WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WENY) - It is just five days until the NASCAR Cup Series Drivers hit the track at Watkins Glen International for the Go Bowling at the Glen race. We continue our Thunder at the Glen race week coverage brought to you by Williams Toyota of Elmira with a driver who is still looking for a shot to get in the playoffs, Michael McDowell.

McDowell has nine top-10 finishes this season, which is a new personal best in a single season after he had five in 2021. That also includes a 3rd place finish at Sanoma Raceway. McDowell captured his first career Cup Series victory when we won the Dayton 500 in 2021.

Currently, McDowell sits in 26th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings with 393 points, but their team has been running well, especially at road courses. He has top 10's in all but one of the road courses this year. McDowell says that winning Cup races are tough, but he says with how fast and strong they've been, he's confident entering this weekend that WGI could be a good opportunity to make the playoffs.

"I love the Glen, one of my favorite road courses that we go to" said McDowell. "It's fast, fun, challenging, technical and more importantly, we've had great speed at the road courses this year with this Next Gen car at Front Row. With having to make the playoffs in a must-win situation, I feel like having Watkins Glen and Daytona be the final two races is like a gift. It's obviously not going to be easy but at least it's two tracks that we know we have legitimate chances at running up front and putting ourselves in position so really confident going to Watkins Glen."

"We know what we have to do, there are no exceptions, we've got to win the race and that's the mentality and the approach that we're going to have this week, and then we'll go into next week and see what it holds" he added.

Stick with WENY on air and online as we continue our Thunder at the Glen race week coverage leading up to Sunday's Go Bowling at the Glen NASCAR Cup Series race at 3 PM.