Broken Rear Part Results in 32nd-Place Finish at The Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Clint Bowyer came to Watkins Glen International looking to increase the point margin he had over Mark Martin, however, with 31 laps remaining in the 90-lap Heluva ...
Broken Rear Part Results in 32nd-Place Finish at The Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Clint Bowyer came to Watkins Glen International looking to increase the point margin he had over Mark Martin, however, with 31 laps remaining in the 90-lap Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen, the rear-truck arm mounts snapped on the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet while it was running 16th. Although the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing team never gave up, they were unable to get back on the lead lap and finished a less-than-desired 32nd. The unfortunate result drops Bowyer to 13th, 10 markers behind Martin in 12th, with four races remaining before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field is set.
The Shane Wilson-led team began the weekend by posting the 14th- and 12th-fastest speeds, respectively, during Friday's dual practice sessions. The following morning, Bowyer qualified his No. 33 machine 34th. Even though the No. 33 team was going to start toward the rear of the field, they were confident in their race set up for Sunday's race.
Approximately 90,000 race fans packed the upstate New York road course as the green flag dropped shortly after 1 p.m. local time. In the opening 17 laps, despite battling a loose-handling condition, Bowyer was able to pick off 10 cars and was running 24th when green-flag pit stops began.
Wilson called his driver to pit road on lap 26 for a four tire and fuel pit stop, which included an air pressure adjustment and the removal of a spring rubber to help the No. 33 Chevrolet's balance. Bowyer returned to the track in 25th, but racing action was slowed for the event's first caution two laps later. The two-time NSCS race winner stayed out with the rest of the leaders and took the green-flag restart on lap 30.
The Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Impala came to life as Bowyer charged his way into the top 20 over the next 10 laps. He was scored 16th as the field was slowed for a two-car accident on lap 41. Once again, Bowyer stayed on track with the competitors ahead of him and restarted 16th four laps later.
As racing action continued, Bowyer felt that something was wrong on his No. 33 Chevrolet. He brought his car to the attention of his crew on lap 56 in hopes they would find the issue during a four tire and fuel pit stop. The Helping Hands pit crew could not see any immediate broken parts and sent their driver back on track. The unknown problem only worsened for Bowyer over the next three laps until he brought his race car to the garage for repairs.
The No. 33 team sprang into action and quickly found that the rear truck arm mounts had snapped completely away from the chassis. As they began welding the truck arms back in place, a lucky caution flag on lap 63 limited the amount of time they were losing on the track. Fast repair work put Bowyer back on the track just as the field took the green flag on lap 64. Although he was scored three laps down, he was the only car in contention for the Lucky Dog award.
Two back-to-back cautions, on laps 66 and 70, allowed the Cheerios Racing driver to gain two of his laps back by way of the wave-around rule. Now, all Bowyer & Company needed was one final caution to get themselves back on the lead lap as the field took the restart on lap 74. Unfortunately, the yellow flag never came for the No. 33 team who crossed the finish line a disappointing 32nd.
Juan Pablo Montoya earned the victory, beating Kurt Busch to the start/finish line by 4.735 seconds. Marcos Ambrose, A.J. Allmendinger and Carl Edwards rounded out the rest of the top-five finishers. Bowyer's RCR teammates Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick finished ninth and 11th, respectively.
Next weekend, NASCAR senior circuit heads to the Irish Hills of Michigan for its second and final stop at Michigan International Speedway.
ESPN's live coverage of the CARFAX 400 will begin Sunday, August 15, at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
Clint Bowyer Quote:
"It was a frustrating day for the entire No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet team. We had a great run going and it seemed like we were going to make a big gain in the points. Then, the truck arm mounts broke and I thought our day was done. The guys did a great job welding it back together and got us back out there. If we had another caution, I think we could have turned this into a better day. It's a big hit for us in the points, but we need to focus on Michigan and gain the points we lost here today."