Date: Oct. 21, 2018
Event: Hollywood Casino 400 (Round 32 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 14th/13th (Running, completed 267 of 267)
Point Standing: 5th with 4,015 points, 40 points behind first
Race Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 80):
● Bowyer started 14th and finished seventh to earn four bonus points.
● Bowyer drove from 14th to eighth in the opening laps.
● Initially told the crew his car was a little tight, but that condition grew worse with each lap.
● Reported the car was tight at the bottom of the turns and loose at the top.
● No. 14 took four tires during a caution at lap 60.
● Bowyer drove from 11th to seventh in the final 20 laps of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 160):
● Bowyer started seventh and finished 11th.
● Continued to struggle with handling and fell outside the top-10.
● Pitted on lap 121 for tires and fuel plus adjustments that would enable him to race in the lower groove in the final stage.
● Finished just a second behind 10th place.
Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 267):
● Bowyer started 10th and finished 13th.
● Contact with another car on the opening lap of the stage damaged his left-front fender.
● Bowyer said the car was “plowing” because of the damage.
● Dropped to 14th-place with 60 laps remaining.
● Bowyer pitted under green on lap 213 for tires and fuel and to repair the damage.
● Despite reporting his car was tight in the closing laps, Bowyer held on to finish 13th and advance to the Round of 8.
● SHR is the only team to feature all four of its drivers in the Round of 8.
● Chase Elliott won the Hollywood Casino 400 to score his third career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his first at Kansas. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .903 of a second.
● There were three caution periods for a total of 17 laps.
● Only 13 of the 40 drivers in the Hollywood Casino 400 finished on the lead lap.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 DEKALB Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“That was a tough day. We struggled on the track. We couldn’t run high and we couldn’t run low very well, and we got some damage there at the end. But, man, my guys kept working at it all afternoon, and we got the No. 14 DEKALB Ford up there high enough to advance and that’s the bigger picture. We know we’re going to Martinsville next weekend where we won last time, so we are pretty optimistic.”
Playoff Standings: (at the conclusion of the Round of 12):
1. Kyle Busch (4,055 points)
2. Kevin Harvick (4,054 points, -1)
3. Martin Truex Jr. (4,038 points, -17)
4. Chase Elliott (4,018 points, -37)
5. Clint Bowyer (4,015 points, -40)
6. Joey Logano (4,015 points, -40)
7. Kurt Busch (4,015 points, -40)
8. Aric Almirola (4,006 points, -49)
Failed to Advance to Round of 8:
● Ryan Blaney
● Brad Keselowski
● Kyle Larson
● Alex Bowman