CLINT BOWYER – 2018 Daytona 500 Race Report

February 18th, 2018

Event:               60th Daytona 500 (Round 1 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format:             200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps)
Start/Finish:      10th/15th (running, completed 206 of 207 laps)
Point Standing: 15th with 22 points, 26 out of first 

Race Winner:      Austin Dillon of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner:  Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner:  Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):

  • Started 10th, finished 26th.
  • Bowyer reported his car was loose, so the crew made major handling changes during pit stops.
  • Bowyer told his crew he was biding his time and that “the name of the game today” would be survival.
  • He dodged a multicar accident on lap 60 without damage.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):

  • Started ninth, finished 27th.
  • Raced in the top-10 for most of the stage.
  • Told crew if he could stay patient until the end, he’d have a chance to win the race.
  • Bowyer dodged a second multicar accident on lap 101, but seconds later he reported his engine had lost a cylinder.
  • He lost two laps on pitlane as his crew attempted to make engine repairs.
  • Bowyer returned to the track and made up one of the lost laps by using the wave-around during the next caution. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):

  • Started 25th, finished 15th.
  • Stayed in the pack turning respectable lap times.
  • Despite late cautions could not regain the lost lap, but persevered for respectable finish. 

Notes:              

  • This was Bowyer’s seventh top-15 finish in the Daytona 500.
  • There were eight caution periods for a total of 37 laps.
  • Only 10 of the 40 drivers in the Daytona 500 finished on the lead lap.
  • Austin Dillon’s win in the Daytona 500 was his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first at Daytona. His margin of victory over runner-up Darrell (Bubba) Wallace Jr. was .26 of a second.

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:         

“Our plan was working. A lot of cars we knew we had to beat were out of the race. We had hung back working on our handling and just waiting to the end of the race. I kept telling my guys to stay patient, there were going to be more wrecks. Sure enough that’s what happened, and we avoided any damage, but when I got on the brakes hard something happened, because we were now down a cylinder. We tried, but there was no way to fix it. We went back out there and were pretty decent, considering. Now we’ll focus on Atlanta.”

 Next Up:          

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Folds of Honor 500 on Sunday, Feb. 25 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 1:30 p.m.