No. 34 Love's Travel Stops | Speedco Ford Mustang
- Stage One: 24th
- Stage Two: 25th
- Stage Three: 16th
- The No. 34 Love's Travel Stops | Speedco Ford Mustang took the green flag in Sunday’s "Southern 500" from the 19th position at Darlington Raceway. Like most drivers, McDowell noted early on in Stage 1 that his race car was "really loose.” During the Competition Caution on Lap 25, Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer would call the No. 34 to pit road for 4 tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Once green flag racing resumed, McDowell would note that his No. 34 Love's Travel Stops | Speedco Ford Mustang was still on the loose side and the would pit under green on Lap 69 for 4 tires, fuel and another wedge adjustment. The caution flag would fall on Lap 82 and the No. 34 would pit for 4 fresh Goodyear tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Michael McDowell and his No. 34 Love's Travel Stops | Speedco Ford Mustang would go on to finish Stage 1 from the 24th position. During the Stage 1 Caution, the No. 34 would pit for 4 tires and fuel.
- In Stage 2, as day turned to night and track temperatures began to drop, McDowell would continue to run comfortably inside of the Top-25. Roughly halfway through the stage, the No. 34 Love's Travel Stops | Speedco Ford Mustang would pit under green for 4 tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. The caution flag would be displayed on Lap 179, to which Blickensderfer would tell McDowell to "stay out" in order to take the wave-around; putting the No. 34 back on the Lead Lap. McDowell would take the Stage 2 green-and white-checkered flag from the 25th position.
- As track temperatures continued to drop, Michael McDowell and his No. 34 Love's Travel Stops | Speedco Ford Mustang would begin to show more speed. On Lap 246, McDowell noted that his race car was "a little bit tight." As the final stage of Sunday's 500-mile race at Darlington Raceway continued, McDowell would mount a strong run as he raced his No. 34 Love's Travel Stops | Speedco Ford Mustang into the Top-20 and go on to take the checkered flag from the 16th position, earning McDowell a new personal-best finish at Darlington Raceway.
McDowell on Darlington:
- “Well, that was a really positive end to what started out as a pretty tough day for our No. 34 team. We didn’t unload exactly how we had hoped to start the race, but Drew [Blickensderfer] and the guys did what they do best and made our race car a lot better by the time we took the green flag for the final stage. Overall, it was a pretty decent points day and another Top-20 to add to our season. I definitely wanted that Top-15, coming up just one position short; but we’ll take what we can get. I want to thank Love’s Travel Stops and Speedco for coming on board with our team tonight and I’m looking forward to having them back on the car next weekend at Richmond.”