MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Michael McDowell's resume in NASCAR's top three series is short, but he is quickly turning heads with his performance at Michael Waltrip Racing.
McDowell, who has made five starts in the Truck and Nationwide series for MWR, qualified for his first Sprint Cup Series race in his first attempt and will start 34th Sunday in the No. 00 Toyota at Martinsville Speedway.
The 23-year-old driver from Phoenix stepped in for David Reutimann in the No. 00 as Reutimann moved to the No. 44 to replace veteran Dale Jarrett, who is retiring. All three MWR cars made the field on speed this weekend.
"Well, we got the car in the show because of everything David (Reutimann) did in the first five races. I definitely got a gift with him running so well and getting the car in the top 30 in points," said McDowell.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
"I didn't earn it, David earned it, and I'm just grateful for that."
Said team owner Michael Waltrip: "To come here and have all three cars locked in the show ... I'm very proud of where we are. But when I say that, I also know we've got a long way to go.
"We didn't sign up to be in the top 35, we signed up to win races."