(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)
Date: April 9, 2017
Event: O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 (Round 7 of 36)
Series: Monster EnergyNASCAR Cup Series
Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth(1.5-mile oval)
Format: 334 laps, broken into three stages (85 laps/85 laps/164 laps)
Start/Finish: 3rd/11th (Running, completed 334 of 334 laps)
Point Standing: 9th (204 points, 111 out of first)
Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 85):
● Started third, finished seventh to earn four race points.
● Raced in the top-5 for most of the stage.
● Lost several spots in the closing laps of the stage because the car was loose into the corners and tight off.
Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 170):
● Started ninth, finished 12th.
● Took four tires before Stage 2 began and dropped back to ninth in the field.
● Climbed to sixth in the opening laps of the stage, then moved to fourth on lap 123 after two-tire pit stop.
● Bowyer dropped to 12th on lap 148 because of debris on his grill, then pitted under caution for four tires with less than five laps remaining in the stage. Raced from 14th to 12th in final three laps.
Final Stage Recap (Ended at Lap 334):
●Started sixth, finished 11th.
●Climbed as high as fourth in the early going of the final stage.
●Restarted ninth with 30 laps remaining, but handling issues kept him from running at the front.
● Friday’s third-place qualifying effort was the best of the season for the No. 14 Ford.
● Sunday marked the Cup Series’ first race on the newly repaved and reconfigured Texas track.
● The race marked Bowyer’s sixth consecutive top-13 in 2017.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“That was a tough day for everyone. Like a lot of folks, we just couldn’t get the handling right today. We’ll take 11th and enjoy the off-weekend, then head to Bristol.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!