Bowyer: Passing Was Extremely Hard

Clint Bowyer

Date: July 12, 2020

Event: Kentucky 400 (Round 17 of 36)

Series: NASCAR Cup Series

Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)

Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)

Start/Finish: 15th/14th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)

Point Standing: 13th with 435 points, 240 out of first

Race Winner:      Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner:  Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner:  Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

● Clint Bowyer started 15th and finished ninth to earn two bonus points.

● The No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang raced in 16th when the competition caution flew at lap 25.  

● Bowyer restarted in 14th and climbed to ninth by lap 33.

● Bowyer held his position through the end of the stage as all cars struggled to pass on the 1.5-mile oval.

● During the stage break, Bowyer pitted from ninth for four tires and fuel, but no major handling changes.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81 -160):

● Bowyer started seventh and finished 13th.

● The No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang raced between seventh and ninth-place for most of the stage.

● Bowyer pitted under green for four tires and fuel with 11 laps left in the stage, but a caution after he pitted cost him several spots.  

● The stage restarted after a caution with only one lap remaining and Bowyer in 13th.

● During the stage break, Bowyer stayed on the track and moved to ninth.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):

● Bowyer started ninth and finished 14th.

● Bowyer narrowly avoided disaster at the start of the stage when Kyle Busch brushed the wall a few car lengths in front of him.  

● The No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang was as quick as any driver in clean air moving to seventh with 69 to go and fifth with 58 to go.

● Bowyer made a routine pit stop under green with 45 to go, but another caution flew with 38 to go dropping him off the lead lap.

● Bowyer took the free pass and returned to the lead lap in 12th when the race restarted with 31 laps remaining.

● After two quick cautions, the race restarted with 14 laps remaining and Bowyer in 10th.

● Amid four-wide racing, Bowyer suffered damage and dropped to 11th before another caution forced a two-lap shootout.

● In the final two laps, Bowyer held on to finish 14th.

Notes:

●  This was Bowyer’s second straight top-15 at Kentucky. He finished sixth in last year’s race.

●  Since joining SHR in 2017, Bowyer has never finished outside the top-15 at Kentucky.

●  Cole Custer’s margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr., was .271 of a second.

●  There were eight caution periods for a total of 42 laps.

●  Twenty-six of the 38 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

●  Kevin Harvick remains the championship leader after Kentucky with an 88-point advantage over second-place Brad Keselowski.

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“Our One Cure Ford Mustang was really fast today, but passing was so hard for everyone. We were sailing there at the end and figured we were top-five at least, but a caution after we pitted hurt us again. We got some damage before the finish so we were kind of hanging on. My guys gave me a great car today. They are working hard and I appreciate what they are doing. We are going to get the results soon. Congratulations to Cole (Custer), Gene (Haas) and SHR for winning the race. That was cool.”

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the non-points NASCAR All-Star Race on Wednesday, July 15 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 8:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio beginning at 7 p.m. with the undercard NASCAR All-Star Open.

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

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