Sunday, March 30, 2008

McDowell Shines in Sprint Cup Debut at Martinsville

My new favorite driver Michael McDowell showed his stuff for Michael Waltrip Racing today in his Sprint Cup debut at the aged paperclip track in Martinsville, Virginia. Michael ran strong in the top 20 for most of the day, and fought to stay on the lead lap until the very end when a bump cut a tire and dropped him to 26th for the day. The warmest place at the track was probably inside the cockpit where Michael looked right at home.

As I've said before: keep an eye on this guy! He may even win one this season. And don't be surprised if it's on a road course where he might sneak up on people who don't know about his karting, Champ Car and Rolex Series background.

I was fortunate to do some work for Michael the last couple of seasons while he ran ARCA and got to speak to him on a number of occasions. You couldn't ask for a nicer, more approachable guy and I am so happy for him that his hard work is paying off at the top of the stock car world. I was always impressed with his ability to be quick and clean and I suspect that will bode well for him as he challenges the established teams and drivers in Sprint Cup this season. I'd be willing to bet he will routinely outrun his more experienced teammates this season, especially once he starts going to tracks for a second visit. And as much as I like the open wheel guys like Hornish and Dario, I've got to pull for Michael this year for Rookie of the Year. And he'll do it with an abbreviated season!

Go fast. Turn left. Hang on. Go Micheal, go!

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