Darlington Raceway 500
Late-Race Incident Wipes Out Solid Run by No. 33 BB&T Team
We just didn't get the finish we wanted. That's Darlington for ya.
After being involved in an accident with five laps to go, Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 BB&T Chevrolet team finished 31st in the SHOWTIME Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Starting from the 26th position, the Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet climbed up the leaderboard with ease, entering the top 15 by lap 56 and the top 10 by lap 100 where the Emporia, Kan., native would remain for a majority of the 370-lap event. On a lap-176, green-flag pit stop for Goodyear tires and Sunoco E15 fuel, the "Helping Hands" pit crew fired off a fast stop and Bowyer jumped up to fourth, his highest position held during the race. He would remain in the top five until lap 240 when the handling of the No. 33 Chevrolet tightened up, resulting n the loss of a few positions. The Shane Wilson-led crew made proper adjustments under several caution-flag period pit stops to make a final run for Victory Lane in the last 50 laps of the race.
On the last pit stop of the race and with 10 laps to go, Wilson called for four fresh tires while most teams who pitted decided to only take two tires. Bowyer restarted in the 10th position with five laps to go, but was caught up in an accident when he made a move to the inside of turn four to pass two other cars that were battling each other on the outside. While exiting the turn, Bowyer was accidently bumped by RCR teammate Kevin Harvick, sending the No. 33 Chevrolet head-on into the Darlington frontstretch SAFER barrier and effectively ending a top-10 run. Bowyer was credited with a 31st-place finish and now sits ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
CLINT BOWYER QUOTE:
"Sometimes, I hate this place. We had a good car and were making a run towards the front of the field on that last restart with four fresh tires. We just got caught up in someone else's mess and ended with a DNF. I am really proud of this team and we had a solid car that was in the top 10 for most of the night. We just didn't get the finish we wanted. That's Darlington for ya."