|credit: Getty Images/Tyler Barrick|
Michael McDowell kicked off his racing career on two wheels at age 3 before moving into karting, open-wheel cars, sports cars and eventually NASCAR. Learn about the driver of the No. 98 Ford Fusion for Phil Parsons Racing in the Cup Series in this week’s Fast Facts.
- Michael Christopher McDowell was born Dec. 21, 1984 in Glendale, Arizona. McDowell first raced BMX bikes at age 3, moving on to karting at age 8. He spent 10 years in karts, winning the World Karting Association championship and two International Kart Federation championships.
- In 2002, McDowell made the move to Formula Renault, winning three races in his rookie season, then continued up the ladder to the Star Mazda Series in 2003, earning two wins and a runner-up points finish. He backed that season up with seven wins and a championship in 2004.
- In 2005, McDowell switched it up again, moving to the Rolex Sports Car Series and racing in the Champ Car World Series twice. He finally made his way into stock cars for the first time in the ARCA Racing Series in 2006. After running five races that season, he competed for the Rookie of the Year title in 2007; he won the award, finishing second in points with nine poles and four checkered flags.
- McDowell made the big jump to NASCAR in 2007, racing in the Craftsman (now Camping World) Truck Series for Darrell Waltrip Motorsports and the Busch (now Nationwide) Series for Michael Waltrip Racing. He made his Cup Series debut the following season for MWR.
- McDowell has driven for a number of teams in the NASCAR ranks, including JTG Daugherty Racing, Prism Motorsports, Tommy Baldwin Racing, and Joe Gibbs Racing. In 2014, McDowell will race the Leavine Family Racing No. 95 Ford in the Sprint Cup Series.
- McDowell and his wife Jami have two children, Trace Christopher and Emma James.
- Learn more about Michael McDowell at his website, www.mmcdowell.com.