McDowell posts best qualifying run since 2014

By Dominic Aragon

April 13, 2018

BRISTOL, Tenn.—For the first time in over three seasons, Michael McDowell will start inside the top 10 for a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.

McDowell posted the ninth-fastest time in the final round of qualifying Friday for the Food City 500, his best qualifying effort since Talladega in October of 2014 when he started sixth for that race.

“We hadn’t made it to the third round (of qualifying) yet, so this is our first time getting there and a big accomplishment for our team,” McDowell said to The Racing Experts.

The 33-year-old driver posted top-10 runs in all three rounds of qualifying before settling for ninth on the grid.

This is the second time in McDowell’s Cup Series career he will start inside the top 10 in 257 starts.

“For so many years, I was just showing up and starting-and-parking, not getting to run all the laps, and to be in competitive cars and to be able to get speed out of them too has been a lot of fun the last couple years,” McDowell said.

McDowell is 25th in driver’s standings entering the eighth race of the season, 31 points behind a playoff-eligible position.

The Food City 500 is slated for Sunday, April 15th at 2 p.m. EDT. The event will be televised live on FOX.


Dustin Lane/TRE