Event: Las Vegas 400 (Round 3 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 11th/18th (Running, completed 265 of 267 laps)
Point Standing: 11th with 93 points, 42 out of first
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Started 11th, finished 14th.
● Bowyer climbed as high as ninth in the early going but reported his car would not turn in the center of the corners.
● He pitted on lap 38 for tires, fuel and adjustments.
● Bowyer still struggled with handling and lost a few positions as the stage ran to the end without a caution.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
● Started 15th, finished 20th.
● Pitted on lap 121 for more adjustments to help the car turn.
● Adjustments began to pay dividends, and Bowyer’s lap times improved as he climbed to 12th.
● A loose lug nut forced Bowyer to pit lane on lap 143 for a two-tire stop.
● The stop dropped him from 12th to 20th and a lap behind the leader.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):
● Started 20th, finished 18th.
● Bowyer narrowly averted disaster when his car suffered only minor front-end damage from a multicar accident in front of him on lap 183.
● Crew made repairs and returned Bowyer to the race in 19th, fifth in line to earn the free pass.
● The team gambled in the closing laps to stay on the track instead of pitting, hoping to capitalize on a caution. The caution never came, and Bowyer lost a second lap.
● Harvick’s victory in the Las Vegas 400 marked the 45th overall win for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). It was the organization’s 41st points-paying Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win and its third at Las Vegas.
● This was SHR’s second straight Cup Series victory. Harvick won last Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
● This was SHR’s fifth Cup Series victory with Ford. The team won its first race with Ford when Kurt Busch captured the 2017 Daytona 500.
● This was Harvick’s 16th Cup Series victory since joining SHR in 2014. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was 2.906 seconds. It marks his second series win of 2018, his second at Las Vegas and the 39th of his Cup career.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 29 laps.
● Nine of the 37 drivers in the Las Vegas 400 finished on the lead lap.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 One Cure Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We struggled to get the car to turn in the middle of the corners in the early going. The guys made a lot of changes, and we thought we had it going in the right direction. Then we had to come back in for the lug nut, and that got us a lap down.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the TicketGuardian 500k on Sunday, March 11 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!