© Andrew S. Hartwell
With several very successful seasons in the Star Mazda Series, and many years of fast times spent racing just inches above the pavement in a kart, young Michael McDowell is about to take a seat in a Daytona Prototype. Mature and experienced beyond his years, McDowell will be running the entire 2005 Grand Am Rolex series in a BMW-Riley for 10 Motorsports. And as if that weren't enough for a young man to do, he will also run the entire Grand Am Cup series in a BMW M3.
Now, we have heard people use the expression "Young people grow up so fast", but in the case of the 20-year-old McDowell we think it could be said as "This fast young man has grown up!"
We talked with McDowell recently about the new 10 Motorsports entry in the Rolex series. We learned about his meeting with team owner Rob Finlay, and how all the pieces and personnel came together to bring this potentially potent team into being.
We began our conversation with a rundown of his early years in karting and in the Star Mazda series. McDowell finished second overall in the Mazda series championship in 2003, and was the overall winner in 2004. Prior to that he raced in FRAN AM and before that he was heavily involved in karting both in the United States and overseas.
"Everything went really well in Star Mazda over the last two years. I had been karting for ten years, starting out at the age of 8. I ran local events and then graduated to regional and then national competitions. In 1997 I won the National Karting championship. In 1998 I started racing internationally for a factory in Italy. I was the first Junior American to ever land on a podium when I was just 13.