Michael McDowell, from Front Row Motorsports, has won his first Daytona 500 and NASCAR Cup Series race. It was a story book ending for McDowell, recording the Ford Mustang’s first Daytona 500 win and his first win in his 358th career start. McDowell is the eighth driver to get his first win at Daytona.
“Congratulations to Michael, Drew, Jerry, Bob and the Front Row Motorsports organization for winning the Daytona 500,” said Doug Yates, president and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “This was such an amazing weekend of racing, to win both the Cup and Xfinity races is such a blessing. I’m so proud of our entire team and our partnership with Ford Performance to power these fast Fords.”
“I just can’t believe it,” McDowell commented. “The only thing I can think of is just God is so good. For so many years I’ve just been grinding it out trying to stay in this sport. Bob Jenkins gave me a great opportunity to go full-time in a competitive car and Drew Blickensderfer and my whole entire team we’ve been working so hard for years to get into this position and I’m so thankful to Love’s Travel Stops and Speeco and Ford, Doug Yates. All of my Ford partners out there. I just can’t believe it. I’m so thankful. It’s amazing.”
The 500-mile, Great American Race all came down to the last lap. McDowell, following Ford teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, found himself in position to take the lead after Logano and Keselowski had an on-track incident in Turn 3 of the final lap. McDowell took the lead, and it became a drag race to the checkered flag with Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon. After a video tape review, McDowell was announced the official winner, beating Elliott by over a car length as the race ended under caution.
“There’s no better way to start the season than by winning NASCAR’s biggest race,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “There aren’t many things that Mustang hasn’t achieved in its storied history, but winning the Daytona 500 was one of them and we’re excited about adding that to the list.”
Reigning series champion Chase Elliott finished second, Austin Dillon finished third, followed by Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin in fourth and fifth.