CLINT BOWYER – 2020 Phoenix I Race Report

Series:              NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Phoenix Raceway (1.022-mile oval)
Format:             312 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/115 laps/122 laps)
Note:                 Race extended four laps past its scheduled 312-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Start/Finish:       18th/5th (Running, completed 316 of 316 laps)
Point Standing:  13th with 105 points, 59 out of first

Race Winner:    Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):

  • Clint Bowyer started 18th and finished 11th.
  • The No. 14 Mobil 1/Haas Automation Ford Mustang moved to 14th by lap 15, but Bowyer told the team his car was a little loose.
  • By lap 52 the problem grew worse. As he raced in 20th Bowyer told the crew his car was loose in and off the corner and tight in the middle.
  • Bowyer made his first pit stop of the race on lap 60, where the crew made several adjustments.
  • Bowyer moved to 14th by lap 69.
  • He and Erik Jones raced side-by-side for 10th, but Bowyer fell inches short of bonus points, finishing 11th.
  • Bowyer pitted during the stage break for fuel and new tires.
  • “That was a lot better, and I think the track will come to us,” Bowyer told the crew.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-190):

  • Started 15th, finished eighth to earn three bonus points.
  • The No. 14 Mobil 1/Haas Automation Ford Mustang moved into the top-10 on lap 115 and was eighth by lap 122.
  • Bowyer climbed as high as fifth midway through the stage.
  • He held his position until the final laps, when he said the car was beginning to be very loose.
  • Bowyer finished eighth to earn his first bonus points of the 2020 season.
  • The No. 14 crew made minor handling changes during the stage break. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 191-316):

  • Started eighth, finished fifth.
  • The No. 14 Mobil 1/Haas Automation Ford Mustang battled with the No. 10 of Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Aric Almirola for sixth in the opening laps of the stage.
  • Bowyer pitted with 92 laps remaining, taking four tires and restarting the race in 14th.
  • Bowyer moved to 11th with 75 laps remaining.
  • Another round of stops under caution saw Bowyer restart the race in 13th with 55 laps remaining.
  • He jumped to seventh on the restart before another caution with 47 laps remaining.
  • Bowyer pitted and restarted 13th with 42 to go, and he quickly moved to sixth place.
  • “We really needed that thing to go green,” Bowyer told No. 14 Mobil 1/Haas Automation crew. Bowyer had been making gains on the bottom lane late in the race.
  • He stayed on the track during the caution and moved to second when the race restarted with 31 to go.
  • Bowyer held his position the best he could through several cautions and an overtime before finishing fifth. 

Notes: 

  • Joey Logano won the FanShield 500k to score his milestone 25th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his second at Phoenix. His margin of victory over second-place Kevin Harvick was .276 of a second.
  • This was Ford’s 17th NASCAR Cup Series victory at Phoenix.
  • There were 12 caution periods for a total of 73 laps.
  • Twenty-seven of the 38 drivers in the FanShield 500k finished on the lead lap.
  • Harvick leaves Phoenix as the championship leader with a one-point advantage over second-place Logano.
  • Bowyer’s fifth-place result was his best so far this year. His previous best was sixth in the Daytona 500.
  • Bowyer earned his first top-five and second top-10 of the season, and his third top-five and ninth top-10 in 30 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Phoenix.
  • This is Bowyer’s second straight top-10 at Phoenix. He finished eighth in the series’ last visit to the track in November.
  • Bowyer has only finished outside the top-15 at Phoenix once since joining SHR in 2017. 

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

“As you go through this West Coast swing, you are lying in the bed you made. We saw that all the time, and it really is true. You come out here, and these cars are prepared before we get out here. Certainly we are looking forward to getting back home and re-evaluating some things. I can’t seem to figure out how to get the front end to turn. There is a new mentality with (crew chief) John (Klausmeier) and all his engineers. All in all, to grind it out on Sunday when the money is on the line, it was a good effort and some momentum going into Atlanta, a fun racetrack for me that I really enjoy. The Mobil 1 Ford is beat up a little bit as I look over your shoulder there. Hell, that is what this track is all about.”

Next Up: 

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Folds of Honor 500 on Sunday, March 15, at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.