Talladega: Michael McDowell race report

McDOWELL DODGES DEGA WITH ANOTHER TOP-15 Talladega, Ala. (April 25, 2009)- Michael McDowell finished 15th in the Aaron's 312 Saturday at the Talladega Superspeedway. After qualifying 41st, McDowell was surprisingly optimistic heading into the...

McDOWELL DODGES DEGA WITH ANOTHER TOP-15

Talladega, Ala. (April 25, 2009)- Michael McDowell finished 15th in the Aaron's 312 Saturday at the Talladega Superspeedway. After qualifying 41st, McDowell was surprisingly optimistic heading into the race.

"We knew that the car wouldn't be good in qualifying trim. It runs fantastic in the draft and handles well in the corners. What we lose in straight line speed we gain in handling and drafting," said McDowell.

It didn't take long to prove McDowell right as he moved swiftly through the pack to 19th place by lap 8. By lap 19 McDowell reported an overheating issue on the #47 Tom's Snacks Camry as ambient air temperatures rose to the mid 80's. Falling back to give the nose some air, McDowell rode around the top-15 until some grill tape could be pulled off during a scheduled green flag pit stop on lap 39.

"The water temperature rose up pretty high and we had to pull off some tape. The Tom's Snack Attack pit crew completed a great pit stop to get me out quickly under green flag conditions," said McDowell.

A yellow on lap 54 bunched the field up and gave McDowell a shot at the leaders. Just past halfway McDowell fought hard for the lead before being shuffled back. Bouncing around the top-20 for most of the afternoon, McDowell put himself in contention at the race's final caution. Setting up a green-white-checkered finish, McDowell restarted 12th but fell to 15th with no drafting help.

"We had a really well handling car today. I really felt like we had positioned ourselves well in the closing laps with great cars all around us, but we just couldn't get anyone to help at the end. It's a good day to survive Talladega and a great day to score another top-15 finish. I really look forward to getting back to some short track racing at Richmond," said McDowell.

The 15th place finish puts McDowell 10th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship standings, only 6 points from of 9th and 340 points from the lead.

-credit: mmcdowell.com

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Michael McDowell