Disappointing Finish Caps Frustrating Week for Bowyer and Crew Clint Bowyer and the No.33 BB&T team looked to overcome a difficult week of defending their first win of the season and in turn, their integrity, by posting a strong finish in the...
Disappointing Finish Caps Frustrating Week for Bowyer and Crew
Clint Bowyer and the No.33 BB&T team looked to overcome a difficult week of defending their first win of the season and in turn, their integrity, by posting a strong finish in the AAA 400 on Sunday from Dover International Speedway. Instead, a brush with the wall prior to the halfway mark relegated the team to a 25th-place finish at The Monster Mile.
With eight races remaining in the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup Series championship, Bowyer is listed in the 12th position and 73 points out of the top 10.
The race weekend opened on Friday with Bowyer meeting with the media and answering questions regarding the penalty assessed on the No. 33 team for their Chevrolet being out of the NASCAR tolerance levels following their race win last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Emporia, Kan., native not only defended himself, but his team and the entire Richard Childress Racing organization. RCR is scheduled to present their formal appeal of the New Hampshire penalty to the NASCAR Appeals committee on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 29.
Finally able to get down to the task at hand, Bowyer hit the track in the No. 33 BB&T Chevrolet for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series opening practice and by the end of the 90-minute session was listed fourth on the speed charts. A tight-handling Chevrolet during qualifying later that afternoon lined up the burgundy and white BB&T machine 24th for Sunday's main event.
Saturday's dual practices allowed the No. 33 squad to really dial in the handling on the RCR Chevrolet and, in turn, Bowyer posted the seventh-and second-quickest times on the practice charts, respectively.
Bowyer took the green flag on Sunday on the outside of row 12 and in front of an estimated crowd of 88,000 at Dover International Speedway. The No. 33 BB&T Chevrolet took off at the start with Bowyer picking off five positions by lap eight.
By the time the first caution flew on lap 38, the three-time NSCS winner began experiencing a loose-handling condition on his No. 33 machine and relayed the information to crew chief Shane Wilson. Slight chassis and air pressure adjustments accompanied the four fresh tires and fuel during the ensuing pit stop.
The adjustments worked and the burgundy and white machine's driver once again went to work to pick off positions on the track, moving into the 15th position by lap 46. A long green-flag run followed with Bowyer maintaining his position in the top15 through the green-flag pit stop sequence.
Just after their second pit stop of the day, Bowyer let Wilson know the loose condition had returned on the BB&T Chevy, making it difficult to get in the gas off the corners. On lap 152, the loose condition stung Bowyer when the No. 33 Chevy bounced off the wall in turn two.
Though the original diagnosis looked fine, concern of a flat tire required Wilson to summon Bowyer to pit road on lap 176 for fresh tires under green-flag conditions. Unfortunately, miscommunication within the team also resulted in a pit road speeding penalty as well, relegating the No. 33 BB&T Chevrolet to the 31st position and three laps down to the leaders.
The remaining circuits in the 400-lap event were spent trying to salvage the best finish possible for the No. 33 team. In the end, Bowyer crossed the finish line disappointed in the 25th position.
Jimmie Johnson scored the victory from the pole, and he was followed by Bowyer's RCR teammate, Jeff Burton. Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five finishers. Fellow RCR teammate Kevin Harvick finished 15th.
Next weekend, Bowyer and the No. 33 team head to Kansas City, Kan. for the third event in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
CLINT BOWYER: "It was not at all the finish we were looking for with the BB&T Chevrolet. We were really loose on that run and I messed up and got us in the wall off turn two. We fought back for all we could get but we're really disappointed in that finish. This team doesn't give up and we're looking forward to getting back home to Kansas next week."