Michael McDowell faced insurmountable odds at Texas

Going into the AAA Texas 500, Michael McDowell had all eyes on him. Called on to fill the seat of Kyle Busch, McDowell was stepping into a rather large role. The No. 18 M&Ms car is one of the most recognizable cars on the track.

Any driver asked to fill in at the last moment is facing insurmountable odds: an unfamiliar car, team, crew chief and needing to adapt to all the changes.

Michael McDowell started from the rear of the field due to a driver change post-qualifying. Battling a loose condition all race, McDowell brought home a 33rd place finish, unfamiliar territory to the No. 18 team although it was not for a lack of trying.

“The car was just pretty loose all day long and, yeah, it’s unfortunate. We obviously were hoping for more and were hoping for a big day, but just wasn’t meant to be. Gave it all I had and we just struggled pretty much all day long,” said McDowell. “We ran around our teammates there quite a bit. Joey (Logano) and I were kind of fighting the same thing — just loose in and loose out all day. We needed a couple of cautions so we could work on it. Not what we were looking for, but grateful for the opportunity and thankful to get a shot at it.”

McDowell knew that the expectations were high for him this weekend. “There’s not a lot of people in our sport that have won 100 races, so obviously you’re filing big shoes,” said McDowell. “For me, it’s just a matter of I gave it all I had. My ability is not going to change overnight. You get into a car. You haven’t worked with the crew chief (Dave Rogers). It’s still pretty tough. You’re still racing Brian Vickers, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Burton for 25th and those guys are pretty good guys. Yeah, just a tough day for us. We were hoping for more, but for me it was just great. I was planning on doing 20 laps this weekend, so I think I did 310 more than I was planning on and great opportunity to work with a great team and just see how they do things a little bit different.”

Was there any consolation prize for McDowell bringing the No. 18 car home in one piece? No, of course not. He is a racer! 

“They’re happy about that. I’m a race car driver,” stated McDowell. “ I want to win races and I had a car that typically wins races, so that’s the expectation for me and I enjoyed the race. It was hard. It was a handful. I wish we had got a couple of more cautions to work on it, but, all in all, it just is what it is.”
Michael McDowell faced insurmountable odds at Texas Michael McDowell faced insurmountable odds at Texas Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, November 07, 2011 Rating: 5