Race Weekend Central

Michael McDowell Hits Safety Truck Under Caution in Richmond

Richmond has a way of bringing out some odd moments – remember the fence climber last year?

However, this odd moment took place on track as Michael McDowell swerved and hit a NASCAR safety truck during a lap 290 caution in Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway,.

All crew men aboard the truck were uninjured as McDowell said he did not see the truck there and the No. 38 of David Gilliland was “sitting right there.”

The damage to McDowell’s No. 95 was significant – tearing the right-rear sheetmetal loose from the Ford and sending it to the garage.

“I’m not really sure what happened,” McDowell said. “I’m embarrassed for my team. My mistake. Luckily no one was hurt.”

McDowell as well as his crew chief and spotter were called to the NASCAR hauler.

About the author


Growing up in Easton, Pa., Zach Catanzareti has grown his auto racing interest from fandom to professional. Joining Frontstretch in 2015, Zach enjoys nothing more than being at the track, having covered his first half-season of 18 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017. With experience behind the wheel, behind the camera and in the media center, he thrives on being an all-around reporter.

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Not to make light of this serious incident, but, the award for “The Best Imitation of Juan Pablo Montoya” goes to….


I was watching as the pace car lead the field past the truck and saw the cars at the back spreading out and thought “Not good. Cars can’t see past the car in front.” Didn’t think anything of it until they showed the car hitting the truck.

Didn’t the spotters tell the drivers the truck was on the track?


I agree Don. As I was watching I was wondering why the cars were running up that high when there was a safety truck up there and then the next thing you know the 95 was dragging half his sheet metal behind him. I wondered too what his spotter was telling him and I also wondered as to whether that was the first caution lap or the second lap which would make less sense to me as the drivers already passed the safety truck once. I agree though that its hard to see around the car in front of you.

Carl D.

I’m with you guys. I too wondered why so many cars were up at the top of the track. Did the pace car lead them up that high? Seems like there was more to this than one driver not paying attention.


Gentlemen, be fair. The race was deadly dull, Michael probably just drifted off to sleep like the rest of us.

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