Bad luck mars dominant performance by McDowell, ESR Mechanical problems take pole-sitter out of contention at Winchester WINCHESTER, IN (May 7, 2007) - After shattering a ten year-old track record to win the pole and leading the most laps in ...
Bad luck mars dominant performance by McDowell, ESR
Mechanical problems take pole-sitter out of contention at Winchester
WINCHESTER, IN (May 7, 2007) - After shattering a ten year-old track record to win the pole and leading the most laps in the race, Michael McDowell and Eddie Sharp Racing suffered mechanical difficulties leading to a disappointing 22nd place finish. But there was no doubt that McDowell's No. 2 Z-Line Designs / Make-A-Wish / Beck Dodge was the class of the field this weekend.
In his first race at the half-mile track, McDowell turned a lap of 16.319 seconds, good enough not only for the pole, but to best Tim Steele's ten year-old track record. With the same chassis used at Salem Speedway (where McDowell qualified on the pole and finished 3rd), the Arizona native was optimistic about his chances for the win.
As soon as the green flag dropped, McDowell showed that he was the man to beat. The No. 2 Dodge led the first 65 laps, giving away the lead only to get four tires and fuel following a yellow flag. After the caution period, McDowell re-started 11th and worked his way back up to 4th until he felt a vibration and was forced to pit again after another caution flag waved. While attempting to climb through the field, the car gave way to mechanical difficulties when pieces of his wheel broke off and got caught in between his brake rotor and caliper, ultimately destroying the caliper. Once that happened, McDowell brought the car into the garage early and settled for a 22nd place finish.
While the race didn't give the result he wanted, McDowell was pleased with the team's effort:
"We had the car to beat, that's for sure," said McDowell after the race. "Both ESR cars were fast and either one of us could have won. Winning the pole was huge and proving that we were the dominant team added to that, but we're just snake-bitten it seems. This is a team that has the potential to seal the deal (with a win) and we're just going to keep working towards doing that."
The 22nd place finish drops McDowell to 6th in the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings after six of 23 races.
Up Next: McDowell and Eddie Sharp Racing will venture to Sparta, Kentucky to take on the Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, May 12 for the Buckle-Up Kentucky 150.