Date: June 22, 2020
Event: GEICO 500 (Round 13 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format: 188 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/68 laps)
Note: Race extended three laps past its scheduled 188-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Start/Finish: 10th/25th (Running, completed 190 of 191 laps)
Point Standing: 13th with 328 points, 162 out of first
Race Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., of JTG Daugherty Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
● Clint Bowyer started 10th and finished 24th.
● The No. 14 Barstool Sports America Ford Mustang dropped to 30th by the lap-25 competition caution.
● Bowyer climbed into the top-10 after the restart.
● He said racing at the front of the field was a “recipe for disaster” and returned to the back of the pack.
● Rain paused the action on lap 58 for nearly an hour.
● Stage ended under caution with Bowyer in 24th.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
● Bowyer started 12th and finished 21st.
● The No. 14 Barstool Sports America Ford immediately drove into the top-five for several laps as the leaders raced four-wide.
● Bowyer eventually returned to the safety of the back of the 35-car pack.
● Bowyer pitted under caution on lap 96 and lap 115.
● Bowyer remained at the back for the rest of the stage.
● During the stage break, Bowyer only took fuel and jumped from 21st to ninth.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-191):
● Bowyer started ninth and finished 25th.
● The No. 14 Barstool Sports America Ford raced at the front of the field and avoided two accidents that brought out cautions early in the stage.
● Bowyer restarted the race in fifth with 42 laps remaining.
● He spent most of the stage saving fuel as it appeared the race would be determined by fuel mileage.
● That changed when a caution with three laps remaining created an overtime finish to determine the winner.
● Bowyer started the two-lap shootout in eighth.
● Bowyer’s chances for victory ended on the backstretch in a multicar accident on the last lap.
● Bowyer is a two-time winner at Talladega (October 2010 and October 2011). His best Talladega finish since joining SHR in 2017 is second, earned in October 2018 when teammate Almirola scored the win.
● Ryan Blaney won the GEICO 500 to score his fourth career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his second at Talladega. His margin of victory over second-place Ricky Stenhouse Jr., was .007 of a second.
● This was Ford’s series-leading seventh NASCAR Cup Series win of the season and its 693rd all-time Cup Series victory.
● This was Ford’s 30th NASCAR Cup Series victory at Talladega. Since October 2014, Ford has won 10 out of the last 12 races held at the track. This is its second straight win at Talladega, as Blaney drove his Ford to victory last October.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 33 laps.
● Twenty-four of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Kevin Harvick remains the championship leader after Talladega with a 23-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Barstool Sports America Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It was like a traffic jam today. I could push like heck, but when I was in front I would stack everyone up. It was frustrating running in the back like that in the first two stages, but that’s what you have to do to guarantee you will be there when the money is on the line. We were going for it at the end.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is a doubleheader June 27-28 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The first race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 27 with live coverage provided by FOX. The second race begins at 4 p.m. EDT on Sunday, June 28 with live coverage provided by FS1. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will broadcast both races.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!