Michael McDowell will forever be announced as the 2021 Daytona 500 winner. This was his first win in the NASCAR cup series in 14 years of competing at this level, with only racing a full schedule since 2017. McDowell backed this amazing win up with an 8th place finish at the Daytona Road Course and a 6th place finish at Homestead. Prior to this season McDowell has never made the playoffs and has never finished higher than 23rd in points. But this year, McDowell is in the playoffs and ranked 2nd in playoff standings. He is also ranked 4th overall in points.
During McDowell’s time in the Cup Series, he has run 360 races with only one win, but has also had 4 top fives and 15 tops tens. While racing in the Cup Series, McDowell was also racing part-time in the Xfinifty Series. Between 2007-2014 and 2016, McDowell ran 94 races, with one win. He also had 6 top fives, 20 top tens, and 2 poles. Also during this time, McDowell raced in the Camping World Truck Series in 2007 and 2009. He only ran two races, with no wins, no top fives, and no top tens. Prior to this, McDowell raced in the ARCA Menard Series in 2006 and 2007, competing in 28 races, with 4 wins, 13 top fives, 18 top tens, and 9 poles. McDowell also ran a couple of CART races in 2005 and spent 7 years racing in the Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series, where he competed in 32 races. He had 1 win, 4 podiums, and 2 poles. McDowell even participated in seven iRacing events during the pandemic break last year.
Michael McDowell is showing what persistence looks like. He may not have always had a great year, but he kept pushing forwards. Some years he did great, and other years not so much. But McDowell never gave up and it has brought him to where he is today…at the top of the points board in the highest level of NASCAR racing. Thank you Michael for showing us what hard work and tenacity can do for a person. God Bless.