Coming off the team’s second top-20 finish of the season, CSLFR is ready for the atmosphere and challenges of The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.
“Coming to Bristol is always a lot of fun. The crowd and the atmosphere are amazing,” said McDowell. “One of the biggest challenges is not getting caught up in the crashes. You need to stay focused and not lose your cool.”
From atop of the pit box, crew chief Dave Winston has slightly different challenges when racing at Bristol.
“The thing that we will fight the most is communication,” said Winston. “It is so loud at Bristol that you have to be on your game to make sure that driver feedback and changes required to the car are effectively communicated to the team.”
With 11 starts at the half-mile track, McDowell earned his career-best Bristol finish of 18th in 2014 and looks to improve on that this year. The No. 95 team has completed 99.2 percent of the laps in competition this season.
“We’ve been building good momentum all season long,” said McDowell. “We had a really strong run at Martinsville a few weeks ago which helps keep our confidence up. Hopefully, we can continue to build on that this weekend.”
Winston already has plans for building on the team’s recent success.
“It seems like every time you go back to Bristol, the track changes and the line that ends up being the preferred line moves,” he said. “The key will be to have a car that can race where the other drivers are not. You have to race the track the first 400 laps, hope to stay out of trouble and be in a position to race for a good finish at the end.”
The Food City 500 will take place on Sunday, April 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET at Bristol Motor Speedway. Race fans can follow the team on Twitter at @CSLFR95 for updates.