CLINT BOWYER – 2018 Bristol I Race Report

April 16th, 2018

Event:               Food City 500 (Round 8 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
Format:             500 laps, broken into three stages (125 laps/125 laps/250 laps)
Race Winner:    Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Winner:Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner:Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Start/Finish:      14th/8th(Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)
Point Standing:4thwith 286 points, 79 out of first

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-125):

  • Clint Bowyer started 14thand finished third.
  • Avoided an accident on lap six that damaged several cars.
  • Reported his car was very loose in the opening laps, then faded to 18th when he was trapped in the outside groove.
  • Moved to third when he stayed on the track during a caution while much of the field pitted. He held his position during the one-lap green-flag run to the stage end.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 126-250):

  • Started 23rd and finished 13th.
  • Bowyer’s team made major handling adjustments during the stage break, and the No. 14 started at back of the field.
  • Rain postponed action after lap 204 on Sunday, and racing resumed Monday afternoon.
  • Loose-handling condition remained, and the crew made more chassis changes. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 251-500):

  • Started ninth and finished eighth.
  • Bowyer reported his car was tight for the first time. He had climbed to seventh by lap 325.
  • Bowyer ran 96 laps on a set of tires as the race ran green, allowing cars that took tires to drop him to 10th.
  • Restarted ninth after the final caution with 22 laps remaining.
  • Moved to eighth in the final laps.

Notes:

  • Bowyer’s eighth-place finish was his fifth top-10 of 2018 and his 12thtop-10 in 25 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol.
  • Bowyer finished third in Stage 1 to earn eight bonus points.
  • Bowyerhas finished in the top-11 in six of the season’s eight races.
  • Kyle Busch won the Food City 500 to score his 45thcareer Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory. It was his second win of the season and his second straight, and it was his series-leading seventh win at Bristol. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Larson was .628 of a second.
  • There were 13 caution periods for a total of 114 laps. Only 12 of the 39 drivers in the Food City 500 finished on the lead lap.
  • The first 204 laps of the Food City 500 were run on Sunday before rain halted the race and postponed it to Monday, where the final 296 laps were completed.

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Demo Days Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“It was a long weekend. We weren’t very good all weekend long and just kept working on it. We were smart with the race. Early on there was a lot of trouble yesterday and even more today. It was just a weird weekend. I mean, the weather just capped off everything else that was going on. It seemed like the VHT, for whatever reason, a little bit different this time than it’s been in the past. Our tires seemed like they were a little bit different than what we’ve had, for whatever reason. It was a weird weekend, so I’m glad with a top-10.” 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Richmond 400 on April 21 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. The race starts at 6:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with a prerace show at 6 p.m.