Michael McDowell trains with local law enforcement at high speeds


NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Michael McDowell trained with law enforcement on a high-speed course and spoke about NASCAR safety at Metro Community College’s Blue River campus today.

McDowell, driver of the #00 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing, drove a police car in a simulated high-speed chase behind another law enforcement official. He also drove the car on a skid course covered with water.

 “The pursuit was the highlight for me. It felt like I was in a race – maybe a little too much. They said I wasn’t allowed to beat and bang on them like I was,” McDowell said. “It’s just like a race in a sense. Your adrenaline gets going and you get kinda pumped so you’re in the zone, and the officers have to deal with that all the time”

McDowell spoke about the safety innovations in NASCAR, including the new car and SAFER barrier at Kansas Speedway. He demonstrated the helmet and HANS device that drivers wear for head and neck support by placing them on a fan in the crowd.

“Our sport is not only for entertainment, it’s to help manufacturers develop street cars and make them safer everyday. It’s fun to be a part of that development,” McDowell said. “Unfortunately, I was the crash test dummy at Texas this year - I pretty much put everything to the limit.”

Earlier this year, McDowell was involved in a hard crash during qualifying at Texas and walked away with only a few bruises.

McDowell will race at Kansas Speedway as a rookie in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kansas 400 on September 28. He raced at Kansas Speedway in 2007 in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and finished 11th, completing the 2007 season 2nd in the points standings.

“Coming back to race in a Cup race is pretty special. I love racing on these mile-and-a-half tracks,” McDowell said. “I like Kansas because there’s a lot to do right around the track as well – great restaurants and all kinds of good entertainment.”

McDowell returns to Kansas City for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kansas 400 and NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on September 27 – 28, 2008. For tickets call 866.460.RACE or visit kansasspeedway.com.

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