Sometimes, as it turns out, nice guys do finish first.
Michael McDowell’s first NASCAR Cup Series win — which just so happened to come in the sport’s biggest race, Sunday’s 63rd annual Daytona 500 — was a popular one amongst his peers in the garage.
The driver of the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford, who began his Cup career in 2008 running 20 races for now-defunct Michael Waltrip Racing, finally landed in Victory Lane at NASCAR’s highest level in the 2021 running of The Great American Race. It was his 358th career start.
Long considered one of the most fan-friendly drivers and a well-respected competitor amongst his fellow racers that doesn’t ruffle feathers (well, except that one time), McDowell received plenty of praise for his landmark win on Twitter.
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) February 15, 2021
.@Mc_Driver win tonight was no fluke. Wasn’t a “anyone can win” type of race. He’s up front time and time again at these SS races. Well earned and well deserved. Congrats!
— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) February 15, 2021
No truer words and what an amazing compliment from Denny, who is arguably the best driver at Daytona right now. Michael is living the fantasy we all dream every year. Congrats buddy! https://t.co/8FpGWbeNKk
— landon cassill (@landoncassill) February 15, 2021
— Daniel Suárez (@Daniel_SuarezG) February 15, 2021
Sooooo incredibly happy for my friend @Mc_Driver…. what an amazing person, family man, and a great role model, and now the 2021 DAYTONA 500 CHAMPION. He’s trusted God through a lot of ups and downs in life and always followed his calling. So happy for his family!
— Justin Allgaier (@J_Allgaier) February 15, 2021
— Michael Waltrip (@MW55) February 15, 2021
Well deserved win @Mc_Driver! One of the absolute best and most genuine guys I know 👊🏻
— Matt DiBenedetto (@mattdracing) February 15, 2021
— Joey Logano (@joeylogano) February 15, 2021
— Ben Kennedy (@BenKennedy33) February 15, 2021
@Mc_Driver has become one of my closest friends over the last few years. He got me involved in the @FollowMRO Bible study. He is an incredible human being and loves the Lord with all his heart. I am so happy for him and his family. Fun to see good things happen to good people. 👍🏼
— Aric Almirola (@Aric_Almirola) February 15, 2021
Michael has worked hard his whole career and deserves this win.
He’s a great Father, Husband, and now #DAYTONA500 Champion!!!!!
— David Ragan (@DavidRagan) February 15, 2021
Congratulations to my fellow Arizona native @Mc_Driver on winning the Daytona 500!!! Wow what a finish 🏁
— JJ Yeley (@jjyeley1) February 15, 2021
— John Hunter Nemechek (@JHNemechek) February 15, 2021
— Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) February 15, 2021
Really happy for this guy! He has put in the time and hard work, well deserved! https://t.co/jnnHtM9PN0
— Casey Mears (@CJMearsGang) February 15, 2021
Congratulations to @Mc_Driver great job tonight a great win for you and your team
— Todd Bodine (@Team_Onion) February 15, 2021