McDowell took benefit of a gradual pitstop by Daniel Suarez to increase his lead in Stage 2 and by no means regarded again at Indianapolis.
The 38-year-old then noticed off Chase Elliott down the house straight because the race ended with a 77-lap inexperienced flag run, to win by 0.937 seconds.
Though McDowell was in rivalry to make the 2023 playoffs primarily based on factors, his victory locks him into the 16-driver area.
McDowell’s solely different Cup win got here within the 2021 Daytona 500, which routinely put him into the playoffs that 12 months.
The win by McDowell and his #34 Entrance Row Motorsports workforce additionally offers Ford three consecutive wins for the primary time because the 2020 season.
“Oh man, it is a dream come true. I’m simply so grateful for everyone at Entrance Row Motorsports and [owner] Bob Jenkins,” McDowell mentioned. “Man, we had a quick Ford Mustang right now. We had the quickest automobile.
“I’m simply so grateful to nonetheless be driving within the Cup collection. To placed on a efficiency like that, I don’t know if it was dominant, nevertheless it felt fairly dominant to me.”
Michael McDowell, Entrance Row Motorsports, Horizon Passion Ford Mustang
Photograph by: Gavin Baker / NKP / Motorsport Images
Requested about Elliott’s cost within the ultimate laps, McDowell mentioned: “I used to be simply making an attempt to tempo myself. I figured there could be a late-race warning and I didn’t wish to burn my stuff up. I used to be simply making an attempt to take care of that hole.”
Having narrowly missed out on victory, Elliott should win one of many two races left earlier than the playoffs start to be within the title battle.
Suarez, who began on the pole, additionally faces an identical prospect having completed third, as Tyler Reddick took fourth, who has already booked his playoff place, and Alex Bowman rounded out the highest 5 – one other on the cusp of the playoffs.
Chase Briscoe secured his finest outcome since fourth place at Martinsville again in mid-April with sixth place, forward of playoff trio Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell.
Celebrity visitor driver Shane van Gisbergen impressed once more as he accomplished the highest 10 to comply with up his win on debut again in Chicago.
The three-time Supercars driver led the robust worldwide contingent, with fellow Supercars star Brodie Kostecki in twenty second, 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Mike Rockenfeller twenty fourth, 2009 System 1 world champion Jenson Button twenty eighth and WEC star Kamui Kobayashi in thirty third.
NASCAR Cup – Indianapolis Highway Course race outcomes