Michael McDowell to Make Eddie Sharp Racing Debut 21-Year-old Takes the Reigns of the ...
Michael McDowell to Make Eddie Sharp Racing Debut
21-Year-old Takes the Reigns of the #20 at Milwaukee
DENVER, NC (August 25, 2006) -- The Eddie Sharp Racing #20 Dodge will have a different look this weekend when the team rolls into the Milwaukee Mile (WI) for the Governor's Cup 200. ESR announced today that Phoenix, Arizona native Michael McDowell will take over the reigns of the #20 Z-line Designs Southern New Hampshire University Dodge. McDowell, who comes from a road racing background, will be making his oval track debut this weekend, as well as his debut with the team in the first of five scheduled events to complete the 2006 season.
"This is a great opportunity that came available when the previous driver left the team," said the 21-year-old McDowell. "The team has been running strong all year long; the seat was available and it was an opportunity for me to get some experience in stock car racing. There is no better place to get that experience than the ARCA RE/MAX Series."
The first opportunity for the team to excel and gel together will come this weekend with the Governor's Cup 200. ESR Teammate Ryan Mathews is from Wisconsin and has had many laps around The Milwaukee Mile, so McDowell hopes to use that to his advantage.
"I have been hanging around the last couple of weeks and talked with all of the guys," added McDowell. "Ryan is from Wisconsin and knows Milwaukee pretty well, and I have just been trying to get as much information from him and the rest of the team as I can before we get out there. These guys have been running all year and they all have been running really well. I am just trying to utilize them as much as possible."
When McDowell walks into the infield at The Milwaukee Mile it will be his first time he sees the track. Despite not having experience in an ARCA car, he is excited about the opportunity and taking every available chance to prepare himself for the race.
"I am really excited about going to Milwaukee. It is going to be pretty interesting for me; it will be the first time that I have done anything like this; it will be a learning experience, but I feel pretty good about it. We are doing some testing at Hickory Motor Speedway in order for the team and I to get some practice in before the race and I think that we should be able to do pretty well. We have good equipment and it should be a good race for the team."
Team owner Eddie Sharp is looking forward to having McDowell as one of the racers in his driver development program.
"I am extremely excited to have Michael come and join our team," said Sharp."He has all of the credentials that one has to have in order to be successful in stock car racing. From what I have seen him do in road racing, I know that he is racer. And that is the kind of person that I want involved with my company, a racer.
"But we are managing our expectations. We are going into this weekend to gain experience and to earn respect from the other racers. We are going to take our time to build this; this is for the long term, not the short term. We are going to go to Milwaukee, qualify solidly, and run all of the laps, finish the race and build for the future. That is our goal."