McDowell started 37th, fifth among the nine “go-or-go-homers” who made the field for Sunday’s race. One week after racing his way into his second Daytona 500 start, McDowell and the #98 team now stand 41st in Owner Points, seven points behind 35th-ranked Inception Motorsports and their #30 Toyota.
The finish was McDowell’s first since last fall’s season finale at Homestead, two races ago, where he locked up the 2011 LASTCAR Cup Driver’s Championship. The finish moves McDowell to 7th in the LASTCAR Cup Series rankings, and to 11th all-time. In the all-time rankings, McDowell is tied with seven other drivers, including his team owner Phil Parsons.
*The last time a #98 Sprint Cup car finished last in a points race was in 2004, when Larry Gunselman’s #98 Mach One Inc. Ford fell out with transmission problems 2 laps into the Sirius at the Glen at Watkins Glen International.
*This was McDowell’s second last-place finish at Phoenix. The last came in the spring of 2010, when his #66 Prism Motorsports Toyota fell out with overheating problems after completing 149 laps of the Subway Fresh Fit 600. McDowell led 4 laps in that event.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #98-Michael McDowell / 8 laps / brakes
42) #23-Scott Riggs / 29 laps / brakes
41) #7-Robby Gordon / 33 laps / brakes
40) #87-Joe Nemechek / 62 laps / brakes
39) #13-Casey Mears / 109 laps / crash
LASTCAR CUP SERIES DRIVER’S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Michael McDowell, David Ragan (1)
LASTCAR CUP SERIES OWNER’S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #34-Front Row Motorsports, #98-Phil Parsons Racing (1)
LASTCAR CUP SERIES MANUFACTURER’S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Ford (2)