A kidney stone is what briefly sidelined Michael McDowell on Friday and caused him to miss practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
But McDowell returned to the speedway after visiting a local hospital and qualified his Front Row Motorsports Ford in the 22nd position for the Bank of America Roval 400 (Sunday, 2:30 p.m. ET, NBC). Austin Cindric practiced the car for McDowell after he had to leave the track following a visit to the infield care center complaining about abdominal pain.
“I’m feeling much better than I was this morning,” McDowell said before heading out to qualify. “I just woke up this morning with a lot of abdominal pain and side pain. Not sure what was going on. I just thought ‘Ahh … just fight through it.’ As the morning went on, it was clearly evident it was not something I was going to fight through. Got to the racetrack right before the garage open and went to the infield care center and I was just in a lot of pain. Sick. Vomiting. In a lot of pain.
“Shortly after that, I passed my first kidney stone, and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. It was rough, but now I feel pretty good. … It’s been a rough morning.”
Back said there is “no need” for a backup driver. The NASCAR Cup Series has two more practice sessions Saturday leading into the first elimination race of the playoffs.
“I think that no matter what you want to be on track,” McDowell said. “If your car is on track, you want to be the one driving it. Everyone did a great job today just getting me in and out through the process really quickly. I was trying to make it back for first practice there. I had passed a kidney stone prior to that, but they still needed to do a few more tests and scans and things like that just to make sure I didn’t have anything going on with my appendix or anything like that.”