in the final round of the Star Mazda Series at Mazda Raceway / Laguna Seca in Monterey, California to secure his title as 2004 Star Mazda North American Champion. This was the culmination of a dominant season for McDowell, having finished first seven times, second once, and having sat on pole six times in the ten race series.
Despite McDowell's domination this year, the championship was not clinched until he took the checkered flag in Monterey. Dan DiLeo and Scott Jenkins, who finished second and third in the championship respectively were both in contention for the title right up until the end. The championship was this close due to the two races that McDowell had contact and consequently finished scoring few points. "I won this championship by winning races," stated McDowell, "and when you are racing as hard as the competitors in this series do sometimes things happen and you end up wondering if your championship was just lost." As it turned out McDowell's championship was not lost.
In both his post race and championship banquet speeches McDowell took the opportunity to show his appreciation for all of the help he received this year and showed that he has not forgotten that racing is a team sport. "I have to give the credit to all of the Star Race Cars crew and especially to Mark Rodrigues who has been giving young drivers the opportunity to race for years," sincerely stated McDowell, "I also have to thank all of the other people and sponsors who made this year not only possible but amazing including my family, Drive4USA, Finlay Motorsports, Mega Metals, Western Titanium, Steve Collias, 3Dimensional Services, Bob Bondurant racing school, Cobalt Brakes, Sparco USA, Red Rock Lumber, Nastasi & Associates and HDT among others."
Having wrapped up this season McDowell is going to be hard at work in preparation for the 2005 season in which he will be driving a Daytona Prototype car for Finlay Motorsports in the Grand American series with the help of Cameron Motorsports management. He is also exploring options with his current sponsors that may include the Indy 500, CART and other open wheel efforts.
Round ten of the Star Mazda Series from Monterey, CA will air on Speed Sunday, October 31 at 2:00 PM EST.