Event: Ford EcoBoost 400 (Round 36 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 10th/6th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
Point Standing: 9th with 2,290 points
Champion: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 80):
- Bowyer started 10th and finished seventh to earn four bonus points.
- The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation Ford driver reported his car was tight in the opening laps.
- As the race progressed the No. 14 came to life, and Bowyer began turning lap times as fast as anyone in the field.
- Bowyer made his first pit stop of the race on lap 36 for tires, fuel and very minor handling adjustments.
- Bowyer moved by Joey Logano for eighth on lap 60 and passed Jimmie Johnson for seventh on lap 70.
- The No. 14 finished the stage running seventh. Only 14 cars were on the lead lap.
- Bowyer pitted during the stage break for tires, fuel and minor changes to help the front end of the car turn better.
Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 160):
- Bowyer started seventh and finished 10th to earn one bonus point.
- The No. 14 dropped a few spots racing in traffic on the restart.
- Bowyer said his car was tight again and wouldn’t turn.
- Bowyer moved to ninth by lap 109.
- He pitted on lap 119 as the crew continued to work on the handling.
- Bowyer returned to pit lane on lap 141 during the caution.
- As darkness set in and the track cooled, the No. 14’s handling problems worsened, and Bowyer reported his car wouldn’t turn.
- Bowyer held on to 10th, and the crew made more-dramatic changes to aid the handling.
Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 267):
- Bowyer started 12th and finished sixth.
- The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation driver reported his car was better and “we will be fine.”
- Bowyer drove to eighth by lap 180, and his crew told him that “this is the best you have been.”
- Bowyer raced in seventh by lap 191 and made a green-flag stop on lap 209.
- He had climbed as high as fourth before reporting late in the stage that the car wouldn’t turn.
- Bowyer hung on to finish sixth.
- Bowyer finished in the top-10 in points for the sixth time in his career.
- Bowyer earned his 18th top-10 of the season and his eighth top-10 in 14 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead.
- This is Bowyer’s second consecutive top-10 and third consecutive top-15 at Homestead. He finished eighth in the series’ previous visit to the track last November.
- This is Bowyer’s second straight top-10. He finished eighth in the series’ last race at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.
- Kyle Busch won the Ford EcoBoost 400 to score his 56th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fifth of the season and his third at Homestead. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr. was 4.578 seconds.
- There were three caution periods for a total of 15 laps.
- Only 10 of the 40 drivers in the Ford EcoBoost 400 finished on the lead lap.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I wish we could have hung on to fourth place there at the end, but we got tight and finished sixth. That was a good run for us. It put us ninth in the points at the end of the year, and that’s probably where we deserve to be. My guys have worked hard this year, and they’re ready to work hard in the offseason to get ready for Daytona in February. Everyone at Ford Performance, Stewart-Haas Racing, Rush Truck Centers, Mobil 1 and all our other partners were really supportive this year, and we had a lot of fun. I’m very appreciative of what Gene Haas and Tony Stewart have created here at SHR. We’ll enjoy the next few weeks, and pretty soon we’ll get that itch and be ready to start racing again.”
The 2020 season kicks off with the traditional Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The 62nd Daytona 500, the first points-paying race of the year, will go green on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, with live coverage from Fox and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.