Michael McDowell A First Time Winner

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Michael-McDowell-2020 LVMS - photo by Ron Olds

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NASCAR opens the season at Daytona International Speedway. with the running of the Daytona 500, one of NASCARs biggest, longest races. The excitement associated with the Daytona 500 is the close high speed action packed racing that always includes wild finishes.

Wild finishes also opens the door for a victory for anyone willing to risk racing at 190 mph 3 cars wide, and being within the first 3 rows.

The race started with 40 cars, but a lap 14 crash would take a toll on 16 cars after Christopher Bell and Aric Almirola made contact at the front of the pack. Before the clean up was completed mother nature would put out the red flag and take control of race action for almost 6 hours,

When racing resumed Denny Hamlin would take control winning stage 1 and 2. looking for a trifecta victory.

The field would take the white flag with Joey Logano and teammate Brad Keselowski locked up leading the parade when slight accordion bump contact was made by Michael McDowell sending both Logano and Keselowski spinning. Keselowski made contact with the outside wall just as Kyle Busch was bringing the 3rd row of cars up into line. The contact would rip the fuel cell from Keselowski car igniting a huge fire ball. McDowell would slip between the chaos for his first career Cup win.

“I can‘t believe it,” McDowell said. “I‘ve got to thank God. So many years of just grinding it out, hoping for an opportunity like this. I‘ve got to thank (team owner) Bob Jenkins for giving me this opportunity. I‘m so thankful. What a great way to get a first victory — in the Daytona 500!”

“DOES THIS MATCH THE DREAM? “It does, but whether I win this race or not it’s not what defines you. It’s unbelievable and I’m so thankful, but I’m thankful to have a happy, healthy family and a beautiful wife and a great family. Not everybody makes it to victory lane and for 14 years I didn’t, so just to be here now is just so amazing.”

NASCAR Cup Series Race Number 1
Daytona International Speedway – Daytona Beach, FL – 2.5
Total Race Length – 200 Laps – 500. Miles

1 – Michael McDowell
2 – Chase Elliott
3 – Austin Dillon
4 – Kevin Harvick
5 – Denny Hamlin
6 – Ryan Preece
7 – Ross Chastain
8 – Jamie McMurray
9 – Corey LaJoie
10 – Kyle Larson
11 – Cole Custer
12 – Joey Logano
13 – Brad Keselowski
14 – Kyle Busch
15 – Austin Cindric
16 – Christopher Bell
17 – Bubba Wallace
18 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
19 – Chase Briscoe
20 – Joey Gase
21 – Cody Ware
22 – Kurt Busch
23 – BJ McLeod
24 – Josh Bilicki
25 – Martin Truex Jr.
26 – William Byron
27 – Tyler Reddick
28 – Kaz Grala
29 – Quin Houff
30 – Ryan Blaney
31 – Chris Buescher
32 – Anthony Alfredo
33 – Matt DiBenedetto
34 – Aric Almirola
35 – Alex Bowman
36 – Daniel Suarez
37 – David Ragan
38 – Ryan Newman
39 – Erik Jones
40 – Derrike Cope

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