NASCAR Cup Series
NASCAR Cup Series

Michael McDowell joins 'First Things First' to relive Daytona 500 win

Updated Feb. 16, 2021 8:55 p.m. EST

The Daytona 500 is one of professional sports' most exciting events, and in 2021, there was an added layer of excitement with a first-time winner.

Not only had Michael McDowell never won the Daytona 500, but he also entered Sunday having never won a NASCAR Cup Series race.

He knocked both off his checklist with Sunday's victory.

On Tuesday, McDowell joined Chris Broussard and Greg Jennings to discuss his historic win.


"The initial raw emotion, you're just overwhelmed. You don't even know what to do. You just have so much flowing through you. The excitement, and then shortly after that, maybe an hour or two after that, you're just thankful. I'm so thankful that I get to race in NASCAR."

With the improbable victory, McDowell placed his name next to several of the greatest drivers of all time, many of whom won the Daytona 500, something that is still surreal to him.

"That's the part that is so humbling. When I think about myself, I don't think they should write my name next to a Petty or an Andretti or an Earnhardt. I don't belong in that conversation. So to know that we will be forever a Daytona 500 champion and to etch our name into the history books, it's been a long journey for me, and that makes it so worthwhile.

"What makes this so rewarding is that I lost 350 times, and I've only won once. So that grind – that persistence, the ups and downs it has taken to finally get a win, not just a win, a Daytona 500 win – just makes it worthwhile. It's unbelievable."

Watch Michael McDowell's full interview on "First Things First" below!


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