Needing a win, McDowell says “It hurts to complete second”

McDowell, who sometimes runs nicely on street programs and superspeedways – and has gained on each within the NASCAR Cup Sequence – noticed Sunday’s race has a chief alternative to earn his first win of the 2024 season.

For McDowell, a win is probably going the one manner he makes the 16-driver playoff discipline after a tough begin to the season that has him mired in twentieth within the standings.

On the newly repaved 1.99-mile street course, McDowell’s No. 34 Entrance Row Motorsports Ford was quick in follow and qualifying. He began twelfth within the race and ran a strong first stage.

However after getting shuffled again within the discipline on pit technique, McDowell acquired collected in an incident with Noah Gragson and Austin Cindric shortly after a restart in Stage 2 that pressured him to pit for repairs.

Nonetheless, with a 51-lap inexperienced flag run to finish the race, McDowell slowly ran down the leaders and when Martin Truex Jr. ran out of gasoline firstly of the ultimate lap, McDowell – briefly anyway – noticed a sliver of hope for a win.

Kyle Larson held on to beat McDowell by greater than 4 seconds for the win and McDowell was left with a powerful comeback, however his playoff hopes shrinking.

Michael McDowell, Entrance Row Motorsports, Love’s Journey Stops Ford Mustang

Picture by: Ben Earp / NKP / Motorsport Photos

“The primary stage went nicely for us, simply form of executing our plan and our technique, however, sadly, after we acquired in the direction of the again on that restart and so they piled up within the esses we simply acquired drove into and into the limitations,” McDowell stated.

“That actually damage our observe place as a result of then we needed to come again down pit street and repair the injury and that form of killed our probabilities of restarting up entrance when it did cycle out, however, thankfully, we had a very quick (automotive).

“We had been in a position to get about half of them again earlier than the top of Stage 2, after which the final stage we simply needed to combat actually onerous to get observe place.”

The encouraging but irritating a part of Sunday’s race for McDowell was he believed his crew confirmed it had the potential for a much-needed victory.

“I really feel like we had the pace, which it hurts. It hurts to complete second,” he stated. “We desperately want a win to make the playoffs, however I’m happy with the hassle and happy with the pace we had.

“Just a bit bit brief.”

McDowell stated he would probably have wanted some assist in the ultimate laps to have an opportunity at catching Larson as soon as Truex fell to the wayside.

“I used to be pushing fairly onerous. I don’t know the way way more I might have gotten,” he stated. “I wanted (Larson) to battle with (Truex) somewhat bit extra and even (Chris Buescher) as a result of when he got here out on new tires, he was simply faster than us.

“I couldn’t maintain him off, however I knew in the long term we might most likely steadiness out and have somewhat little bit of pace. Our long term was our power. It’s only a disgrace.”

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