CLINT BOWYER – 2018 Richmond I Race Report

April 22nd, 2018

Event:               Richmond 400 (Round 9 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Richmond (Va.) Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Format:             400 laps, broken into three stages (100 laps/100 laps/200 laps)
Note:                Race ended in overtime, going two laps past its scheduled 400-lap distance
Start/Finish:      16th/9th(Running, completed 402 of 402 laps in overtime)
Point Standing:3rdwith 329 points, 86 points out of first

Race Winner:    Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner:Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner:Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-100):

  • Clint Bowyer started 16thand finished fifth.
  • Bowyer started slowly, but the No. 14 began moving up as the stage ran without caution.
  • Over the final 40 laps, Bowyer’s was the fastest car on the track. He moved to eighth by lap 75.
  • Passed two more cars in the closing laps to claim fifth at the stage end.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 101-200):

  • Bowyer started fifth and finished second.
  • Moved to fourth on lap 131 and to third 10 laps later.
  • Took over the lead on lap 169. Led 23 laps in a stage that also ran without caution.
  • Held the lead until the final laps of the stage when a loose-handling condition kept him from fending off Joey Logano. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 201-400):

  • Bowyer started third and finished ninth.
  • Moved to second on lap 235 while turning the fastest lap times on the track.
  • Took over the lead for a second time in the race on lap 252.
  • Made a scheduled pit stop on lap 273 for tires and fuel.
  • Several cautions in the final laps led to frenetic racing that damaged Bowyer’s Ford and left him with a ninth-place finish.

Notes:

  • Bowyer finished fifth in Stage 1 to earn six bonus points and second in Stage 2 to earn an additional nine bonus points.
  • This was Bowyer’s sixth top-10 this season and his fourth straight. It’s his 13thtop-10 in 25 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond.
  • Bowyer led three times for 45 laps Saturday night and has now led 260 laps in 2018.
  • Kyle Busch won the Richmond 400 to score his 46thcareer Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his fifth at Richmond. His margin of victory over second-place Chase Elliott was .511 of a second.
  • There were six caution periods for a total of 46 laps, and there were 16 lead changes among seven drivers.
  • Twenty-three of the 39 drivers in the Richmond 400 finished on the lead lap. 

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Ford Hall of Fans Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

“We had a really good car; it’s just frustrating there at the end. All hell breaks loose. We lost a couple of spots on pit road, and that gets you back and then you get on the outside and get stuck behind somebody that spun their tires and you knock the front fender in on the 24 because he spun his tires. The next thing you know you’re tenth, thinking, ‘Boy, how did this night go to ruin so fast?’ Then it’s just beating and banging and everybody dive-bombing on the bottom. It’s a shame that a good, positive night ends up being like that, but that’s racing at this place. If we could have maintained that top-two or -three, I think we could have stayed up there.” 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Geico 500 on Sunday, April 29 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with a prerace show at 1:30 p.m.