CLINT BOWYER – 2018 Indianapolis Race Report

September 10th, 2018

Date: Sept. 10, 2018
Event: Brickyard 400 (Round 26 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: 160 laps, broken into three stages (50 laps/50 laps/60 laps)
Start/Finish: 8th/5th (Running, completed 160 of 160)
Point Standing: 5th with 2,015 points, 35 points out of first – IN THE PLAYOFFS

Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner:  Clint Bowyer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner:  Matt Kenseth of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 50):

Bowyer started eighth and finished first to earn 10 bonus points.
Moved to from eighth to fifth in the first five laps
Pitted under green on lap 9 for tires and fuel.
Stayed on the track during the lap 10 competition caution and moved to second.
Remained in second throughout the stage until he passed teammate Kurt Busch at lap 45.
Bowyer won his first stage of the year and second of career.
Bowyer’s last stage victory came at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in July, 2017.

Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 100):

Bowyer started 14th and finished 15th.
Moved to eighth by lap 58.
Moved from seventh to third on lap 69 when he stayed on the track while others pitted.
Took over the lead when Kevin Harvick pitted with 11 laps remaining in the stage.
Gave up the lead with two laps left in the stage to pit for fuel and tires.

Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 160):

Bowyer started second and finished fifth.
Led the first laps of the final stage before Denny Hamlin regained the lead with 17 laps remaining.
Bowyer closed in on Hamlin in the closing laps but could not make the pass.
The race restarted with three laps remaining and Bowyer could not hold off the cars with newer tires.

Notes:

● This was Bowyer’s seventh top-five and 12th top-10 finish of 2018.
● Bowyer earned his third top-five and fourth top-10 in 13 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Indianapolis.
● Bowyer finished first in Stage 1 to earn 10 bonus points and one playoff point.
● Bowyer led three times for 37 laps to increase his laps-led total at Indianapolis to 43.
● Bowyer qualified for the playoffs by earning two victories in 2018, two stage wins, and finishing seventh in the points giving him 15 bonus points for the playoffs.
● This is Bowyer’s seventh playoff appearance and first since 2015.
● Brad Keselowski won the Brickyard 400 to score his 26th career Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Indianapolis. His margin of victory over second-place Erik Jones was .908 of a second.
● Keselowski’s triumph delivered the 102nd points-paying victory for Ford’s Fusion in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It was Ford’s 671st all-time win in the NASCAR Cup Series.
● There were 10 caution periods for a total of 39 laps.
● Only 22 of the 40 drivers in the Brickyard 400 finished on the lead lap.

 

Playoff Standings:

1.       Kevin Harvick (2,050 points)
2.       Kyle Busch (2,050 points)
3.       Martin Truex Jr. (2,035 points, -15)
4.       Brad Keselowski (2,019 points, -31)
5.       Clint Bowyer (2,015 points, -35)
6.       Kurt Busch (2,014 points, -36)
7.       Joey Logano (2,014 points, -36)
8.       Chase Elliott (2,008 points, -42)
9.       Ryan Blaney (2007 points, -43)
10.     Erik Jones (2,005 points, -45)
11.     Austin Dillon (2,005 points, -45)
12.     Kyle Larson (2,005 points, -45)
13.     Denny Hamlin (2,003 points, -47)
14.     Aric Almirola (2,001 points, -49)
15.     Jimmie Johnson (2,000 points, -50)
16.     Alex Bowman (2,000 points, -50)

 

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

Do you take any solace from running so well today?

“Absolutely. You’ve got to use good runs like that for a confidence-booster for the Playoffs. It was a good run for us. Man, it’s a game of luck. There wasn’t really any strategy. You can’t strategize for cautions that you don’t know are gonna exist. I felt like we were definitely faster than (Hamlin), but when he beat us out of the pits there, that position nobody passed anybody for the lead and unless they were a huge advantage on tires, and then all of a sudden the cautions come out and hand the (Keselowski) the win. That’s what’s frustrating, but that’s the nature of the beast here.”