Event: 59th Daytona 500 (Round 1 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps)
Start/Finish: 6th/32nd (Accident, completed 128 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: 23rd (18 points, 38 out of first)
Race Winner: Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
- Started sixth, finished 28th.
- Clint Bowyer ran as high as second, but a tight-handling car dropped him to midpack.
- Corey Lajoie locked his brakes entering pit road and narrowly missed Bowyer’s car before Lajoie slid across the infield grass and brought out a caution on lap 27.
- Bowyer wasn’t as fortunate when he and Trevor Bayne made contact on the track late in the first stage, causing right-rear damage. The No. 14 crew made extensive repairs to the right side during the caution.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
- Started 33rd, finished seventh.
- Bowyer raced in 28th early in the stage as the Mobil 1 crew assessed damaged sustained in Stage 1 contact.
- He pitted for fuel only on lap 103, when the caution flew for a multicar accident that brought out a red flag.
- The Mobil 1 driver restarted ninth after the red flag and stayed at the front of the field.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):
- Started 22nd, finished 32nd.
- Bowyer took four tires before the final stage commenced.
- The Mobil 1 driver had begun working his way to the front of the field when a 17-car accident on lap 127 triggered by Bayne and Jimmie Johnson collected the No. 14.
- Bowyer’s car came to rest in the grass, where he restarted his car and drove to pit lane. The crew determined the damage sustained was too great to continue.
- Sunday marked Bowyer’s first race with Stewart-Haas Racing replacing three-time champion Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Ford.
- Stewart sat on Bowyer’s pit box and talked with him over the team radio throughout the race.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Man I hate the way it ended. No way around it. We got caught up with someone else’s mess. Just really upset right now. We’ve had a good week down here, and we still have a lot of racing left in 2017, so I’m pumped about the year. We had a really fast Mobil 1 Ford today.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Folds of Honor 500 on Sunday, March 5 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX.