Michael McDowell's wrecked race car at Talladega. (HHP/Chris Owens)

McDowell ‘Frustrated’ After Dominant Day Ends In Crash

Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway was shaping up to be a dominant victory for Michael McDowell.

While the Geico 500 featured 73 lead changes, McDowell’s No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford was the class of the field as he led a race-high 36 laps after placing his race car on pole the day prior. 

McDowell looked to be in prime position at the bell lap as he strongly held off a hungry pack of drivers for the final 26 laps.

However, in the tri-oval with the checkered flag waving, McDowell threw two blocks on Brad Keselowski, with the second one resulting in the No. 34 Ford losing control and spinning in front of the field. 

He would be credited with a 31st-place finish.

“It’s hard. I need to see a replay to tell you everything perfectly, but we did a good job getting out front and controlling the race and putting ourselves in position,” McDowell explained. “Brad is so good at this place and he drug back and I drug back as quick as I could and was able to block that first run that he made, but then when I came down for the second one he was just to my bumper. 

“I mean barely, barely got me so it’s unfortunate. I hate it for him and I hate it for everybody that was behind that. It’s the last lap at Talladega. We’re all going for it, but we really needed to get a Ford Mustang Dark Horse in victory lane and we had a shot at doing it there,” McDowell continued.

“Unfortunately, I just made a bad move there to put us in that spot.”

A visibly frustrated McDowell threw his gloves into his race car after exiting the cockpit of a beaten and battered Ford Mustang. 

“I’m frustrated right now. I’m motivated by our ability to run up there and manage the lanes and do all the things that we did,” McDowell said. “Our car drove really well and took a push well and had a lot of speed, so those are good things, but it’s wadded up in a pile of rubble right now.”

McDowell’s string of bad luck continued, as he hasn’t finished inside the top 20 since Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (11th), six races ago. 

Fortunately for the No. 34 team, they’ve shown consistent speed, which is highlighted by three front row starts. 

“It’s just unfortunate,” McDowell said. “It’s been a tough stretch here, but we’ve had speed and we’ve run up front and if we keep doing that, we’ll win a race.”