Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, 2.28 Mile Road Course
Race: 32 of 36
Event: Bank of America ROVAL 400 (252.88 Miles, 109 Laps)
No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops | Speedco Ford Mustang
Stage One: 19th
Stage Two: 9th
Stage Three: 32nd
The No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops | Speedco Ford Mustang started Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 from the 31st position at Charlotte Motor Speedway. On the first lap of the race, McDowell made a strong charge towards the front as he gained many valuable spots and improved his running position to 18th. At the Competition Caution on Lap 10, Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer made the call for McDowell to stay on track to continue advancing his position. Then, with 7 Laps remaining in the first stage, McDowell would pit under green to trade his 4 rain tires for 4 slick tires and fuel and would go on to finish Stage 1 from the 19th position. McDowell would stay out during the Stage Break Caution and restart in 13th to begin Stage 2.
During the second stage, McDowell began to note that his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops | Speedco Ford Mustang was “really tight.” The caution flag would fly on Lap 45 to which McDowell would once again stay on track to gain track position. He would battle hard to secure a Top-10 stage finish and stage points as his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops | Speedco Ford Mustang took the Stage 2 green-and white-checkered flag from the 9th position. Under caution, McDowell told his team that he needed “more turn” and would pit for 4 tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment.
The final stage of Sunday’s 109-lap race would see a total of 3 cautions. The first would occur with less than 50 Laps to go, to which McDowell would stay out. Shortly after green flag racing resumed, McDowell noted that his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops | Speedco Ford Mustang was bottoming out on the right rear and would pit under caution on Lap 88 for 4 tires, fuel and an added spring rubber. The yellow flag would come out on Lap 99 for the 9th and final time of the race as McDowell would once again stay on track. With only a handful of laps remaining, the No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops | Speedco Ford Mustang would spin twice as McDowell came over the radio to say, “something is broken” and would take the checkered flag in the 32nd position.
McDowell on the ROVAL:
“Well, not the day that we had hoped for with Love’s Travel Stops and Speedco. We had a decent car at times, but then we had something break towards the end of the race and we tried to fix it, but just couldn’t. It’s unfortunate for us because we had two good races: Talladega and then the ROVAL, where we could have scored a lot of points and didn’t. To Love’s Travel Stops and all of our other partners, I’m sorry that we didn’t get you guys a good finish today; but we’ll try to stay positive, keep plugging away, get it figured out and get ready for Kansas.”