Clint Bowyer: “We can’t run lap-after-lap with no cautions"

A visual inspection of Richmond (Va.) Raceway was all that was needed Saturday night to confirm several NASCAR drivers’ concerns about the tire used this weekend.

Clint Bowyer: “We can’t run lap-after-lap with no cautions"

Over the course of three days, NASCAR ran a 250-lap Truck race, a pair of 250-lap Xfinity Series races and a 400-lap Cup race.

That’s 862.5 miles of racing on the ¾-mile track and afterwards one would be hard-pressed to see where the track had changed color. In other words, no rubber wore off the tires and on to the surface.

Three of the four races run over the weekend saw the entire final stage remain green. Saturday night’s Cup race had just three cautions – two for the end of stages and a planned NASCAR competition caution early in the race.

Bowyer critical of tire

There was not a single on-track incident during the race on what is nicknamed “The Action Track.”

“I think something is not meshing with the track. You look out there on the race track and all night long it’s had a lot of racing on it this weekend and it looks like a highway out there,” Bowyer said.

“It wasn’t putting any rubber down on the track and they’ve got to do a better job of that. That’s unacceptable as far as I’m concerned. I’m a fan of this sport and we’re going to ask fans to come back one of these days and we’ve got to put a better show on than that.

“We can’t have it run lap after lap after lap with no cautions. Something’s got to change there and the first thing I’d change if I owned it would be the tire.”

Read Also:

Martin Truex Jr., who won both Richmond races last season, managed to finish a distant second to winner Brad Keselowski but felt the change in tire this season is what hampered his team’s ability to perform better.

“It didn’t lay really any rubber down on the race track like we’ve seen here in the past, and I think that changed things up quite a bit, especially for us, obviously,” Truex said.

“I was surprised with how bad my car felt that I was still able to run second. I don’t know, I liked the old (tire) better, but I guess it depends on who you ask.”

Part of the concern Saturday night came in part because the tire used at Richmond and the aero-package are the same that will be used in the championship race at Phoenix in November.

Denny Hamlin, who rallied to finish 12th after a mid-race pit road speeding penalty, was asked if his experience Saturday night with the tire gave him hesitation about the title race.

“Well, the surface is so different. We run the same tire (as Phoenix), but there really should be two different tires,” he said. “This track’s surface is a lot different than Phoenix’s surface, so I think they were just trying to get a little more common for every race track.

“I wouldn’t put a huge merit into this one. The surface at (New Hampshire) more represents what we will have in Phoenix.”

Tire mangement 

Compared to the tire run at Richmond last season, this race’s tire set-up featured compound changes on both sides and a construction update on the left-side.

According to Goodyear, the compound changes were intended to give the cars more grip.

“We are sliding around a lot, but because we’re sliding around so much, it’s kind of expected every lap that you’re going to slide around,” driver William Byron said.

“Everyone in the field did a good enough job to manage that and you’re not going to see a lot of cautions when everyone kind of knows that grip is low and you’re just out there racing your car.

“You can’t really battle anybody for position that hard because you’re that low on grip.”

shares
comments

Related video

Brad Keselowski tops Truex in dominant Richmond Cup win

Previous article

Brad Keselowski tops Truex in dominant Richmond Cup win

Next article

Austin Dillon's message to skeptics: "Keep doubting us"

Austin Dillon's message to skeptics: "Keep doubting us"
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Richmond
Author Jim Utter
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020