No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang
- Stage One: 22nd
- Stage Two: 26th
- Stage Three: 16th
- Michael McDowell took the green flag in Sunday’s FanShield 500 from the 22nd position at Phoenix Raceway. He noted early on in the race that his Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang was extremely free and he would go on to finish Stage 1 from the 22nd position.
- Under the Stage 1 caution, the No. 34 Ford came to pit road for 4 tires and fuel. Once racing resumed, McDowell noted that the car was “lacking right rear grip.” Over the course of a handful of cautions, the team was able to make a variety of adjustments to try and better their Love’s Travel Stops Ford and finished Stage 2 in the 26th position.
- As the green-and-white checkered flag flew to end Stage 2, McDowell came over the radio to say that his car was having engine trouble. He brought his No. 34 Ford Mustang to pit road so that the team could investigate the problem, where it was determined that a faulty spark plug wire was the reason for the issues. The team was able to replace the wire, but went 2 laps down in the process. A Stage 3 caution allowed the No. 34 team to take a wave-around, putting them only 1 lap down. From there, McDowell battled hard to put the No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang in the Lucky Dog position and was successful in regaining the lead lap with roughly 40 laps remaining in the race. McDowell would go on to take the checkered flag 16th at his hometown track.
McDowell on Phoenix: “Today was an up and down day. We had a spark plug wire go bad and lost a few laps at the end of Stage 2, but luckily we were able to get a new plug wire put on and only went 2 laps down. From there, we were able to take a wave-around under caution and then battled hard to put our Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang in position to get the Lucky Dog later on in the race, which put us back on the lead lap. After that, we had a couple of good restarts and took the checkered flag in 16th. It was one of those days where you just have to keep grinding. I’m so proud of my guys for fighting hard to get everything fixed under caution and not lose more than 2 laps. All in all, we got the finish that we needed and we’ll move on to Atlanta next weekend.”