CLINT BOWYER – 2018 Talladega I Race Report

April 29th, 2018

Event:               GEICO 500 (Round 10 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:      8th/31st(Accident, completed 165 of 188 laps)
Point Standing:4thwith 335 points, 112 out of first

Race Winner:    Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner:Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner:Paul Menard of Wood Brothers Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-55):

  • Clint Bowyer started eighth and finished 30th.
  • Bowyer and many drivers reported their cars were difficult to turn.
  • Pitted under green on lap 15 to top off fuel, then returned to the pits the next lap with a cut right-rear tire.
  • Regained one of the two lost laps on lap 47.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 56-110):

  • Bowyer started 32nd and finished 27th.
  • Pitted under green to top off fuel on lap 67.
  • Bowyer fell one spot short of earning the free pass and returning to the lead lap at stage’s end. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 111-188):

  • Bowyer started 27th and finished 31st.
  • Moved into the free-pass position as soon as the stage started. A much-needed caution flew on lap 127, returning Bowyer to the lead lap running in 27th.
  • Bowyer made a scheduled green-flag stop for fuel only with 43 laps to go.
  • Restarted the race in ninth with 30 laps remaining.
  • A multicar crash with 22 laps remaining collected the No. 14.
  • Bowyer was not hurt, but the car was too badly damaged to continue. 

Notes:

  • Bowyer was collected in a multicar accident on lap 166 while running 12th.
  • Bowyer came into Talladega riding a four-race streak of top-10 finishes. His 31st-place result in the GEICO 500 was his first this season outside of the top-20.
  • Joey Logano won the GEICO 500 to score his 19thcareer Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his third at Talladega. His margin of victory over second-place Kurt Busch was .127 of a second.
  • Ford took six of the top-10 finishing positions.
  • There were six caution periods for a total of 29 laps.
  • Twenty-two of the 40 drivers in the GEICO 500 finished on the lead lap.

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

“I don’t know if he got loose or was trying to get in a hole, but the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) wasn’t clear and wrecked a bunch of us. That was just kind of par for our day. It started when we locked the right-rear wheel up somehow coming to the pits and flat spotted that and had to come back in. We finally got two laps back, I got one lap back and then finally got on the lead lap, and then we wrecked. Par for the course.” 

Next Up: 

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the AAA 400 Drive for Autism on Sunday, May 6 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 beginning with a prerace show at 12:30 p.m.