(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)
Date: March 26, 2017
Event: Auto Club 400 (Round 5 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California (2-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps)
Start/Finish: 17th/3rd (Running, completed 202 of 202 laps)
Point Standing: 8th (143 points, 100 out of first)
Race Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet) in overtime
Stage 1 Recap (Ended on Lap 60):
● Started 17th, finished sixth to earn five race points.
● Moved to 10th by lap 16.
● Car excelled on long runs as Bowyer managed his tires on ultra-fast track.
Stage 2 Recap (Ended on Lap 120):
● Started third, finished fourth to earn seven race points.
● Dropped to sixth early in stage, but climbed as high as second.
● Turned fastest lap on the track several times during stage that ran without a caution.
Final Stage Recap (Ended on Lap 202):
● Started fourth, finished third.
● Climbed to third with 60 to go and survived several late cautions.
● Started seventh in overtime and drove to third.
● Race marked first time Bowyer earned race points for top-10 finishes in consecutive stages.
● Bowyer’s second top-10 and first top-five finish in 2017.
● First top-three since third-place finish in July 2015 at Daytona International Speedway.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It was just a good weekend. I appreciate everybody’s hard work at Stewart-Haas Racing. Having these teammates and having this group behind you, the organization and the teamwork, it’s just amazing to be a part of it at this point in my career. Thanks to Rush Truck Centers for making this possible, Gene Haas and Tony Stewart for giving me this opportunity. It means a lot to me to be in this 14. I have a lot of fun with these guys. Buga (crew chief Mike Bugarewicz) and all these guys mean business. It’s a confidence thing right now, a momentum-builder, and we’re getting closer. Obviously, this is a good track for me. I wanted to win that damn thing, but to come home with the wild finish and everything that it was, we’ll take it.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Martinsville 500 Sunday,April 2 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!