Bowyer Winds Up 12th in Wild Talladega Finish TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Clint Bowyer was able to overcome an incident that limited his time on-track in Friday's dual practice sessions and then managed to avoid two multi-car incidents in Sunday's...
Bowyer Winds Up 12th in Wild Talladega Finish
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Clint Bowyer was able to overcome an incident that limited his time on-track in Friday's dual practice sessions and then managed to avoid two multi-car incidents in Sunday's 500-mile race at Talladega Superspeedway to bring home a 12th-place finish.
Bowyer maintains the 15th position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with just three races remaining in the 2009 season.
Early in Friday's first practice session, Bowyer was involved in a multi-car incident that resulted in the BB&T Chevrolet spinning into the infield grass before coming to a rest on the apron of the 2.66-mile superspeedway. In addition to a crumpled left rear quarter panel, the frame of the Richard Childress Racing Impala SS sustained heavy damage that resulted in major repair work for the No. 33 team. The lengthy fix resulted in the team spending several hours in the garage area but, fortunately, Bowyer was able to take part in the afternoon's final practice session, recording the fastest lap time.
Heavy rain showers fell Saturday morning, forcing NASCAR to cancel qualifying for the sixth time in 2009, setting the starting lineup according to the rule book and placing the BB&T Chevrolet 15th on the starting grid.
Wanting to play it safe, the Emporia, Kan., native dropped to the rear of the field almost immediately after the green flag was displayed. Seeing drivers towards the front of the field racing three- and four-wide evoked memories of the spring event where he was collected in a multi-car incident on just the seventh lap of the event. The cautious approach would pay off for Bowyer later in the day as the event continued to unfold.
Bowyer continued to play it safe, waiting until the latter stages of the 188-lap race to make his calculated move to the front of the field. With a strong BB&T Chevrolet underneath him, Bowyer advanced as far as fourth at lap 170. As the draft jockeyed his position lap after lap, the two-time Sprint Cup Series winner fell to 14th when the red flag was displayed following a multi-car incident that resulted in Ryan Newman landing on the roof of his No. 39 Chevrolet.
When the drivers were given the command to re-fire their engines, Bowyer reported that he had no fuel pressure. Thanks to a push-start from teammate Kevin Harvick, Bowyer was able to get his Chevrolet re-fired. Crew chief Shane Wilson made the call to change four tires and fill the fuel cell to give Bowyer the chance he needed at victory. Once the race restarted, Bowyer quickly took advantage of other competitors running out of fuel, allowing him to advance to the 12th position when a final multi-car incident saw the field take the checkered flag under yellow-flag conditions.
Jamie McMurray snapped an 86-race winless streak to capture his first victory since July 2007. Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, Greg Biffle and RCR teammate Jeff Burton rounded out the top-five finishers.
Bowyer's other RCR teammates Harvick and Casey Mears finished 21st and 25th, respectively, after being caught up in separate incidents.
The stars of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series will be big and bright next weekend as the premier division in American motorsports heads for the Lone Star State.
"That was a pretty crazy ending. The BB&T team overcame a lot of odds this weekend. I can't thank the guys enough for all of their hard work. We should have unloaded a backup car after crashing on Friday, but they worked their tails off to get this thing fixed. The last 10 laps or so were pretty crazy. That's a product of restrictor-plate racing. After our run at Charlotte a few weeks ago, I'm really excited to get to Texas next week. Can't wait to get there and try to get a cowboy hat."