Event: 61st 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)
Note: Race extended seven laps past its scheduled 200-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Start/Finish: 6th/20th (Accident, completed 199 of 207 laps)
Point Standing: 16th with 26 points, 26 out of first
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
● Started sixth, finished 20th.
● Clint Bowyer held his position in the early going and pitted with Ford teammates on lap 15.
● Bowyer drove back to fourth by lap 24 as Fords ran first through sixth.
● Bowyer dropped to 19th by lap 41, running in the slower of the double-file lanes of traffic.
● Narrowly missed two spinning cars on lap 51.
● Pitted before the stage break and dropped to 25th.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
● Started ninth, finished 11th.
● Bowyer pitted for fuel with other Fords on lap 73, dropping to the back of the field.
● Nearly fell down a lap to the leader, but a caution kept him on the lead lap.
● Bowyer pitted on lap 108 and dropped to 16th.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):
● Started eighth, finished 20th.
● Bowyer raced in sixth at the 150-lap mark.
● The No. 14 moved into the top-three in the race’s closing stage and looked to be one of the favorites for victory.
● Bowyer was just a car length ahead of a 22-car accident that stopped the race for 25 minutes with 10 laps to go.
● He restarted fifth with two laps to go, but when he dove to the inside on the backstretch to grab third spot, he clipped another car. The contact sent Bowyer into a spin, collecting several cars.
● The No. 14 team attempted to make repairs but could not continue.
● Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 to score his 32nd career Cup Series victory and his second in the Daytona 500. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .138 of a second.
● There were 12 caution periods for a total of 47 laps.
● Only 14 of the 40 drivers in the Daytona finished on the lead lap.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Hey, it is the Daytona 500, I had to go for it. This just sucks, man. We had such a good Rush Truck Centers, Mobil 1 Ford Mustang. This is my best foot forward I have ever had here. We had a shot at it and I took it. I had a big run on the 34 and knew that I had to make quick work of him because in the mirror they were going three-wide and losing their minds so you knew that was going to come down on you. So I decided to lose my mind too.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Folds of Honor 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24 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.