McDowell's weekend both feast and famine After podium finish at Gateway, McDowell finds hard luck at DuQuoin DUQUOIN, IL (September 4, 2007) - Michael McDowell's four-race tour of Illinois proved both successful and unsatisfying. McDowell's ...
McDowell's weekend both feast and famine
After podium finish at Gateway, McDowell finds hard luck at DuQuoin
DUQUOIN, IL (September 4, 2007) - Michael McDowell's four-race tour of Illinois proved both successful and unsatisfying.
McDowell's Friday night was a fight till the finish. After qualifying an uncharacteristic tenth, the ARCA rookie charged to the front, leading 38 laps on the night. The final twenty laps of the race were spent in a duel with Eddie Sharp Racing teammate Josh Wise for the second place position. When McDowell's machine lost fourth gear, he hung on to third place in his first visit to Gateway.
It wasn't a victory, but McDowell was content with the performance.
"We got a little off sequence with our pit strategy, but we needed to stay out front, said McDowell. "Track position was crucial. The car was fantastic-it was a lot of fun racing my teammate at the end. I hate that we lost fourth gear, but it was still something we can be proud of."
After the race, McDowell traveled from Madison to DuQuoin where he tried to one-up his runner-up dirt track finish from last month's race at Springfield. That would prove to be a rather tall task.
The No. 2 Z-Line Designs / Make-A-Wish / Beck Dodge drew a late qualifying spot and clicked off a lap of 35.481 on a slick dirt track, good enough the sixteenth starting position. Adjustments were made to McDowell's Dodge, hoping to prepare for a late-race charge but on lap 57, a blown left rear tire sent McDowell driver's side-first into the outside wall. The hard hit ended McDowell's day, resulting in a 36th place finish.
"This was more challenging than Springfield. The car finally came to me but the tire went down and that was that," said a shaken-up McDowell. Despite the vicious hit, McDowell only came away with some soreness from the incident.
"It was quite a pop (with the wall), but I'm fine. When we hit the wall, we took a hit in the standings too. It was a strange day for us here. The good news is that we have tracks coming up like Salem and Toledo which we've proven we're fast at. Chicago this coming weekend will be a strong race for us."
McDowell now trails Frank Kimmel by 200 in the ARCA RE/MAX Series standings with four races left in 2007.