Date: Nov. 11, 2018
Event: Can-Am 500K (Round 35 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: ISM Raceway near Phoenix (1-mile oval)
Format: 312 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/162 laps)
Start/Finish: 16th/35th (Accident, completed 133 of 312)
Point Standing: 12th with 2,242 points
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 75):
● Bowyer started 16th and finished 14th.
● Bowyer reported his car was very loose in the opening laps.
● Pitted for tires, fuel and adjustments during stage break and moved to 10th.
Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 150):
● Bowyer started 10th and finished 35th.
● On lap 97 Bowyer told his crew, “We are in the game now.”
● Bowyer climbed to seventh and appeared ready to contend with the leaders.
● On lap 133 Bowyer cut a tire, which sent the No. 14 into the wall.
● Bowyer drove the car to the garage but could not continue in the race.
● Kyle Busch won the Can-Am 500k to score his 51st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his eighth of the season and his second at Phoenix. His margin of victory over second-place Brad Keselowski was .501 of a second.
● There were 10 caution periods for a total of 61 laps.
● Only 15 of the 39 drivers in the Can-Am 500k finished on the lead lap.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 ITsavvy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I guess we cut a left-rear tire down. It’s just kind of the way our playoffs are going. It’s frustrating. We’ve had a great year getting to where we were part of this playoff situation and being in contention to be able to run for a championship. There’s a lot of pride with (crew chief) Mike (Bugarewicz) and all the guys on the 14 car. It’s been a lot of fun to go to battle each and every week all across the country with these guys. Stewart-Haas, I can’t say enough about the job the men and women have done at Stewart-Haas getting all four cars in the playoffs and then obviously winning and being in victory lane, and everything Ford and everybody involved has done for us. I’m proud of our season, bummed for our day. It’s always fun to come out here to Phoenix. It’s a hell of a crowd today, appreciate everybody coming out. Unfortunately, we were a caution. You never want to be a caution.”
Championship 4 Drivers:
1. Kevin Harvick (5,000 points)
2. Joey Logano (5,000 points)
3. Kyle Busch (5,000 points)
4. Martin Truex Jr. (5,000 points)
Failed to Advance to Championship 4:
1. Kurt Busch
2. Aric Almirola
3. Clint Bowyer
4. Chase Elliott