Event: Federated Auto Parts 400 (Round 28 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into three stages (100 laps/100 laps/200 laps)
Start/Finish: 5th/9th (Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
Point Standing: 15th with 2,047 points (five points below top-12 cutoff)
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. 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 100):
● Bowyer started fifth and finished sixth to earn five bonus points.
● The No. 14 One Cure Ford started the race loose as Bowyer raced in seventh.
● As the laps clicked off he reported the car was difficult to turn in the middle of the corner. “I need to turn better when I’m underneath the other cars,” Bowyer said on the team radio.
● Bowyer climbed to sixth and was moving in on fifth when the stage ended.
● The stage ran without a caution.
● Bowyer pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments at the end of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 200):
● Bowyer started ninth and finished ninth to earn two bonus points.
● The No. 14 One Cure Ford moved to sixth in the opening laps of the stage after a good restart.
● He began reporting the car would not turn in the center and was “snapping” loose.
● Bowyer drifted back to ninth about 15 seconds behind the leader.
● “I just can’t roll the center for nothing,” Bowyer said.
● Bowyer pitted at the end of the stage and the crew made more changes to improve the handling.
Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 400):
● Bowyer started 11th and finished ninth.
● The No. 14 One Cure Ford dropped to 12th by lap 212.
● A caution at lap 242 allowed the No. 14 to return to pit lane for more adjustments. He restarted the race in 11th with 151 to go.
● Bowyer climbed as high as eighth midway through the stage before teammate Kevin Harvick passed him.
● Bowyer also held off a late charge from teammate Daniel Suarez in the closing laps to hold ninth.
● Bowyer earned his 13th top-10 of the season and his 16th top-10 in 28 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond.
● This is Bowyer’s fourth straight top-10 at Richmond. He finished third in the series’ last visit to the track in April.
● Bowyer finished sixth in Stage 1 to earn five bonus points and ninth in Stage 2 to earn an additional two bonus points.
● Martin Truex Jr. won the Federated Auto Parts 400to score his 25th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his series-leading sixth of the season, his second in a row and his second at Richmond. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was 2.630 seconds.
● There were five caution periods for a total of 32 laps.
● Only 13 of the 38 drivers in the Federated Auto Parts 400 finished on the lead lap.
Playoff Standings (with one race to go before Round of 12):
1. Martin Truex Jr. (2,141 points) 2 wins… clinched spot in Round of 12
2. Kevin Harvick (2,118 points) +68 points… clinched spot in Round of 12
3. Kyle Busch (2,117 points) +67 points… clinched spot in Round of 12
4. Denny Hamlin (2,105 points) +55 points
5. Brad Keselowski (2,104 points) +54 points
6. Joey Logano (2,100 points) +50 points
7. Chase Elliott (2,086 points) +36 points
8. Kyle Larson (2,074 points) +24 points
9. Ryan Newman (2,063 points) +13 points
10. Ryan Blaney (2,058 points) +8 points
11. Aric Almirola (2,053 points) +3 points
12. William Byron (2,052 points) +2 points
13. Alex Bowman (2,050 points) -2 points
14. Erik Jones (2,049 points) -3 points
15. Clint Bowyer (2,047 points) -5 points
16. Kurt Busch (2,037 points) -15 points
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I was expecting a little bit more to be honest with you, but we did what we had to do. We gave ourselves a fighting chance going into Charlotte. I knew Richmond was going to be an opportunity. We semi-capitalized on that opportunity, but looking forward to Charlotte. It’s going to be fun for everybody involved. It’s do-or-die time. It’s the Playoffs. You watch these football teams go through these playoffs and how exciting it is and it’s our turn to have that nerve-racking moments and do-or-die moments for your race team and your season, but I’m looking forward to it.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bank of America Roval 400 on Sunday, Sept. 29 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. It starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.