CONCORD, N.C. â Michael McDowell returned to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Fridayâs Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying session after he was transported to the hospital with abdominal pain in the morning. The pain turned out to be kidney stones, the Front Row Motorsports driver later revealed.
âIâm feeling much better than I was this morning,â McDowell said. âI just woke up this morning with a lot of abdominal pain and side pain. Not sure what was going on. I just thought, âAhh, you know, Iâll just fight through it.â As the morning went on, it was clearly evident it was not something I was going to fight through.
âGot to the race track right before the garage opened and went to the infield care center and I was just in a lot of pain. Shortly after that I passed my first kidney stone and I wouldnât wish that on anybody. It was rough but now I feel pretty good.â
Austin Cindric drove the No. 34 Ford in McDowellâs absence for the first Monster Energy Series practice session and finished 24th. Cindric is a full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series driver for Team Penske. He has two wins this season, both at road courses.
McDowell, 28th in points, is often at his best on road courses, with a career average finish of 26.7, nearly five spots higher than his overall average finish of 31.2. He started and finished 18th in last yearâs inaugural running of the Bank of America Roval 400 and was 16th at Watkins Glen International last month.
RELATED: Full weekend schedule
This yearâs race is scheduled for Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET (NBC/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Contributing: RJ Kraft at Charlotte Motor Speedway