Bowyer Hopes For A Rematch At Bristol

Clint Bowyer
Racecar drivers don’t easily forget!

 

No. 14 Haas Automation Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) driver Clint Bowyer remembers how close he came in August to winning his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

After struggling in practice and qualifying, in the race Bowyer showed early speed on the half-mile track moving from his 16th starting spot to third by lap 90. He held that position through the start of the second stage before drifting back to sixth.

The final stage was when things began to get interesting.

He started seventh and charged to the front, passing his then-SHR teammate Kurt Busch for second on lap 344 of the 500-lap race. During a caution about 10 laps later, the No. 14 pit crew returned Bowyer to the track in first place. He held that position for nearly every lap until a restart with 33 laps to go.

That’s when the night took a turn for the worse.

“I thought I got a good jump and, about the time I shifted, Kurt (Busch) hit me in the door and it just lit the tires up,” Bowyer said. “He didn’t do anything wrong – it’s just a product of it. Then, when I was on the bottom, I spun the tires really bad and they all got around me.”

Four more cars passed the No. 14 and Bowyer finished sixth despite leading 120 laps. It was a bittersweet performance, to say the least. He was mad at himself for not winning his third race of the season, but also happy with the progress the team made from qualifying to the race.

“It was disappointing,” Bowyer said. “You get a car that good and you get that close, you hate to not come home with it. But, all in all, for as terrible as we started the weekend and as bad as our day was on that Friday before the race, to lead laps and run in the top-10, I was pretty surprised, to be honest with you. In the grand scheme of things, it was a pretty good run for us, but you hate to give them up like that.”

Bowyer would like another chance when he races Sunday in the Food City 500 at Bristol, where his No 14 will carry the black-and-red paint scheme of Haas Automation, Inc. Haas Automation is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. Founded by Gene Haas in 1983, Haas Automation manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. All Haas products are built in the company’s 1.1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets.

Haas co-owns SHR with three-time Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. SHR has two points-paying victories at Bristol – Busch in August 2018 and Kevin Harvick in August 2016 – and has 10 top-five finishes and 25 top-10s in 62 starts.

Bowyer has raced well over his career on the Tennessee track, posting seven top-fives and 13 top-10s in 26 starts. He arrives at Bristol on a roll after a second-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The finish moved him to 11th in the season standings. At the first short-track race of the season two weekends ago at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Bowyer finished seventh.

A win Sunday would help him in the standings, likely securing him a spot in the NASCAR playoffs and earning Bowyer a trophy at a track he has long admired.

Bristol Motor Speedway is the third-largest sports venue in America and the seventh-largest in the world, seating up to 162,000 people. It’s a place Bowyer claims is a symbol of NASCAR’s success.

“Look at Bristol now versus what it was before,” he said. “I remember seeing videos of just a grass bank people are parked on, and now it’s just a wall of grandstands. Bristol has not only stood the test of time, it has grown with the sport of NASCAR and our fan base. Its growth has been our growth.”

CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
 

What are your thoughts after finishing seventh and second in the last two races?

“Last week in Texas was a shot in the arm for us. We were kind of down after Martinsville because we really thought we had a shot to win, or at least run top-three, and kind of shot ourselves in the foot. We struggled at Texas on Friday and Saturday but we had a hell of a comeback on Sunday. We were the best we were all weekend during the race. That’s the way you want it. My guys did a heck of a job last weekend. Bristol should be more of the same. We ran well there last time and the place kind of owes us one after August.”

 

Why do you like short-track racing?

“Man I like short-track racing. You’re really wheeling that thing, trying to keep the grip under your tires, forward bite. Trying to keep the thing turning. Fighting the balance of the cars. Fighting your crew chief all race long because you’re whining in the car, and he is tired of hearing you whine. But all those things need to come together to win that race and be successful.”

 

What is racing at Bristol like?

“If your car is handling well, it’s manageable. If it’s loose and you are midpack and there is someone in front of you who is erratic, you are tense and not breathing. You haven’t made it 10 laps and you are out of breath. You think, ‘There’s no way in hell I’m going to make it these 500 laps.’ Next thing you know, it’s lap 450 and you’re wishing it was 600 laps.”

 

No. 14 Haas Automation Team Report

Round 8 of 36 – Food City 500 – Bristol

Car No.: 14 – Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

 

At Track PR Contact: Drew Brown with True Speed Communication (Drew.Brown@TrueSpeedCommunication.com) ​

No. 14 At-Track Crew Roster
Primary Team:

 

Driver: Clint Bowyer

Residence: Emporia, Kansas

 

Crew Chief: Mike Bugarewicz

Hometown: Lehighton, Pennsylvania

 

Car Chief: Jerry Cook

Hometown: Toledo, Ohio

 

Engine Specialist: Matt Moeller

Hometown: Monroe, New York

 

Engine Builder: Roush Yates Engines: Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Spotter: Brett Griffin

Hometown: Pageland, South Carolina

Over-The-Wall Crew:

Front Tire Changer: Ryan Mulder

Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa

 

Rear Tire Changer: Coleman Dollarhide

Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina

 

Tire Carrier: Dwayne Moore

Hometown: Griffin, Georgia

 

Gas Man: James “Ace” Keener

Hometown: Fortuna, California

 

Jackman: Sean Cotten

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Windshield: Chris Trickett

Hometown: Grafton, West Virginia

Road Crew:

 

Truck Drivers: Dale Lackey and Christopher Hamilton

Hometown:Taylorsville, North Carolina and Muncie, Indiana, respectively

 

Engineers: Lee Deese and James Kimbrough

Hometown: Rockingham, North Carolina, and Pensacola, Florida, respectively

 

Mechanics: Tony Silvestri and Robbie Fairweather

Hometown: Sylvania, Ohio and respectively

 

Tire Specialist: Russell Simpson

Hometown: Medford, New York

 

Shock Specialist: Wayne Smith

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

Notes of Interest:
  • Bowyer owns career totals of 10 wins, two poles, 75 top-five finishes, 199 top-10s and 2,853 laps led in 476 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races. He also owns eight Xfinity Series victories.
    • ​His most recent Cup Series victory came at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (June 10, 2018).
    • His most recent Cup Series pole came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 16, 2007)
  • SHR has two points-paying victories at Bristol (Busch in August 2018 and Harvick in August 2016) and has 10 top-five finishes and 25 top-10s in 62 starts.
  • Bowyer owns seven top-five finishes and 13 top-10s in 26 starts at Bristol, and he’s led 257 laps.
  • Bowyer at Bristol in August 2018: Bowyer started 16th but moved to third by lap 90 and held the position through the first stage. He started the second stage third and finished sixth. In the final stage, Bowyer moved to second when he passed teammate Busch on lap 344. Bowyer took over the lead during a caution on lap 353 and held the lead for nearly every lap until a restart with 33 laps remaining, when Busch retook the lead and the victory.
  • Bowyer at Bristol in April 2018: Bowyer started 14th and moved to third by the end of the first stage. He started the second stage 23rd, but rain postponed action after lap 204 Sunday, and racing resumed Monday afternoon. Bowyer climbed to 13th by the end of the second stage. In the final stage, Bowyer reported his car was tight and finished eighth.
  • owyer’s Top-Three Finishes at SHR (2017- Present):
    • Wins
      • Michigan International Speedway (June 10, 2018)
      • Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (March 26, 2018)
    • 2nd place: 
      • Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (March 31, 2019)
      • Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 15,2018)
      • Dover (Del.) International Speedway (May 6, 2018)
      • Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (April 24, 2017)
      • Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (June 25, 2017)
      • Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (July 1, 2017)
    • 3rd place: 
      • Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (Sept. 30, 2018)
      • Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (June 24, 2018)
      • Atlanta Motor Speedway (Feb. 25, 2018)
      • Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (Oct. 29, 2017)
      • Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California (March 26, 2017)
  • Bowyer’s Stage Victories 
    • Indianapolis Motor Speedway Stage 1 (Sept. 10, 2018)
    • Pocono (Pa.) Raceway Stage 2 (July 30, 2017)
  • Bowyer Cup Series Career Victories:
    • Michigan International Speedway (June 10, 2018)
    • Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (March 26, 2018)
    • Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (Oct. 13, 2012)
    • Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (Sept. 8, 2012)
    • Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (June 24, 2012)
    • Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 23, 2011)
    • Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 31, 2010)
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 19, 2010)
    • Richmond International Raceway (May 3, 2008)
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 16, 2007)
  • Bowyer Cup Series Career Poles:
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 14, 2007)
    • Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (May 11, 2007)
  • Bowyer Career Cup Series Points Finishes:
    • 2018 12th
    • 2017 18th
    • 2016 27th
    • 2015 16th
    • 2014 19th
    • 2013 7th
    • 2012 2nd
    • 2011 13th
    • 2010 10th
    • 2009 15th
    • 2008   5th ​
    • 2007   3rd
    • 2006 17th
  • Bowyer Cup Series Career Stops:
    • 2017- Present Stewart-Haas Racing
    • ​2016  HScott Motorsports
    • 2012-2015  Michael Waltrip Racing
    • 2006-2011 Richard Childress Racing
  • Bowyer Xfinity Series Championship:
    • 2008
  • Bowyer Xfinity Series Career Victories:
    • Dover (Del.) International Speedway (Sept. 26, 2009)
    • Daytona (Fla) International Speedway (July 3, 2009)
    • Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (March 15, 2008)
    • Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (May 4, 2007)
    • Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in Avondale (April 20, 2007)
    • Dover (Del.) International Speedway (Sept. 23, 2006)
    • Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park  (Oct. 22, 2005)
    • Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway (June 12, 2005)
  • Bowyer Camping World Truck Series Victories:
    • Kansas (Kan.) Speedway in Kansas City (June 4, 2011)
    • Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in Avondale (Nov. 12, 2010)
    • Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (Nov. 3, 2006)
  • Crew Chief Mike Bugarewicz’s Top-3 Finishes at SHR (2016-Present):
    • Wins:
      • Martinsville (Va.) Speedway  (Bowyer, March 27, 2018)
      • Michigan Intl. Speedway (Bowyer, June 10, 2018)
      • Sonoma (Calif.) Speedway (Stewart, June 26, 2016)
    • 2nd place:             
      • Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (March 31, 2019)
      • Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 14, 2018)
      • Dover (Del) International Speedway (May 6, 2018)
      • Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (April 24, 2017)
      • Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (June 25, 2017)
      • Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (July 1, 2017)
    • 3rd place
      • Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval (Sept. 30, 2018)
      • Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (June 24, 2018)
      • Atlanta Motor Speedway (Feb. 25, 2018)
      • Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (Oct. 29, 2017)
      • Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (March 26, 2017)

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON  MY REDNECK!

 

 

 

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