Bowyer Finishes 11th in NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Phoenix AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 9, 2010) -- Making his first NASCAR Nationwide Series appearance since November 2009, former series champion Clint Bowyer drove Richard Childress Racing's...
Bowyer Finishes 11th in NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Phoenix
AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 9, 2010) -- Making his first NASCAR Nationwide Series appearance since November 2009, former series champion Clint Bowyer drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet to an 11th-place finish in Friday night's Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Car owner Richard Childress is now 15th in the NNS Owner's Point Standings, trailing the 14th position by just five markers.
Substituting for primary driver John Wes Townley, Bowyer qualified the Zaxby's Chevrolet 21st and started the 200-lap race on the inside of row 11. Bowyer, a fulltime driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for RCR, was determined to move to the front of the field in Friday's NNS race but the task proved difficult due to the challenges of a loose racecar, mechanical problems and a late-race incident.
Although reporting of a loose racecar as the sun set over the Avondale, Ariz., short track, Bowyer was running solidly in the top-15 when the Zaxby's Chevrolet stalled in turn four on lap 33. Crew Chief Dan Deeringhoff quickly assessed the situation and guided Bowyer down pit road, where the RCR crew switched batteries on the No. 21 Chevrolet and serviced the car with fuel, four fresh Goodyear tires and a right-rear air pressure adjustment. Bowyer restarted the race one lap down, in the 40th position.
The Emporia, Kan., native worked his way into position to earn NASCAR's Lucky Dog Award following a lap 113 caution period. After making the third of six pit stops, Bowyer restarted the race 22nd and started picking his way through the lead lap cars.
He had made his way up to 18th in the 43-car field but was one of ten cars to fall victim to a rough restart on lap 138 of 200, resulting in a nine minute, 36 second red flag. The chain-reaction incident caused damage to both the left-front side of the Zaxby's Chevrolet and the bumper. However, two efficient pit stops allowed Bowyer to restart the race 17th, still on the lead lap.
As the laps wound down, Bowyer slowly picked off cars, gaining position on the race track. He was running 13th when the final caution flag was displayed with just 14 laps remaining. Bowyer made the call to pit and take on four fresh Goodyear tires. Quick work by the Zaxby's Team allowed Bowyer to restart 12th when the race resumed on lap 192. He crossed the checkers in the 11th position.
Kyle Busch earned his second victory of the NNS season, finishing ahead of Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Brendan Gaughan and Greg Biffle.
The next NASCAR Nationwide Series race is the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 17, 2010. Flag-to-flag coverage of the O'Reilly 300 will be televised live beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on ESPN2. The race will also be broadcast on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio beginning at 3 p.m. EDT.
"It felt great to be back racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for a weekend. We faced some challenges throughout the race, but Dan [Deeringhoff] and the guys really worked hard to allow me to gain some positions late in the race. We could have went either way during that last caution with stopping for fresh tires or staying out and taking our chances, but I knew that without tires I wouldn't have anything for the other competitors. I wish we could have finished in the top 10."