Date: Sept. 30, 2018
Event: Bank of America Roval 400 (Round 29 of 36)
Series: Monster EnergyNASCAR Cup Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval (2.28-mile, 17-turn road course)
Format: 109 laps, broken into three stages (25 laps/25 laps/59 laps)
Start/Finish: 7th/3rd (Running, completed 109 of 109 laps)
Point Standing: 3,015 points, seven points ahead of ninth
Race Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 25):
● Bowyer started seventh and finished third to earn eight bonus points.
● Told crew he liked the car except it was a little loose in the backstretch chicane.
● Posted the third-quickest lap on lap three.
● Moved to sixth by lap six, then drove from fifth to third on the lap-16 restart.
● Several cars pitted before the end of the stage then stayed out during the break for a better starting spot in Stage 2.
Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 50):
● Bowyer started 24th and finished fifth to earn six bonus points.
● Raced three-wide in traffic and on several restarts.
● Returned to the top-10 on lap 41.
● Told crew his car was starting to get loose in the final laps of the stage.
● Again, several cars pitted before the end of the stage then stayed out during the break for a better starting spot in the final stage.
Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 109):
● Bowyer started 24th and finished third.
● Slowly worked his way up through the field, suffering brushes with the wall and contact with other cars.
● Survived three- and four-wide restarts after full-course cautions on laps 58, 66 and 68.
● Moved to 15th by lap 80 and 13th by lap 89.
● Narrowly avoided a multicar wreck in turn one and moved to sixth in the aftermath.
● Race resumed with three laps left, and Bowyer moved to third after the two leaders crashed in the final corner.
● Bowyer was kept abreast, in the final laps, of his playoff status and knew he was safe to advance to the Round of 12.
● This was Bowyer’s eighth top-five and 14th top-10 finish of 2018.
● Bowyer earned his 11th top-five and 16th top-10 in 27 career road-course starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series across Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval.
● Bowyer captured his third top-five and sixth top-10 in 26 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Charlotte (oval and road course).
● All four SHR drivers advanced to the Round of 12.
● Ryan Blaney won the inaugural Bank of America Roval 400 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first of 2018. His margin of victory over second-place Jamie McMurray was .792 of a second.
● Blaney’s triumph delivered the 104th points-paying victory for Ford’s Fusion in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It was also Ford’s 673rd all-time win in the NASCAR Cup Series.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 16 laps.
● Twenty-six of the 40 drivers in the Bank of America Roval 400 finished on the lead lap.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Advance Auto Parts Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We had a good Mobil 1/Advance Auto Parts Ford this weekend, and we practiced well, qualified well and raced well today. We did everything we had to do. That’s a testimony to this team, Stewart-Haas Racing and all of the people who support us. There have been some sleepless nights this week, but today we were in the game. It was pretty scary out there running three and four abreast on the restarts, but it was a heck of a show for the fans. I was worried about the Round of 16 because of the tracks, but in the next round we have some of our better tracks. I’m confident about the next three races.”
Playoff Standing (at the conclusion of the Round of 16):
1. Kyle Busch (3,055 points)
2. Kevin Harvick (3,050 points, -5)
3. Martin Truex Jr. (3,038 points, -17)
4. Brad Keselowski (3,025 points, -30)
5. Clint Bowyer (3,015 points, -40)
6. Joey Logano (3,014 points, -41)
7. Kurt Busch (3,014 points, -41)
8. Ryan Blaney (3,013 points, -42)
9. Chase Elliott (3,008 points, -47)
10. Kyle Larson (3,006 points, -49)
11. Aric Almirola (3,001 points, -54)
12. Alex Bowman (3,000 points, -55)
Failed to Advance to Round of 12:
13. Jimmie Johnson (2,097 points)
14. Austin Dillon (2,066 points)
15. Denny Hamlin (2,053 points)
16. Erik Jones (2,041 points)