It’s always special to get your first ever win. It’s even more special get it at the Daytona 500. That’s exactly what took place for Front Row Motorsports’ Michael McDowell on Sunday as he went to victory lane in the Great American Race. Having weathered several big wrecks and a long weather delay, the 100-1 underdog methodically kept his nose clean and stayed right in contention all day.
Sticking with his fellow Fords, McDowell, a veteran of the series who had to wait well over a decade to finally capture a win, was right there when the white flag came out. As Brad Keselowski attempted to pass teammate Joey Logano, the two caused a wreck, allowing McDowell to scoot by. NASCAR had no option but to throw a caution, with McDowell being ‘frozen’ as the leader ahead of defending Cup Series champion Chase Elliott and 2018 Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon. Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin, who was denied an historic third straight 500 victory, rounded out the top five in the season-opening race.