Playoff drivers who could be in trouble: No. 4 – Michael McDowell
Michael McDowell has quietly had another solid year at Front Row Motorsports. In fact, he has already surpassed his career-high for top 10 finishes, and we are only 16 races into the 36-race 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.
However, unlike last year when he started the season off with a Daytona 500 victory, the driver of the #34 Ford doesn’t have a win this year to vault himself into the playoff picture, and despite a respectable year thus far in equipment that doesn’t quite stack up against that of some of the sport’s powerhouse teams, he is nowhere close to the playoff cut line on points.
Fortunately, the remainder of the regular season schedule is tailored to McDowell’s strengths. He could very well win the regular season finale at Daytona International Speedway, and the pseudo-superspeedway race at Atlanta Motor Speedway could be an interesting one.
Let’s also not forget the 37-year-old Phoenix, Arizona native’s road course prowess, which was highlighted by his recent third place finish at Sonoma Raceway. There are still three road course races remaining on the regular season schedule at Road America, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, and Watkins Glen International.
Bottom line though, McDowell needs his second career victory in order to secure his second career — and consecutive — playoff berth. There is no doubt about it.