Event: Can-Am 500k (Round 35 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Phoenix Raceway (1-mile oval)
Format: 312 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/162 laps)
Start/Finish: 20th/13th (Running, completed 312 of 312 laps)
Point Standing: 19th with 845 points
Race Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):
● Clint Bowyer started 20th and finished 12th.
● Bowyer started fast, climbing to 15th by lap 10.
● Bowyer said No. 14 needed “a little bit of turn” in turns one and two.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):
● Started 11th and finished 10th to earn one race point.
● Climbed into the top-10 for the first time in the opening laps of the stage.
● Said his car was loose into the corners and tight off.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 151-312):
● Started seventh and finished 13th.
● Moved from 10th to seventh on the pit stop before the final stage started.
● Drifted back to 10th in the opening laps because he “couldn’t turn” and had no rear grip.
● With 80 laps remaining Bowyer pitted under caution from ninth for fuel, tires and adjustments to loosen the handling of his No. 14.
● A penalty for speeding seconds after exiting his pit stall dropped him to 19th for the restart.
● Bowyer took four new tires when he pitted under caution with 55 laps remaining and restarted the race in 15th.
● The No. 14 suffered damage when another driver missed a shift at the front of the field on the final restart with 30 laps remaining.
● Bowyer had climbed to 13th when the checkered flag fell.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 41 laps.
● Eighteen of the 39 drivers in the Can-Am 500k finished on the lead lap.
● Matt Kenseth won the Can-Am 500k to score his 39th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his second at Phoenix.
● The Championship 4 contenders, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. enter the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway with 5,000 points each.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 USA Network DAMNATION Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We weren’t very good on Friday, and my guys worked hard overnight and came up with some changes that made us a heck of a lot better Saturday, and that carried over to today. We had a good car and good pit stops. The speeding penalty hurt us. Dropped us back to 19th, but we fought back. I thought we were going to get a really good finish, but we got messed up with a lot of cars on that restart near the end.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!