NASCAR: Michael McDowell Holds Giant Daytona 500 Trophy in Video Thanking Supporters After Victory

by Josh Lanier

Michael McDowell picked up his first NASCAR Cup Series win on Sunday at the Daytona 500 along with a massive trophy. He showed it off in a video thanking his supporters and team for helping him get to Victory Lane.

McDowell won after Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano crashed on the final lap while jockeying for the lead. He edged out defending Cup Series champion Chase Elliott heading into the final turn when officials lifted the yellow caution flag, finalizing the positions.

It was his 358th start and his first Cup Series win. It’s only the third Front Row Motorsports win in more than 1,000 Cup Series starts.

McDowell posted a video after the race expressing his gratitude to his sponsors featuring the trophy he picked up.

“I can’t believe it. We are the Daytona 500 champion,” he said. “So thankful to everybody at Front Row, everybody back home at the shop, my guys, and especially thankful for Loves Travel Stop. Such a huge part of Front Row. To finally get them to victory lane, to get my first Cup victory, and to do it at the Daytona 500 — the Great American Race — it’s just unbelievable. Thank you (team owner) Bob Jenkins for giving me this opportunity and all of our partners. … It’s going to be a great year. We’re going to celebrate all year long.”

Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top 5.

Bubba Wallace Sets Milestone at Daytona 500

The Daytona 500 didn’t go the way Bubba Wallace and his new race team, 23XI, had hoped. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t major upsides.

NASCAR officials forced Wallace to start at the back of the pack after his team failed inspections twice before the race. Despite this, Wallace was still able to fight his way to the front and lead a lap. He’s the first black driver to ever lead a lap in the Daytona 500. Last year he came in second, the highest finish for a black driver ever at the track.

But he wasn’t able to break that record this year. Wallace had some mechanical issues during the race and was involved in a fiery crash on the last lap. He finished 17th overall.

“Bum end. I bailed out down the back saw the wreck happening and got run over from behind. Should’ve bailed sooner,” Wallace tweeted after the race. “Fast car, can’t have loose wheels. Onto the right turns.”

Wallace’s teammate and boss Denny Hamlin finished fifth. He said they worked well together and Hamlin had high hopes for Wallace early on.

“We worked together quite a few times,” Hamlin told the AP. “I actually thought he was going to win the second stage.”