CLINT BOWYER – 2020 Las Vegas II Race Report

Event: South Point 400 (Round 30 of 36)
Series: 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)
Note: Race extended one lap past its scheduled 267-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Start/Finish: 6th/12th (Running, completed 268 of 268 laps)
Point Standing: 10th with 3,032 points, 20 points below top-eight cutoff

Race Winner:      Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner:  Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner:  Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

Clint Bowyer started sixth and finished 10th to earn one bonus point.
● The No. 14 One Cure Mustang fell to 10th by the lap-25 competition caution.
● Bowyer told crew his car was “wicked loose.”
● Bowyer raced in 11th until the closing laps of the stage when he moved to 10th place to earn a bonus point.
● During the stage break the No. 14 crew made more handling adjustments and returned Bowyer to the track in sixth.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

Bowyer started sixth and finished ninth to earn two bonus points.
● The No. 14 One Cure Mustang had debris on the front of the grill for several laps before it finally came off on lap 97.
● Bowyer fell to 13th by lap 110 and pitted under green for routine service on lap 122.
● Bowyer again used a late charge in the final laps of the stage moving from 11th to ninth to earn two bonus points.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-268):

Bowyer started seventh and finished 12th.
● The No. 14 One Cure Mustang moved to fifth – its best position of the race – with 97 to go.
● He slid back to 10th with 60 laps to go telling his crew the front end wasn’t turning and the engine was overheating.
● Bowyer fell back to 22nd when a caution flew one lap after he pitted under green.
● Bowyer stayed on the track during a caution with 12 laps to go moving from 22nd to 12th when others pitted.
● He held the position through another caution then survived wild racing in a two-lap shootout to end the race.

Notes:

● Bowyer has scored the seventh most points in the last seven races.
● Bowyer finished 12th in both races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2020.
● Kurt Busch won the South Point 400 to score his 32nd career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Las Vegas. His margin of victory over second-place Matt DiBenedetto was .148 of a second.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 36 laps.
● Twenty-five of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Kevin Harvick remains the championship leader after Las Vegas with a three-point advantage over second-place Denny Hamlin.

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“That was a tough race with a pretty wild ending. I think I hit the wall there twice in the final laps and I was running real hot. I was lucky to finish. We made a good call to stay out. It’s on to Talladega now. Twenty points isn’t a lot to make up at Talladega and the road course at Charlotte. I like the next two races.”

Playoff Standings (with two races to go before the Round of 8):

1.       Kurt Busch (3,041 points) 1 win
2.       Kevin Harvick (3,104 points) +61 points
3.       Denny Hamlin (3,101 points) +58 points
4.       Brad Keselowski (3,059 points) +16 points
5.       Martin Truex Jr. (3,058 points) +15 points
6.       Joey Logano (3,054 points) +11 points
7.       Chase Elliott (3,053 points) +10 points
8.       Alex Bowman (3,052 points) +9 points
9.       Kyle Busch (3,043 points) -9 points
10.    Clint Bowyer (3,032 points) -20 points
11.     Aric Almirola (3,025 points) -27 points
12.     Austin Dillon (3,020 points) -32 points

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the YellaWood 500 on Sunday, Oct. 4 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It is the fifth race of the 10-race playoffs and the second race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.