McDowell Set for Second Attempt at Dover International Speedway DOVER, Del. (September 17, 2008) -- This weekend Michael McDowell makes his second trip with Michael Waltrip Racing to Dover International Speedway for his 20th NASCAR Sprint Cup...
McDowell Set for Second Attempt at Dover International Speedway
DOVER, Del. (September 17, 2008) -- This weekend Michael McDowell makes his second trip with Michael Waltrip Racing to Dover International Speedway for his 20th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start during his Raybestos Rookie year.
"We have a lot of confidence going into Dover with the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota," McDowell said. "MWR has improved performance and it is a testament to our new car thanks to everybody back at the shop, the engineers, fabricators and crew chiefs. We've applied what we've learned over the last eight months and built our own cars. Our whole organization has gotten a lot better. A big part of that is attributed to Ryan Pemberton and David Reutimann on the 44 side. They're the first to get the new car and start building some momentum with some top-10 runs."
McDowell is ready to post his first career top-10 at Dover to top his career-best finish of 20th-place at Richmond International Raceway in the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota Camry. The Glendale, Arizona, native returns to the one-mile 24-degree banked concrete oval where he finished 30th in the 400-lap event in June.
"I'm better because of the car, the car's better because of me, the crew's better because of all of it, and it really is a team effort," McDowell said. "For us, all three cars struggled at Dover the last time. I'm really looking forward to bringing our new car and applying what we've learned. As a race team we've come so far since the first time we raced there. Ty Norris and I were talking about that in the office today. We said, 'we think we've got it.' We feel like we will be competitive when we unload just like we've been the last couple of weekends."
Last weekend McDowell was ninth in the first Cup practice session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and he's looking for the same practice results to carry through the weekend into Sunday's Camping World RV 400 presented by AAA.
"It was a huge accomplishment for us to unload like that," McDowell said. "Now, we need to follow it up in all of our practices. Dover is a great track and a lot of fun because it's really fast. It's so cool in qualifying trim because you are wide open around there. I'd really like to do well this weekend."
While the Raybestos Rookie conquers his learning curve, McDowell has been fortunate to have several people he can rely on in the sport. One of those individuals includes his spotter Roman Pemberton.
"For me being a new guy to the Series, Roman Pemberton does a great job and has helped me tremendously," McDowell said. "He's not only spotting, he's coaching me as well. He's helping me move my line around and telling me what other guys are doing. He keeps me motivated and makes sure I'm breaking down what the car is doing in addition to my crew chief."
"Roman has been around the sport so long and has done it at every level whether he's been a crew chief, a mechanic or a spotter," continued McDowell. "He understands the sport and what the crew chief needs to make good changes and knows what I need to be able to complete a pass. Walking me through these races has definitely sped up my learning curve."