McDowell gets the call at Texas Motor Speedway


Lost in all the drama at Texas Motor Speedway, an opportunity of a lifetime has been given to Michael McDowell. McDowell will strap into the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing after NASCAR parked Kyle Busch for the remainder of the weekend following his actions in the Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night.

After Friday’s truck race, McDowell received a late-night call from J.D. Gibbs alerting him to be at track because of the possibility Busch would be parked. Just moments before Saturday's practice, NASCAR’s ruling came down and McDowell was hurrying to make adjustments with the team to strap in.

"This is an awesome opportunity for me, so I'm going to go have a lot of fun and maximize the opportunity. I know that I didn't really do anything to deserve it,” said McDowell.

"So it's very fortunate and I thank God for it and I hope I can make the most of the opportunity."

While McDowell is fortunate, he also understands the severity of the situation at hand. “It’s an unfortunate situation,” McDowell said after practice Saturday. “I’m definitely happy and blessed to be given the opportunity to drive the 18 for Joe Gibbs Racing, M&M’s and everybody at Mars.”

“This kind of answers the question of why you show up and start and park every week. That’s why I do it. I’m here so if an opportunity like this ever comes up, I’m fresh, I’ve had seat time, and I’ve been on the track that weekend. I’ve been dying for an opportunity like this,” said McDowell, who had been set to drive the No. 66 start-and-park for HP Racing this weekend.

In his 81 career Cup Series starts, McDowell holds a top finish of 20th at Richmond in 2008 while he drove the No. 00 for Michael Waltrip Racing.

McDowell and Dave Rogers, crew chief of the No. 18, spent both practice sessions getting comfortable with the car and working on their communication.

“You get used to your seat, you get used to how everything feels. The car is pretty good; we made a lot of laps there, made a lot of runs. Dave and I just worked on communication, trying to get a feel for what I like. Obviously we know the 18 car is fast, so hopefully I’ll get comfortable for tomorrow and we’ve got a lot of laps to get the car to the front,” McDowell said after final practice as he spoke to the media.

McDowell will have to start from the rear of the field due to a driver change, so he will have that added challenge of working his way up through the field.

As we have seen, the No. 18 car is fast and with the right coaching McDowell will make it upfront.
McDowell gets the call at Texas Motor Speedway McDowell gets the call at Texas Motor Speedway Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, November 05, 2011 Rating: 5