CLINT BOWYER – 2018 Pocono II Race Report

July 29th, 2018

Event:               Gander Outdoors 400 (Round 21 of 36)
Series:               Monster EnergyNASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Pocono (Pa.) Raceway(2.5-mile triangle)
Format:            160 laps, broken into three stages (50 laps/50 laps/60 laps)
Note:                Race extended four laps past its scheduled 160-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish
Start/Finish:      31st/11th (Running, completed 164 of 164 laps)
Point Standing:5th(677 points, 214 out of first)

Race Winner:    Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner:Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner:Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 50):

  • Clint Bowyer started Stage 1 in the 31stposition at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, and completed it in sixth to earn five bonus points.
  • On lap 22 Bowyer made a scheduled green-flag pit stop from the 13thspot, getting fuel and four tires for his Haas Automation VF-1 Ford Fusion.
  • After pit stops cycled through, Bowyer was in the ninth position. He reported on lap 35 that his racecar was still loose in traffic and was getting on splitter from center off.
  • In the closing laps of the stage, Bowyer maneuvered into the sixth position.

Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 100):

  • Bowyer started 11thand finished third in Stage 2 to earn eight bonus points.
  • Before the start of Stage 2, Bowyer came down pit road for four tires, fuel and minor adjustments. He began the second stage in the 11thposition.
  • Bowyer relinquished the seventh spot on lap 77 to make a green-flag stop for fuel and tires.
  • When a caution came out on lap 83, he elected to stay out, reporting the rear grip on his Haas Automation VF-1 Ford Fusion was getting better. He advanced two spots on the restart to move up to sixth and patiently worked his way inside the top-five during the next eight laps.

Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 164):

  • Bowyer started 10thand finished 11th.
  • Prior to starting the final stage, Bowyer pitted for four tires and fuel but no adjustments.
  • He returned to pit road following a caution on lap 121. After the stop he was penalized for speeding on pit road and was forced to restart at the tail of the field.
  • Bowyer climbed back to 15thon lap 135 and continued his charge back to the front as he had in Stage 1. He restarted 10thwith three laps remaining and then again during the final restart in overtime, ultimately finishing 11th.

Notes:

  • This was Bowyer’s 11thtop-11 finish in 26 career Pocono Raceway starts.
  • Bowyer finished sixth in Stage 1 to earn five bonus points and third in Stage 2 to earn an additional eight bonus points.
  • Kyle Busch won the Gander Outdoors 400 in overtime to score his 49thcareer Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his sixth of the season and his second at Pocono. His margin of victory over second-place Daniel Suarez was 1.788 seconds.
  • There were seven caution periods for a total of 29 laps.
  • Twenty-eight of the 40 drivers in the Gander Outdoors 400 finished on the lead lap.

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation VF-1Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“We lost some points today. It could have been a lot worse. There was some positive in that we were able to come from the back and get points in the first stage and then finish third in Stage 2. We set ourselves up for a shot at a top-five finish in that final stage. The Haas Automation VF-1 Ford Fusion was pretty consistent all day, and we were hoping to just keep getting it better. We did, but a penalty on pit road put us to the back again, and we had to fight our way back. We probably didn’t need those last two restarts, but we’ll take what we got today and head on down the road to Watkins Glen next week.” 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Go Bowling at The Glen on Sunday, Aug. 5 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. The race starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC. Prerace coverage begins at 1 p.m. on NBCSN.