Michael McDowell Appreciation Thread

JBone88

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Shout out to ol’ McDriver, who has a Front Row car in the playoffs on points right now. He’s been driving the wheels off those cars for a couple years now.

Most underrated driver in Cup at the moment.
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Shout out to ol’ McDriver, who has a Front Row car in the playoffs on points right now. He’s been driving the wheels off those cars for a couple years now.

Most underrated driver in Cup at the moment.
That team is getting better and better too. They have a few wins as it is, but McDowell has really elevated their program.
 

RaceCritter

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I can’t stand McDowell. He always seems to be hanging around but never in a good way and something about his smug mug makes me think of Kyle Busch but with far less talent and a fake nice guy veneer.

That being said, he has upped his game this year and I’ll have to actively root against him now because he’s becoming a threat. Guess that’s a form of grudging respect.

Guys
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Ahead of Bubba at the moment. That's insane.

Statement of how good McDowell's been and how bad the 23 team has been.

I hope both make the playoffs, but two road courses and Daytona before the cutoff, I can see Allmendinger, Briscoe and maybe Cindric stealing playoff spots.
 

RaceCritter

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“I can see Allmendinger, Briscoe and maybe Cindric stealing playoff spots.”

That thought depresses me greatly.
 

Charlie Spencer

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a fake nice guy veneer.
From what I've read, he's genuine. He certainly doesn't drive like he's faking being a good guy.

Either way, the guy's been fantasy gold on plate tracks for years. Now he's looking like a good low-dollar purchase to round out a team almost anywhere.
 

Hikaru Kitsune

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Statement of how good McDowell's been and how bad the 23 team has been.

I hope both make the playoffs, but two road courses and Daytona before the cutoff, I can see Allmendinger, Briscoe and maybe Cindric stealing playoff spots.
Don't forget the looming specter of Nepotist Grandson possibly slithering in at Daytona again.
 

virtualbalboa

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I don't pretend to know him personally and can't judge him on that basis. As far as how he drives: he reminds me of Wally Dallenbach Jr. more than any other "road course specialist" except maybe Boris Said. Both of those guys had a feel for the big cars at the road courses like you'd expect, but also managed to be pretty good plate drivers too. That's not well remembered about Said thanks to how many crappy cars he was in if at all, and I never hear anyone mention it about Wally, but dig a little bit and you'll find that. Thing that makes it so different is of course that McDowell has managed to actually win in Cup, and won in some of the bigger events.

I haven't kept tabs on him much in recent years beyond looking at results when playing around with various fantasy systems. But he's going to be a spectacularly wild footnote in the sport's history given that his career is possibly still most defined not by winning the Daytona 500, but for what happened at Texas Motor Speedway during qualifying for a race no one recalls the winner of. It's a strange deal.
 

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It’s many years in the past now but it’s been good to see a guy who started out with much more of a road course background than anything else build his career up and get to being fairly competitive as a full-time Cup driver.

The interesting thing, looking back, is that he started out in the series way back in 2008 but didn’t get to run a full season without any DNQs until 2017. Talk about paying your dues.
 

The Nature Boy

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It’s many years in the past now but it’s been good to see a guy who started out with much more of a road course background than anything else build his career up and get to being fairly competitive as a full-time Cup driver.

The interesting thing, looking back, is that he started out in the series way back in 2008 but didn’t get to run a full season without any DNQs until 2017. Talk about paying your dues.

McDowell basically had the weirdest driver development ever. He was picked up by MWR in the late 2000s but didn't get a second season after a partial 2008 Cup schedule. He essentially had no Busch Series experience before being thrown to Cup either.

He basically floated around in the 2010s, getting experience where he could and often running in back marker ****. He might have been a regular contender if ANYONE had taken an actual interest in his development but no one really did. The dude grinded it out and basically did his own driver development. He didn't get lucky like Bowman and DiBenedetto and get picked up by a bigger team.

One of the better stories in modern NASCAR. He never gave up and now has victories at Daytona and Indy to show for it.
 

jaqua19

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McDowell basically had the weirdest driver development ever. He was picked up by MWR in the late 2000s but didn't get a second season after a partial 2008 Cup schedule. He essentially had no Busch Series experience before being thrown to Cup either.

He basically floated around in the 2010s, getting experience where he could and often running in back marker ****. He might have been a regular contender if ANYONE had taken an actual interest in his development but no one really did. The dude grinded it out and basically did his own driver development. He didn't get lucky like Bowman and DiBenedetto and get picked up by a bigger team.

One of the better stories in modern NASCAR. He never gave up and now has victories at Daytona and Indy to show for it.
His 2008 Texas flip feels like ages ago.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

FLRacingFan

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McDowell basically had the weirdest driver development ever. He was picked up by MWR in the late 2000s but didn't get a second season after a partial 2008 Cup schedule. He essentially had no Busch Series experience before being thrown to Cup either.

He basically floated around in the 2010s, getting experience where he could and often running in back marker ****. He might have been a regular contender if ANYONE had taken an actual interest in his development but no one really did. The dude grinded it out and basically did his own driver development. He didn't get lucky like Bowman and DiBenedetto and get picked up by a bigger team.

One of the better stories in modern NASCAR. He never gave up and now has victories at Daytona and Indy to show for it.
He spent the better part of four or five seasons in S&P entries. It’s incredible that wasn’t a full career-killer.
 

Ford 222

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Loved seeing that he won. Seems like a nice guy for sure. But I keep recalling that post practice melee with Suarez when he put his hands on Daniel and Daniel wasn’t having it.
But he has wins at 2 of the most prestigious tracks so it’s been a decent career for sure.
 

virtualbalboa

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McDowell basically had the weirdest driver development ever. He was picked up by MWR in the late 2000s but didn't get a second season after a partial 2008 Cup schedule. He essentially had no Busch Series experience before being thrown to Cup either.

He basically floated around in the 2010s, getting experience where he could and often running in back marker ****. He might have been a regular contender if ANYONE had taken an actual interest in his development but no one really did. The dude grinded it out and basically did his own driver development. He didn't get lucky like Bowman and DiBenedetto and get picked up by a bigger team.

One of the better stories in modern NASCAR. He never gave up and now has victories at Daytona and Indy to show for it.
Dare I say it - his development is more like what the Old Guys had than anyone today. He just raced and raced and raced after proving himself to be a competent hand and eventually he found his way into cars that were on the cusp of being competitive. His first win as a drive came at age 36, and that wasn't a crazy number at one time. Dale Jarrett's first win in NASCAR took place at something like 34-35; Gant's first win was at 42. But that was an era where there were practically no kids, but lots of full grown men racing in NASCAR who had to come up through very tough regional stock car worlds that don't so much exist anymore. Then again, had things been just a little different, McDowell might have wound up in Indycar or sports cars.
 

Jorge De Guzman

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I was wrong on Mikey McD. He’s a racer, a grinder and a pretty nifty road racer. I was traveling all day yesterday so I haven’t seen the race as I’m about to sit down and watch it, but I gave a thumbs up when I found out he won. Raced his way into the playoffs, took that berth by the horns
 

The Nature Boy

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Dare I say it - his development is more like what the Old Guys had than anyone today. He just raced and raced and raced after proving himself to be a competent hand and eventually he found his way into cars that were on the cusp of being competitive. His first win as a drive came at age 36, and that wasn't a crazy number at one time. Dale Jarrett's first win in NASCAR took place at something like 34-35; Gant's first win was at 42. But that was an era where there were practically no kids, but lots of full grown men racing in NASCAR who had to come up through very tough regional stock car worlds that don't so much exist anymore. Then again, had things been just a little different, McDowell might have wound up in Indycar or sports cars.

I think Sterling Marlin is another good comparison to McDowell. Marlin kind of bounced around at the start of his career before landing the Morgan-McClure ride and getting his first career win at Daytona. Sterling was about 37 when he got that first win too.

Whether McDowell ever looks like a legitimate championship threat like Marlin did 2001 and 2002 remains to be seen.
 

JJ_14

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McDowell has the most last place finishes in the history of NASCAR. His rise to the top is one of the more impressive things I've seen in this sport.
 

virtualbalboa

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I think Sterling Marlin is another good comparison to McDowell. Marlin kind of bounced around at the start of his career before landing the Morgan-McClure ride and getting his first career win at Daytona. Sterling was about 37 when he got that first win too.

Whether McDowell ever looks like a legitimate championship threat like Marlin did 2001 and 2002 remains to be seen.
It's probably unlikely due to what teams will want or demand when signing new drivers. A team owner or manager for a major racing team can look at McDowell (two Cup wins including one at the Daytona 500, 9 top 5s that are all road courses or plate tracks) and a younger driver coming through the development pipeline like Zane Smith for example that has no sample size at Cup much less a 500 win. McDowell might be equally cheap as Smith, but will the money from Love's be able to beat what a younger driver has? McDowell is a guy who's past is failure by how most would define it, while Zane has only potential to look at and sell. There's a value to not having any baggage.

Having said all of that, you can't treat his win like Sacks at Daytona or Bouchard at Talladega because of how the Cup schedule has changed to where McDowell is legitimately a threat at 13 events each year. That isn't insignificant. If he had a better personal sponsor like Aric Almirola (who, TBH is the most ho-hum guy I can think of in his position in memory) maybe it would be different and he could find his way to Gibbs or SHR or Hendrick or what have you.
 

The Nature Boy

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It's probably unlikely due to what teams will want or demand when signing new drivers. A team owner or manager for a major racing team can look at McDowell (two Cup wins including one at the Daytona 500, 9 top 5s that are all road courses or plate tracks) and a younger driver coming through the development pipeline like Zane Smith for example that has no sample size at Cup much less a 500 win. McDowell might be equally cheap as Smith, but will the money from Love's be able to beat what a younger driver has? McDowell is a guy who's past is failure by how most would define it, while Zane has only potential to look at and sell. There's a value to not having any baggage.

Having said all of that, you can't treat his win like Sacks at Daytona or Bouchard at Talladega because of how the Cup schedule has changed to where McDowell is legitimately a threat at 13 events each year. That isn't insignificant. If he had a better personal sponsor like Aric Almirola (who, TBH is the most ho-hum guy I can think of in his position in memory) maybe it would be different and he could find his way to Gibbs or SHR or Hendrick or what have you.

McDowell’s best bet is FRM continuing to improve or Love’s becoming intensely loyal and following him to a top team. The Smithfield deal that Almirola has is a dream for any driver.
 

2 Sweet

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I don't pretend to know him personally and can't judge him on that basis. As far as how he drives: he reminds me of Wally Dallenbach Jr. more than any other "road course specialist" except maybe Boris Said. Both of those guys had a feel for the big cars at the road courses like you'd expect, but also managed to be pretty good plate drivers too. That's not well remembered about Said thanks to how many crappy cars he was in if at all, and I never hear anyone mention it about Wally, but dig a little bit and you'll find that. Thing that makes it so different is of course that McDowell has managed to actually win in Cup, and won in some of the bigger events.

Yeah, and McDowell has done it with lesser teams. Wally drove for Roush and Hendrick, and did absolutely nothing.
 

kkfan91

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I don't pretend to know him personally and can't judge him on that basis. As far as how he drives: he reminds me of Wally Dallenbach Jr. more than any other "road course specialist" except maybe Boris Said. Both of those guys had a feel for the big cars at the road courses like you'd expect, but also managed to be pretty good plate drivers too. That's not well remembered about Said thanks to how many crappy cars he was in if at all, and I never hear anyone mention it about Wally, but dig a little bit and you'll find that. Thing that makes it so different is of course that McDowell has managed to actually win in Cup, and won in some of the bigger events.

I haven't kept tabs on him much in recent years beyond looking at results when playing around with various fantasy systems. But he's going to be a spectacularly wild footnote in the sport's history given that his career is possibly still most defined not by winning the Daytona 500, but for what happened at Texas Motor Speedway during qualifying for a race no one recalls the winner of. It's a strange deal.
I had to look it up, Carl Edwards won McDowell was 33rd 6 laps down.

 

The Nature Boy

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I had to look it up, Carl Edwards won McDowell was 33rd 6 laps down.


Look at that ****** loser Jeff Gordon in last place...

Sorry old habits die hard.

Anyway, weird to think that McDowell was only 23 here and had been rushed to Cup after 1 Truck start and 4 Nationwide starts. And then MWR just dumped him after a single season. I would also be VERY surprised if he weren't dealing with a concussion after that Texas crash. Just an all around ****** up situation.

Between the lack of experience and possibly racing through a TBI, I don't know if I've ever seen someone so thoroughly put in a position to fail. The guy had no chance at succeeding at MWR. Waltrip could have killed the poor guy's career before it ever had a chance to get going.
 

kkfan91

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Look at that ****** loser Jeff Gordon in last place...

Sorry old habits die hard.

Anyway, weird to think that McDowell was only 23 here and had been rushed to Cup after 1 Truck start and 4 Nationwide starts. And then MWR just dumped him after a single season. I would also be VERY surprised if he weren't dealing with a concussion after that Texas crash. Just an all around ****** up situation.

Between the lack of experience and possibly racing through a TBI, I don't know if I've ever seen someone so thoroughly put in a position to fail. The guy had no chance at succeeding at MWR. Waltrip could have killed the poor guy's career before it ever had a chance to get going.
There are certain teams that when you heard development driver you know they were screwed
 
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