Date: May 6, 2018
Event: AAA 400 Drive for Autism (Round 11 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into three stages (120 laps/120 laps/160 laps)
Start/Finish: 12th/2nd (Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
Point Standing: 4th with 380 points, 86 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 1-120):
● Clint Bowyer started 12th and finished seventh to earn four bonus points.
● Bowyer endured a loose wheel after pitting for a lap-20 caution and restarted at the rear of the field.
● Despite noting loose-handling conditions, he drove his way back into the top-10 before the stage concluded.
● Pitted for four tires, fuel, and adjustments at the end of Stage 1.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 121-240:
● Bowyer started fifth and finished fifth to earn six bonus points.
● Pitted during a lap-153 caution for four tires, fuel, and air pressure adjustments.
● Bowyer kept the Haas Automation Demo Days Ford inside the top-10 during Stage 2.
● He pitted for four tires, fuel, and adjustments to correct loose-handling conditions after the stage ended.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 241-400):
● Bowyer started fourth and finished second.
● He gained the lead on lap 297 and held it until the red flag waved for inclement weather on lap 316.
● Bowyer maintained the lead until lap 337 when he was passed by teammate Kevin Harvick.
● He drove the Haas Automation Demo Days Ford in second place for the remainder of the race.
● Bowyer finished second in the AAA 400 Drive for Autism to secure the fourth 1-2 finish in SHR history. Its last 1-2 finish came on June 25, 2017, at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway when Harvick beat Bowyer.
● This marks the first time SHR has had three cars finish among the top-five.
● This was Bowyer’s third top-five and seventh top-10 finish of 2018.
● Bowyer earned his third top-five and 14th top-10 in 25 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Dover.
● Bowyer finished seventh in Stage 1 to earn four bonus points and fifth in Stage 2 to earn an additional six bonus points.
● Bowyer led three times for 40 laps to increase his total at Dover to 82.
● Harvick won the AAA 400 Drive for Autism marked the 48th overall win for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). It was the organization’s 44th points-paying Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win and its third at Dover.
● Sunday’s win marks SHR’s fifth victory in the first 11 races of the 2018 season.
● This was SHR’s eighth Cup Series victory with Ford. The team won its first race with Ford when Busch captured the 2017 Daytona 500.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 48 laps.
● Only 13 of the 38 drivers in the AAA 400 Drive for Autism finished on the lead lap.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Demo Days Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Kevin was up front and was the car to beat most of the day. It was our first shot at tires and taking off in clean air. It makes a big difference. When you’re back in dirty air in traffic like we were most of the day it’s tough. Hats off to everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing. These Ford Fusions are fun to drive. The Haas Automation Demo Day was fun to drive. We won with this paint scheme in Martinsville and thought we were going to win with it again today. With Mobil 1 under the hood of mine and the No. 4 car, it’s hard to beat. If we keep knocking on the door like today, we’ll get another win.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the KC Masterpiece 400 on Saturday, May 12 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!