Event: Kentucky 400 (Round 18 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 274 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/114 laps)
Start/Finish: 16th/13th (Running, completed 273 of 274 laps)
Point Standing: 10th (495 points, 215 out of first)
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
- Clint Bowyer started 16th, finished 11th.
- Dropped to 20th, then began climb through the field.
- Moved to 10th by lap 45 but fell out of the points-paying position in the final laps of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
- Started sixth and finished ninth.
- Flat-spotted tires and suffered minor hood damage on lap 88 after Brad Keselowski triggered a three-car accident.
- Bowyer dropped to 22nd and rebounded to run as high as sixth.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-274):
- Started 15th, finished 16th.
- Raced in 13th at the 200-lap mark.
- Made his final green-flag pit stop with 42 laps remaining but dropped off the lead lap during the pit-stop sequence.
- Gained three positions by dodging a race-ending wreck in overtime.
- Bowyer said his biggest problem was a lack of rear grip in the final stage.
- Bowyer finished ninth in Stage 2 to earn two bonus points.
- There were nine caution periods for a total of 39 laps.
- Only nine of the 40 drivers in the Kentucky 400 finished on the lead lap.
- Martin Truex Jr. won the Kentucky 400 to score his 10th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his first at Kentucky. Kyle Larson finished second as the race ended under caution.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Our night wasn’t all the best. We needed to be better. We struggled off the truck. I wasn’t exactly pumped about the handling, but we fought hard. Buga (crew chief Mike Bugarewicz) and all the guys worked hard to get me fixed up for the race. We got some track position there and showed some promise, and then the start of that last run, those last two runs, I was junk. Total junk. I just lost too much track position. It is like you adjust to be up front in the clean air and free up and get better and keep freeing up to get better and get in better air, and then all of a sudden you get in the back, adjusted to the front, and you are in big trouble.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Overton’s 301 on Sunday, July 16 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN.