It was a story book ending for McDowell, recording the Ford Mustang’s first Daytona 500 win and his first win in his 358th
career start. McDowell is the eighth driver to get his first win at Daytona.
“I just can’t believe it,” McDowell commented. “The only thing I can think of is just God is so good. For so many years I’ve just been grinding it out trying to stay in this sport. Bob Jenkins gave me a great opportunity to go full-time in a competitive car and Drew Blickensderfer and my whole entire team we’ve been working so hard for years to get into this position and I’m so thankful to Love’s Travel Stops and Speeco and Ford, Doug Yates. All of my Ford partners out there. I just can’t believe it. I’m so thankful. It’s amazing.”
The 500-mile, Great American Race all came down to the last lap. McDowell, following Ford teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, found himself in position to take the lead after Logano and Keselowski had an on-track incident in Turn 3 of the final lap. McDowell took the lead, and it became a drag race to the checkered flag with Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon. After a video tape review, McDowell was announced the official winner, beating Elliott by over a car length as the raced ended under caution.