Photo: Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing

2018 Cup Series Season Preview: Michael McDowell

By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor

Editor’s note: Motorsports Tribune will be previewing the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season for the top-30 drivers in the series leading into next month’s 60th running of the Daytona 500.

Age: 33

Years in Cup: 10

Career Wins: One Xfinity Series win

After spending the last four seasons driving for Leavine Family Racing, Michael McDowell has a new home for the upcoming 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series campaign – Front Row Motorsports.

McDowell’s new tenure with Front Row won’t be the first time that he is climbing behind the wheel of a car for the team as he drove for the team in a one off appearance at Watkins Glen back in 2013.

“Since I first drove for Bob at Watkins Glen, we’ve kept in touch and have felt like there might be an opportunity to work together again, and the timing worked out perfectly,” McDowell said. “It’s been a while since I’ve had a teammate, so I’m really looking forward to working with David, whom I’ve become pretty good friends with over the years. As a team now, we go into the season knowing we have five or six races that put us in position to get a win and earn a spot in the playoffs.”

In his 249 previous starts in the Cup Series, McDowell has yet to find victory lane, but did score his best career finish in the 2017 Daytona 500 with a fourth place finish. The Phoenix, Arizona native also has five top-10 finishes to his name in the series.

While not always having the best equipment at his disposal, McDowell has earned the reputation as a driver that will always bring home the best finish possible for his team. With Front Row having a Roush-Fenway alliance at their disposal, look for McDowell to make some noise in 2018. Though they won’t be threatening for them every week, finishes inside the top-10 and top-five are not out of the realm of possibility for this team.

With a little over a month until Daytona, Front Row has yet to confirm which car number McDowell will drive and which one his new teammate David Ragan will pilot. Details on crew chiefs and sponsors are also said to be forthcoming from the team.

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.