CLINT BOWYER – 2020 Martinsville I Race Report

Event: Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 (Round 11 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
Format: 500 laps, broken into three stages (130 laps/130 laps/240 laps)
Start/Finish: 4th/17th (Running, completed 499 of 500 laps)
Point Standing: 12th with 288 points, 164 out of first

Race Winner:      Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner:  Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner:  Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-130):

Clint Bowyer started fourth and finished second to earn nine bonus points.
● Bowyer dropped to eighth then charged to third before the lap-60 competition caution.
● He moved to second on the restart then began turning some of the fastest laps on the track.
● No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford Mustang stayed at the front of the pack finishing the stage in second.
● Bowyer and the top-five cars stayed on the track during the stage break to keep track position.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 131-260):

Bowyer started second and finished 19th.
● Stage 2 ran without caution penalizing the drivers with older tires who stayed on the track after Stage 1.
● Bowyer fell through the field reporting his car was too loose and couldn’t drive off the corners.
● Bowyer dropped to 19th and off the lead lap with 12 laps left in the stage.
● Bowyer pitted for tires, fuel and adjustments to improve the handling during the stage break..

Final Stage Recap (Laps 261-500):

Bowyer started 17th and finished 17th.
● The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford Mustang earned the free pass back to the lead lap when the caution flew on lap 325.
● Bowyer continued to struggle with handling despite moving to 12th midway through the stage.
● Bowyer faded to 17th and fell off the lead lap with 44 laps remaining.
● He finished 17th – one lap behind the winner.

Notes:

●  Martin Truex Jr. won the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 to score his 27th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his second at Martinsville. His margin of victory over second-place Ryan Blaney was 4.705 seconds.
●  There were seven caution periods for a total of 52 laps.
●  Only 14 of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
●  Kevin Harvick remains the championship leader after Martinsville with a 28-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“That was a tough night for us. I don’t know if we were chasing the track or what. We went from one of the fastest cars to one of the worst. I didn’t have any turn, zero right rear grip and just couldn’t get the power down.”

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Homestead 400 on Sunday, June 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.