McDowell Scores Third Place Finish

May 20,2012
McDowell Scores Third Place Finish

Post Race Highlights:
· Sunday’s Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 at Iowa Speedway was driver Michael McDowell’s first of five starts for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2012. His No. 18 Toyota Camry was sponsored by Iowa-based sponsor Pizza Ranch.

· McDowell started the weekend off strong by locking in a fourth place starting position for Sunday’s 250 lap event.

· As the race progressed, the No. 18 Pizza Ranch Toyota began to free up, but McDowell still remained a top-five contender.

· The third of four cautions came out on lap 180 with McDowell scored third. In for his third pit stop of the day, McDowell was unfortunately issued a pit road speeding penalty. The penalty dropped him back to the tail end of the longest line in 12th for the restart.

· The yellow flag was back out on lap 201. While the leaders stayed out, McDowell came to pit road for one last four tire stop.

· On a mission to fight his way back into the top-five, McDowell restarted 11th with only 43 laps remaining. One by one McDowell passed the frontrunners, working his Pizza Ranch Toyota into the fourth place spot by the drop of the white flag.

· McDowell matched his career-best of third in a last lap battle for position. His third place finish second top-five finish and fifth top-10 finish in only six starts with Joe Gibbs Racing.

· McDowell’s next Nationwide Series event behind the wheel of the No. 18 Pizza Ranch Toyota is at Michigan International Speedway on June 16.

Michael McDowell’s Post Race Thoughts:
“I was really happy to bring home a third place finish for Joe Gibbs Racing and Pizza Ranch, I just hate that I made that mistake on pit road that set us back. We had a really fast car that I think could have contended for the win. I’m just so thankful to drive for Joe Gibbs and have a great sponsor like Pizza Ranch behind me. I’m just going to get as much as I can out of every race I've got with these guys. It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m really looking forward to getting back into the No. 18 Pizza Ranch Toyota in Michigan.”

-- JGR --

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