Date: Sept. 16, 2018
Event: South Point 400 (Round 27 of 36)
Series: Monster EnergyNASCAR Cup Series
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Note: Race extended five laps past its scheduled 267-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Start/Finish: 15th/23rd (Running, completed 270 of 272 laps)
Point Standing: 11th with 2,029 points, seven points ahead of 13th
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 80):
● Bowyer started 15th and finished 11th.
● Told the No. 14 crew that his car was tight in the early going.
● By lap 32 Bowyer was up to 12th, and he made his first scheduled stop at lap 40.
● Moved into the top-10 on lap 56, but his racecar was too loose in the closing laps to earn stage points, finishing 11th.
Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 160):
● Bowyer started 11th and finished 12th.
● Climbed to fifth by lap 116, but he told the crew his car was getting looser with each lap.
● Restarted the race in 12th after pitting on lap 149 during a caution.
● Held the 12th position in the final laps of the stage.
Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 267):
● Bowyer started 14th and finished 23rd.
● Pitted on lap 185 for four tires, fuel and adjustments and restarted 11th.
● Advanced to ninth by the lap-200 mark and moved to seventh after an incident affecting two of the leaders.
● Pitted from seventh during a caution with 50 to go and returned to the track in sixth.
● Bowyer’s day turned sour on the lap-257 restart when he and several cars made contact.
● Bowyer was forced to pit lane for repairs and fell two laps behind the leader.
● Brad Keselowski won the South Point 400 to score his 27th career Cup Series victory, his third of the season and third in a row, and his third at Las Vegas. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Larson was 1.276 seconds.
● There were 12 caution periods for a total of 59 laps.
● Eighteen of the 40 drivers in the South Point 400 finished on the lead lap.
● A 10-minute and 37-second red-flag period just before the end of the race set up a green-white-checkered finish that sent the race into overtime.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 One Cure Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“That was a disappointing day. Nearly everyone in the playoffs had trouble, and I thought we were going to capitalize, but there at the end it all went bad. Our car wasn’t anything like it was yesterday. We struggled but were making a decent day out of it until the end.”
Playoff Standings: (with two races to go before Round of 12):
1. Brad Keselowski (2,069 points) 1 win
2. Martin Truex Jr. (2,087 points) +65 points
3. Kyle Busch (2,085 points) +63 points
4. Kevin Harvick (2,060 points) +38 points
5. Joey Logano (2,056 points) +34 points
6. Kurt Busch (2,046 points) +24 points
7. Ryan Blaney (2,042 points) +20 points
8. Kyle Larson (2,041 points) +19 points
9. Aric Almirola (2,034 points) +12 points
10. Austin Dillon (2,031 points) +9 points
11. Clint Bowyer (2,029 points) +7 points
12. Alex Bowman (2,028 points) +6 points
13. Jimmie Johnson (2,022 points) -6 points
14. Chase Elliott (2,019 points) -9 points
15. Erik Jones (2,009 points) -19 points
16. Denny Hamlin (2,008 points) -20 points