Event: Cook Out Southern 500 (Round 27 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366-mile oval)
Format: 367 laps, broken into three stages (115 laps/115 laps/137 laps)
Start/Finish: 9th/10th (Running, completed 367 of 367 laps)
Point Standing: 13th with 2,033 points (0 points below top-12 cutoff)
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr., of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr., of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-115):
● Clint Bowyer started ninth and finished 12th.
● The No. 14 PEAK Antifreeze Throwback Ford Mustang raced in tenth at the lap-25 competition caution.
● Bowyer raced as far back as 12th and as high as eighth during the stage that included pit stops on laps 72 and 82.
● Bowyer and crew worked throughout the stage to improve their car’s handling.
● During the stage break, Bowyer told the crew his car did not like running in traffic and was much faster in clean air.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 116-230):
● Bowyer started 13th and finished ninth to earn two bonus points.
● The No. 14 crew continued to work on the car’s handling making several adjustments during pit stops.
● The PEAK Antifreeze Throwback Ford Mustang appeared fastest on long runs.
● Bowyer moved into ninth at the lap-185 mark and held the position for the remainder of the stage.
● Bowyer and another car made contact on pit road during the stage break, but neither suffered major damage.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 231-367):
● Bowyer started 11th and finished 10th.
● The No. 14 pitted during a caution with 140 to go and vaulted from 10th to seventh.
● Bowyer grabbed sixth-place on the restart with 115 laps to go – his highest running position of the race.
● Bowyer reported he had a right rear tire coming apart when he pitted from fifth with 66 to go.
● The PEAK Antifreeze Throwback Ford Mustang climbed back to 14th on the new tires and appeared headed higher, but a debris caution with 45 to go stopped his progress and hurt his chances to battle for victory.
● Bowyer moved from 12th to 10th in the final 40 laps of the race.
● Bowyer earned his eighth top-10 of the season and his third top-10 in 17 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Darlington.
● Bowyer raced a special PEAK Antifreeze Throwback paint scheme on his No. 14 Sunday celebrating PEAK’s first NASCAR victory when Kyle Petty dominated the 1990 race at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway.
● Bowyer has scored the sixth most points of all drivers in the last 10 races.
● Kevin Harvick’s margin of victory over second-place Austin Dillon was .343 of a second.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 34 laps.
● Twenty of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 PEAK Antifreeze Throwback Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We were really hurt by the debris caution with about 40 to go. That shook up the race pretty good. We were looking like a sure single digit finish there. We battled a ton of things tonight so to leave with a top-10 is pretty good. My guys worked hard tonight and we had some really good pit stops. We had a lot of fun this week with Kyle Petty and the PEAK folks and all the Throwback activities. I’m ready for Richmond.”
Playoff Standings (with two races to go before Round of 12):
1. Kevin Harvick (2,106 points) 1 win
2. Denny Hamlin (2,087 points) +54 points
3. Joey Logano (2,060 points) +27 points
4. Brad Keselowski (2,055 points) +22 points
5. Alex Bowman (2,052 points) +19 points
6. Martin Truex Jr. (2,049 points) +16 points
7. Chase Elliott (2,045 points) +12 points
8. Austin Dillon (2,043 points) +10 points
9. William Byron (2,042 points) +9 points
10. Kyle Busch (2,040 points) +7 points
11. Kurt Busch (2,037 points) +4 points
12. Aric Almirola (2,033 points) +0 points
13. Clint Bowyer (2,033 points) -0 points
14. Cole Custer (2,030 points) -3 points
15. Matt DiBenedetto (2,016 points) -17 points
16. Ryan Blaney (2,016 points) -17 points
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. It is the second race in the 10-race NASCAR Playoffs starts and it starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.