Event: Food City 500 (Round 8 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
Format: 500 laps, broken into three stages (125 laps/125 laps/250 laps)
Start/Finish: 9th/2nd (Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)
Point Standing: 8th (239 points, 121 out of first)
Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 125):
● Started ninth, finished 20th.
● Bowyer battled rear grip issues throughout Stage 1, pushing him back to 21st.
● After a red-flag period, Bowyer battled his way back to 15th before making slight contact with another car, ultimately pushing his Haas Automation Ford Fusion back five positions.
Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 250):
● Started 18th, finished 16th.
● Ran as high as 13th before battling more rear grip and front turn issues.
● A caution on lap 219 presented Bowyer the opportunity to take four tires and adjustments to restart in the 16th position.
Final Stage Recap (Ended at Lap 500):
● Started 16th, finished second.
● Bowyer battled in the top-10 throughout the final stage.
● After a caution with 48 laps to go, Bowyer took four tires to restart seventh.
● With 15 laps to go, Bowyer charged to second place, passing Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick.
● Bowyer’s second-place result was his best since finishing third at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in June 2015.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 76 laps.
● Fifteen drivers finished on the lead lap.
● Jimmie Johnson’s Food City 500 victory was his 82nd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win, his second of the season and his second at Bristol. His margin of victory over Bowyer was 1.199 seconds.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Yeah, what a day. Starting off, I was way too loose and fell way back. Heck, I was the last car on the lead lap at one point. Mike (Bugarewicz, crew chief) made some great adjustments all day long. The pit crew was on their game all day long and gained spots almost every time, and then I lost them all back on pit road speeding. So I went to the back again, then drove back to a solid position. Mike made a good call of putting me in a position to be one of the first cars on four tires. That’s what a weekend is all about. It would’ve been pretty cool to be over there in victory lane. We’ve come a long way with this team. These guys have worked so hard, my teammates are awesome, and it’s so much fun to work with this group each and every week. I appreciate the opportunity that Gene Haas and Tony Stewart gave me. Huge thanks to Ford, Haas Automation, Rush Truck Centers, Mobil 1, Monster Energy and everyone that’s a part of it.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!