Date: Sept. 12, 2020
Event: Federated Auto Parts 400 (Round 28 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/155 laps/165 laps)
Start/Finish: 11th/10th (Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
Point Standing: 12th with 2,061 points (3 points ahead of top-12 cutoff)
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Clint Bowyer started 11th and finished 10th earning one bonus point.
● The No. 14 Ford Performance Racing School Mustang moved to eighth before the lap-30 competition caution.
● Bowyer drove by William Byron for seventh on lap 62, but fell back to 10th on the final laps of the stage.
● Bowyer told the crew he was “dead in the water” on the final laps of the stage.
● During the stage break, Bowyer pitted for four tires and more handling adjustments.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-235):
● Bowyer started ninth and finished 15th.
● Bowyer fell to 11th by the lap-115 mark and 14th by the lap-125 mark still struggling with handling issues.
● The No. 14 Ford Performance Racing School Mustang made a routine green-flag stop on lap 154.
● Bowyer climbed to 11th by the lap-211 mark.
● The No. 14 faded to 15th in the final laps, but fought hard to stay on the lead lap just ahead of the leader.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 236-400):
● Bowyer started 15th and finished 10th.
● The No. 14 Ford Performance Racing School Mustang moved to 11th with 125 to go.
● Bowyer told his crew if he could “turn a little better” he would be good.
● Bowyer made routine green-flag stops from 11th with 107 laps remaining and ninth with 55 laps remaining.
● Bowyer drove by Kurt Busch for 10th-place with 27 to go.
● Bowyer turned some of his best laps of the race in the closing stint.
● Bowyer earned his ninth top-10 of the season and his 17th top-10 in 29 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond.
● This was Bowyer’s fifth straight top-10 at Richmond. He finished eighth in the series’ previous race at Richmond last September.
● This was Bowyer’s second straight top-10. He finished 10th in the series’ last race at Darlington.
● Brad Keselowski won the Federated Auto Parts 400 to score his 34th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fourth of the season and his second at Richmond. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr., was 1.568 seconds.
● This was Ford’s series-leading 16th NASCAR Cup Series win of the season and its 702nd all-time Cup Series victory.
● This was Ford’s 33rd NASCAR Cup Series victory at Richmond. Ford’s previous win at the track came with Joey Logano in April 2017. Its first Richmond win came on May 5, 1957 with Paul Goldsmith.
● There were three caution periods for a total of 21 laps.
● Only 11 of the 38 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Kevin Harvick remains the championship leader after Richmond with a 21-point advantage over second-place Denny Hamlin.
Playoff Standings (with one race to go before Round of 12):
- Kevin Harvick (2,143 points) 1 win
- Brad Keselowski (2,112 points) 1 win
- Denny Hamlin (2,122 points) +64 points
- Joey Logano (2,109 points) +51 points
- Martin Truex Jr. (2,096 points) +38 points
- Austin Dillon (2,094 points) +36 points
- Chase Elliott (2,086 points) +28 points
- Alex Bowman (2,085 points) +27 points
- Kyle Busch (2,076 points) +18 points
- Aric Almirola (2,065 points) +7 points
- Kurt Busch (2,065 points) +7 points
- Clint Bowyer (2,061 points) +3 points
- William Byron (2,058 points) -3 points
- Cole Custer (2,053 points) -8 points
- Matt DiBenedetto (2,036 points) -25 points
- Ryan Blaney (2,034 points) -27 points
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Ford Performance Racing School Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Man, I thought we would be a click better than that tonight. It was a battle. We made a lot of changes and kept working on it. We are three points up going to Bristol. We need to go there and perform. We can do it. That’s going to be a heck of a show Saturday night.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday, Sept. 19 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. It is the third race of the 10-race playoffs and the last race in the Round of 16. It starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!