CLINT BOWYER – 2019 Las Vegas II Race Report

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.

Notes:

●  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.”

Next Up:

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.