Bowyer, Helping Hands Team Rally for Top-15 Finish in Kansas In front of his hometown fans, Clint Bowyer and the Cheerios/Hamburger Helper team overcame going a lap down to the leader due to an extremely loose-handling condition and rebounded to...
Bowyer, Helping Hands Team Rally for Top-15 Finish in Kansas
In front of his hometown fans, Clint Bowyer and the Cheerios/Hamburger Helper team overcame going a lap down to the leader due to an extremely loose-handling condition and rebounded to score his 19th top-15 finish of the season.
Although the come-back finish kept the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing team 12th in the championship point standings, they now sit 125 markers in arrears to cracking the top 10 with seven races remaining in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
After only being able to muster a lap good enough to line himself up on the inside of row 14 for Sunday's 400-mile event, the Shane Wilson-led crew used every second of Saturday's dual practice sessions, and when it was all said and done, they found themselves 11th and ninth fastest, respectively, on the board, hoping to put on a good show at Bowyer's home track.
It became abundantly clear at the drop of the green flag that the handling on the red and yellow machine gave the Emporia, Kan., native a run for his money as the condition resulted in the loss of several positions. A pit stop under the lap-40 caution period provided an opportunity for adjustments, and a two-tire pit stop for track position under another slowdown 11 laps later didn't help remedy the loose-handling No. 33 Chevrolet.
Just prior to the halfway mark, Bowyer fell as far back as 34th and, soon after, lost a lap to the leader.
Even though things weren't going the way the Helping Hands team had hoped, they collectively kept their chins high and made vast adjustments to the way-ward machine during two cautions that were displayed at laps 152 and 164, running as high as 26th.
A timely caution after the ensuing 23 circuits allowed the three-time Sprint Cup Series race winner to return to the lead lap by way of the Lucky Dog rule. Bowyer's veteran crew chief called for continuous adjustments during the final slowdown of the day and the RCR driver's over-the-wall crew returned him to action 22nd in the running order with 73 laps remaining. Bowyer buckled down and focused on making the most out of his day, moving into 20th at lap 200, 17th at lap 217 and into 15th at lap 248, where he would hold onto the top-15 spot over the final 20 trips around the Kansas City facility before the checkered flag waved.
Greg Biffle crossed the finish line ahead of Johnson and RCR teammate Kevin Harvick, while Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top-five finishers.
Fellow RCR stablemate Jeff Burton finished 18th.
Bowyer and Company travel to the Golden State next weekend for the second and final trip to Fontana, Calif. on the 2010 schedule.
CLINT BOWYER: "We fought the handling on the Cheerios / Hamburger Helper Chevrolet most of the day. I'm proud of my guys for working every single pit stop to make it better. A top-15 finish isn't exactly what I had hoped for, but we'll take it and look forward to a strong run at Fontana next weekend."