Bowyer Finishes 12th Under the Lights at Richmond RICHMOND, Va. -- Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 BB&T Chevrolet team earned their seventh top-15 finish of the 2010 season with a 12th-place result in Saturday night's Crown Royal presents the Heath...
Bowyer Finishes 12th Under the Lights at Richmond
RICHMOND, Va. -- Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 BB&T Chevrolet team earned their seventh top-15 finish of the 2010 season with a 12th-place result in Saturday night's Crown Royal presents the Heath Calhoun 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
The Emporia, Kan., native drops one position, to 12th, in the NSCS championship standings following the 300-mile event and sits 254 markers behind point leader and Richard Childress Racing teammate Kevin Harvick.
The Shane Wilson-led No. 33 team kicked off the weekend by posting the second-fastest time in Friday's opening practice session. Later that evening, Bowyer ended final practice 16th and qualified his burgundy, white and gold colored Chevrolet 10th.
On Saturday, the former Richmond race winner was a mainstay in the top 15 for 399 of the 400 laps contested. Bowyer proved the strength of his Earnhardt-Childress Engine-powered machine early on, settling comfortably in the top-five by lap 50. He worked his way into fourth 53 laps later.
A lap 155-caution brought the leaders down pit road and Wilson elected to take on right-side Goodyear Eagles. The decision allowed Bowyer to restart second two laps later, but two tires were no match against the four fresh tires of the other competitors. The No. 33 Chevy faded to ninth over the next 11 circuits around the three-quarter mile oval before debris forced NASCAR to display the event's third yellow flag.
After taking on four tires and fuel, Bowyer restarted ninth on lap 175. A long, 192-lap green flag run ensued and Bowyer raced between the 11th and sixth positions. A single-car spin on lap 367 brought out the race's fourth caution with the 30-year-old driver scored 11th.
Racing resumed on lap 377, but Bowyer encountered a tight-handling condition as he dropped to as low as 15th over the next 33 laps of competition. However, two back-to-back cautions, on laps 381 and 390, allowed for Wilson and the No. 33 over-the-wall crew to pit and make final adjustments to improve their Chevrolet's handling woes.
The field took the final restart on lap 395 with the No. 33 Chevy scored 14th. Bowyer picked off two positions over the next four laps and engaged in a spirited battle for 10th place with Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin. The three drivers crossed the finish line three-wide with Bowyer crossing the stripe in 12th.
Kyle Busch scored his first victory of the season, beating Jeff Gordon to the checkered flag by 0.755 seconds. Bowyer's RCR teammates Harvick and Jeff Burton finished third and fourth, respectively, while Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five finishers.
Next weekend, NASCAR's senior circuit will head to the track "Too Tough to Tame."
CLINT BOWYER: "The entire No. 33 BB&T team did a great job this weekend, but it wasn't the finish we wanted. Our Chevrolet was really fast during the practice sessions, but I messed up our qualifying lap by getting to the gas and getting sideways coming off Turn Four. We ran well early on during the race and had hopes of a top-five finish, but we struggled to find the right balance as the race wore on. I have to give it to Shane Wilson and the guys on this No. 33 team. They never gave up, kept adjusting on our car and we ended up with a solid point day."