Date: Nov. 10, 2019
Event: Bluegreen Vacations 500
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: ISM Raceway near Phoenix (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 312 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/162 laps)
Start/Finish: 13th/8th (Running, completed 312 of 312 laps)
Point Standing: 11th with 2,254 points
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 75):
● Clint Bowyer started 13th and finished 14th.
● The No. 14 One Cure Ford driver reported his car was loose in the early going as the field ran single file.
● Bowyer asked the crew for handling changes to help his Mustang arc more in the corner on lap 49.
● A caution with just five laps remaining in the stage brought Bowyer to pit road for tires, fuel and handling adjustments.
● Bowyer returned to the track in 14th and held his position over the final laps of the stage.
● Bowyer stayed on the track during the stage break.
Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 150):
● Bowyer started 12th and finished 11th.
● The No. 14 One Cure Ford moved into the top-10 on lap 86.
● Bowyer climbed as high as ninth during the stage but continued to battle handling issues.
● Only 18 cars raced on the lead lap during the stage. Passing was more than challenging on the mile oval.
● Bowyer pitted during the stage break for fuel, tires and more adjustments.
Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 312):
● Bowyer started 10th and finished eighth.
● The No. 14 One Cure Ford driver raced in 10th by the lap-200 mark.
● On lap 215 Bowyer moved to ninth after passing Erik Jones, and he moved into eighth a few laps later when he passed Joey Logano.
● Bowyer continued to report his car was “loose in and tight in the middle.”
● With 80 laps to go and only 10 cars on the lead lap, Bowyer was the second highest running non-playoff driver.
● Bowyer made his first green flag stop of the race with 67 laps remaining.
● Bowyer raced in sixth with 55 laps remaining with only eight cars on lead lap.
● A caution forced a restart with three laps to go. Bowyer restarted seventh and fell to eighth in the shootout.
● Bowyer earned his 17th top-10 of the season and his eighth top-10 in 29 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Phoenix.
● This is Bowyer’s second consecutive top-15 at Phoenix. He finished 11th in the series’ previous visit to the track in March.
● Denny Hamlin won the Bluegreen Vacations 500k to score his 37th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his sixth of the season and his third at Phoenix. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .377 of a second.
● There were five caution periods for a total of 32 laps.
● Only 15 of the 39 drivers in the Bluegreen Vacations 500k finished on the lead lap.
● Ford took five of the top-10 finishing positions in the Bluegreen Vacations 500.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“That was a tough race today. We worked hard to get our car better and everyone did a really good job. We were just in the wrong lane there at the last restart. It was tough to pass today. Track position was everything. We’ll go to Homestead and finish this season out right next weekend.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, Nov. 17 at at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!