Pizza Ranch: News

McDowell Drives Pizza Ranch Toyota to Seventh Place Finish at Michigan International Speedway

BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 16, 2012)

Box Score Info:
RACE: NASCAR Nationwide Series Alliance Truck Parts 250
TRACK: Michigan International Speedway
DRIVER: Michael McDowell
CAR: No. 20 Pizza Ranch Toyota Camry
START: 13th
FINISH: 7th
LAPS: 125/125

Post Race Highlights:
• For his second of five starts with Joe Gibbs Racing this season, Michael McDowell qualified his No. 20 Pizza Ranch Toyota 13th for Saturday’s 250 mile Nationwide Series race.

• NASCAR scheduled a competition caution for lap 25 of 125, which brought the No. 20 Toyota to pit road for the team’s first yellow flag pit stop of the day. McDowell gained three spots on pit road thanks to his speedy Pizza Ranch pit crew, putting him in 10th for the restart on lap 30.

• Battling a loose-handling racecar, McDowell continued to maintain a spot in the top-10. The caution flag was back out on lap 48, and crew chief Matt Lucas brought the No. 20 car to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help with the car’s handling.

• The field restarted on lap 52, but quickly went back to yellow at the drop of the green. McDowell restarted 10th and bounced up to fifth on the first green flag lap.

• At the halfway mark, the No. 20 Pizza Ranch Toyota was scored in 10th. The Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew made a green flag stop on lap 86, leaving them with enough fuel and tires that could make it to the end of the race. The field raced under green flag conditions until lap 103.

• McDowell restarted 10th with 19 laps to go. Still struggling with a really loose-handling racecar, the driver managed to work his way through the field with two more restarts before the finish. The No. 20 Pizza Ranch Toyota Camry came home seventh.

• McDowell has finished third and seventh consecutively in his two Nationwide Series starts this year. His seventh place run at Michigan International Speedway marked his sixth top-10 finish in just seven career starts with Joe Gibbs Racing.

• Pizza Ranch and McDowell join forces again next week for Road America’s Nationwide Series Sargento 200 on Saturday, June 23.

Michael McDowell’s Post Race Thoughts:
“We had a decent run today in the Pizza Ranch Toyota. I definitely learned a lot. I got us messed up in practice and I didn't realize it until the start of the race. Just got it too free and had to tighten it up the whole race. When they said 25 laps to go on the radio, I thought they were kidding – the race just went by so fast. I was a good run for the No. 20 Pizza Ranch car. We worked hard for it – we fought back on those last couple of restarts. I’m really excited to get back to Road America with Joe Gibbs Racing and Pizza Ranch next weekend. Judging from last year’s performance, I definitely think we will show our skills there.”

Twitter: @PizzaRanch, @PRracing and @Mc_Driver