Bowyer Jumps Three More Positions in Points with Top-10 Finish
Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 BB&T Chevrolet team led 18 laps en route to their fifth straight top 10, finishing sixth in the Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Starting from the third position, the Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet handled great in the beginning of the race. It took Bowyer only 25 laps to grab the lead and earn a valuable bonus championship driver point for the fifth race in a row. Bowyer would continue to run in the top five for a majority of the first half of the 400-lap event. As the race progressed and daytime turned to night at the ¾-mile oval, the No. 33 Chevrolet's grip level deteriorated and Bowyer slid back into the eighth position on the track. Crew chief Shane Wilson and the "Helping Hands" pit crew continued to service the Chevrolet under every pit cycle while making adjustments to the car that would help increase the grip that Bowyer needed to make a run back into the top five. After back-to-back caution-flag periods on laps 280 and 293, Bowyer decided to come down pit road to take four fresh Goodyear tires and Sunoco E15 which put him outside of the top 10 since most competitors didn't pit or only took two fresh tires.
On the ensuing restart while running three-wide in a massive pack of cars, the Emporia Kan., native was collected in a multi-car accident on the RIR backstretch causing moderate, but fixable, damage to both front fenders. Bowyer immediately came down pit road and the crew fixed the damage on the car, getting him out of the pits on the lead lap in 16th with fresh tires and most importantly, a full tank of gas. That accident turned out to be the final yellow-flag period of the race. Over the 86-lap green-flag run to the finish, Bowyer continued to run consistent lap times with the leaders and gained 10 positions while other cars were forced to pit for gas late in the race. He crossed the finish line on lap 400 in the sixth position, moving up three more spots to seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings. He has now gained 17 positions in the last five NSCS races.
CLINT BOWYER QUOTE:
"I'm really happy with the BB&T Chevrolet team's sixth-place effort. Even though we got caught up in one of those typical short-track incidents, the guys never gave up. We led some laps and got out of here (Richmond) seventh in the points."