CLINT BOWYER – 2017 Talladega II Race Report

October 15th, 2017

Event:               Alabama 500 (Round 31 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format:             188 laps, broken into three stages (55 laps/55 laps/78 laps)
Start/Finish:       7th/35th (Accident, completed 155 of 188 laps)
Point Standing: 18th with 775 points 

Race Winner:    Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Wood Brothers Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-55):

  • Clint Bowyer started seventh and finished sixth. Earned five bonus points.
  • Began race by running bottom lane of a three-wide draft, hovering just outside the top-10.
  • Pitted under green-flag conditions on lap 14 as part of a coordinated stop with fellow Ford teams. Fuel only, with two rounds out of the rear jackbolts to better plant the No. 14 Haas Automation Ford to the racetrack.
  • Returned to race in 32nd, but pit stops of others and staying out during two caution periods brought Bowyer to third by lap 36.
  • Caution on lap 50 set up a one-lap dash to the end of the stage, where Bowyer finished sixth.
  • Pitted at end of stage for four tires and fuel.
  • Stage 2 Recap (Laps 56-110):
  • Started 24th and finished third. Earned eight bonus points.
  • Pitted on lap 67 in another coordinated, green-flag stop with fellow Ford drivers. Fuel only.
  • When caution came out on lap 80, Bowyer had climbed to ninth. Stayed out during caution and restarted eighth on lap 88.
  • As teammate Kurt Busch took lead on lap 91, Bowyer followed and ran as high as second with less than 20 laps remaining in stage.
  • Stayed up front as draft ebbed and flowed and finished stage in third place.
  • Pitted at end of stage for four tires and fuel, but stop was slow, so he returned to the pits on lap 114 to top off with fuel.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 111-188):

  • Started 35th and finished 35th after getting collected in a multicar accident on lap 156.
  • Took a conservative approach at beginning of the stage, running 35th.
  • Climbed to 26th with 50 laps to go.
  • Made scheduled, green-flag pit stop for four tires and fuel on lap 144.
  • Was 24th when caution flag waved on lap 152. Bowyer took opportunity to pit for four new tires and fuel.
  • Restarted 29th on lap 156 and was caught up in multicar accident as field came up to speed.
  • Car was too damaged to repair and Bowyer was credited with 155 laps completed.

Notes:

  • Bowyer finished sixth in Stage 1 to earn five bonus points and third in Stage 2 to earn an additional eight bonus points.
  • There were 11 caution periods for a total of 47 laps.
  • Thirteen of the 40 drivers in the Alabama 500 finished on the lead lap.
  • Brad Keselowski won the Alabama 500 to score his 24th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his fifth at Talladega. His margin of victory over second-place Ryan Newman was .210 of a second.
  • Martin Truex Jr., leads the championship standings with 3,120 points and holds a 19-point advantage over his nearest pursuer, Keselowski.

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, Oct. 22 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. It is the sixth race of the 10-race playoffs and it starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN beginning at 1 p.m.