Event: South Point 400 (Round 27 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 1st/25th (Running, completed 266 of 267 laps)
Point Standing: 15th with 2012 points (21 points below top-12 cutoff)
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 80):
● Bowyer started first and finished 14th.
● The No. 14 Toco Warranty Ford tucked in behind teammate Daniel Suarez and ran in second after leading the opening lap.
● As the stage moved on Bowyer reported his car was very loose.He fell to seventh by lap 32.
● Bowyer pitted from seventh on lap 41 for tires, fuel and adjustments.
● The last 20 laps of the stage saw Bowyer drop from seventh to 14th as he struggled with handling.
● The crew made several more changes on the No. 14 during the stage break to improve the handling.
Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 160):
● Bowyer started 13th and finished 20th.
● The No. 14 Toco Warranty Ford continued to struggle during the stage.
● During a green-flag pit stop on lap 122 the crew reversed some of the changes made during the break.
● Bowyer lost a lap to the leader in the final laps of the stage.
Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 267):
● Bowyer started 22nd and finished 25th.
● The No. 14 Toco Warranty Ford didn’t complete a lap before Bowyer announced: “This is way better!”
● On lap 182 Bowyer took the wave-around and returned to the lead lap in 22nd place.
● A caution on lap 187 enabled Bowyer to pit with the leaders and the crew to make more adjustments.
● Bowyer returned to the track in 16th and looked ready to charge back to the front with fresh tires.
● On the restart Bowyer and another car made heavy contact, causing a tire rub for Bowyer that brought him to pit lane for repairs.
● The stop dropped Bowyer to 30th and a lap behind the leaders.
● Bowyer used the remaining laps to climb to 25th before the checkered flag fell.
● Bowyer led one lap to increase his laps-led total at Las Vegas to 18.
● Martin Truex Jr., won the South Point 400to score his 24th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fifth of the season and his second at Las Vegas. His margin of victory over second-place Harvick was 4.173 seconds.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 22 laps.
● Only 17 of the 39 drivers in the South Point 400 finished on the lead lap.
Playoff Standings (with two races to go before Round of 12):
1. Martin Truex Jr. (2,082 points) 1 win
2. Kevin Harvick (2,079 points) +52 points
3. Joey Logano (2,075 points) +48 points
4. Kyle Busch (2,063 points) +36 points
5. Brad Keselowski (2,058 points) +31 points
6. Chase Elliott (2,057 points) +30 points
7. Denny Hamlin (2,056 points) +29 points
8. Kyle Larson (2,044 points) +17 points
9. William Byron (2,040 points) +13 points
10. Ryan Blaney (2,039 points) +12 points
11. Alex Bowman (2,037 points) +10 points
12. Aric Almirola (2,033 points) +6 points
13. Ryan Newman (2,027 points) -6 points
14. Kurt Busch (2,019 points) -14 points
15. Clint Bowyer (2,012 points) -21 points
16. Erik Jones (2,007 points) -26 points
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Toco Warranty Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We just weren’t very good tonight. We were just off. Off in all areas.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. It starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.