McDowell looks to finish the job at Kentucky ARCA's rookie leader won the pole but registered a DNF in last Blue Grass visit MOORESVILLE, NC (July 11, 2007) - While an all- Eddie Sharp Racing front row and the promise of a spectacular evening...
McDowell looks to finish the job at Kentucky
ARCA's rookie leader won the pole but registered a DNF in last Blue Grass visit
MOORESVILLE, NC (July 11, 2007) - While an all- Eddie Sharp Racing front row and the promise of a spectacular evening was cut short in his visit to Kentucky Speedway last May, a lot has happened for ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie leader Michael McDowell.
He's stretched his series-high number of poles won to five. He's added to the already gaudy number of laps led, 362, also tops in the series. Most importantly, it looks as if the team's luck has turned around and ubiquitous mishaps like the one that occurred in May's race in Sparta have been eradicated.
Right now, McDowell and the stealth bomber disguised as the No. 2 Z-Line Designs / Make-A- Wish / Beck Dodge are in championship form. Fresh off of a runner-up finish at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan, McDowell is hoping to continue his ascent to the top of the overall point standings.
A weekend filled with NASCAR development drivers in Nextel Cup-ready equipment doesn't hinder the 22 year-old's determination. The night of racing last May ended early, but rest assured, McDowell and ESR are prepared to pick up where they left off:
"We're in for a battle this weekend. There are a lot of fast race cars and good young talent pulling into that garage area, but this is nothing new for us," said McDowell. "All year, we've been going up against NASCAR-backed teams. We've still won poles, led laps, and have been consummate contenders.
"We have a championship hunt that we're focused on and the entire ESR shop is ready to fight for it. Obviously we don't have the manpower, the financial backing, or the engineering prowess that some of these development drivers will, but that's fine. We're showing up to win and we have the team and the car that's capable of making that happen."
The Arizona native is focused on the win but also in the crosshairs is the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series championship. Despite having a winless season, his three top-five finishes and seven top-ten finishes have him sitting in third place in the series standings through 12 races. Now less than 200 points behind leader Frank Kimmel, McDowell is ready to close '07 with a head of steam.
"There were a lot of things that went wrong for us in the first half of the year, but we were never out of contention to win races," added McDowell. "The second half of the season is about a team finding its niche and finishing strong in the home stretch. That's our job now. We are going to do that job to the best of our ability and hopefully the end result is an ARCA championship."
McDowell's march to a title rolls through Kentucky this weekend with the WLWT 5-150. The race is slated for an 8 PM start time, with qualifying set to begin at 4:30 PM on Friday, July 13.