CLINT BOWYER – 2019 Daytona 500 Race Report

February 17th, 2019

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.

Notes:                   

● 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.”

Next Up:

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.