DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 7, 2010) -- An early-race incident relegated Clint Bowyer and Richard Childress Racing's No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet to a 39th-place finish in Friday night's Royal Purple 200 presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts NASCAR Nationwide ...
DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 7, 2010) -- An early-race incident relegated Clint Bowyer and Richard Childress Racing's No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet to a 39th-place finish in Friday night's Royal Purple 200 presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Darlington Raceway.
The finish moved car owner Richard Childress down four positions, to 19th, in the 2010 NNS owner's point standings.
Bowyer kicked off the Darlington race weekend on a positive note by posting the sixth-fastest time amongst 46 drivers who participated in a three-hour practice session on Friday morning.
During qualifying later that afternoon, the Emporia, Kan., native circled the 1.366-mile speedway in 28.289 seconds for a speed of 173.834 mph, placing him 10th on the starting grid for Friday night's 200 miler.
Starting on the outside of row five, Bowyer took the high line around the historic, Darlington, South Carolina-based short track. He was running competitively in the top ten when he brushed the outside wall on lap 15 of 147, acquiring a famous "Darlington Stripe."
The contact caused a tire rub and Bowyer immediately indicated to his team that a tire was going down. Dropping rapidly in the running order, spotter Rocky Ryan guided Bowyer around the track as the team waited for a caution so that they could service the Zaxby's Chevrolet.
Unfortunately, the tire blew on lap 27 before the team could pit, sending Bowyer hard into the turn three wall and bringing out the first of nine cautions.
With severe damage to the No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet, crew chief Dan Deeringhoff advised Bowyer to retire to the garage area, where the crew immediately began working on the battered racecar.
Bowyer was able to return to the track in the late stages of the race before making the assessment that the car was not drive-able. He finished 39th in the final running order, 111 laps down.
Denny Hamlin earned his first NNS victory of 2010, holding off teammate and second-place finisher Kyle Busch. Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne and Jason Leffler rounded out the top five.
CLINT BOWYER: "I knew we had a tire going down so we were running a conservative line around the racetrack hoping for a caution. Unfortunately, we didn't get what we were looking for and ended up in the wall before we could service the Zaxby's Chevrolet. I hate it for all of the guys on this team. They worked so hard to try and get the car back out on the racetrack, but we ran out of time to make the car competitive."