Bowyer Brings RCR's Zaxby's Chevrolet to Sixth-place Finish in NNS at DIS DAYTONA, Florida (July 2, 2010) -- Clint Bowyer drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet to a sixth-place finish in Friday night's Subway Jalapeno 250 ...
Bowyer Brings RCR's Zaxby's Chevrolet to Sixth-place Finish in NNS at DIS
DAYTONA, Florida (July 2, 2010) -- Clint Bowyer drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet to a sixth-place finish in Friday night's Subway Jalapeno 250 powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
Car owner Richard Childress remains 14th in the NNS Owners' Point Standings, 33 markers in arrears to Michael Waltrip in 13th.
The Daytona race weekend marked the debut of the NNS new car, a revised chassis based off of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Car of Tomorrow designed to promote safety, cost containment for race teams and better brand identity for the NNS as a whole. Armed with a brand new Chevrolet Impala built in-house by the Zaxby's team, RCR crew members went to work beginning on Tuesday making the car race ready for Bowyer.
On Wednesday, Bowyer's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teammate, Kevin Harvick, made several laps in the No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet, posting a 49.889 second lap around the 2.5-mile superspeedway at a speed of 180.400 mph, good enough for 21st on the charts. Bowyer made his first laps of the weekend in the No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet on Thursday.
During the first of two scheduled practice sessions on Thursday, Bowyer was able to record the 13th-fastest time before sliding through the grass to avoid an on-track incident just ahead of him on the race track. The Zaxby's team spent the remainder of Thursday's first practice session making repairs to the front end and left rear of the No. 21 Chevrolet and the car was good to go for final practice, where Bowyer was eighth fastest.
Bowyer had an early draw for qualifying on Friday afternoon and, as a result, held the provisional pole after posting a 49.659 second/181.236 mph lap before fading to 13th on the starting grid.
Starting on the inside of row seven for Friday night's 100 lap/250-miler, Bowyer worked with spotter Mike Dillon to take the inside line at the start of the race and was able to position the Zaxby's Chevrolet into sixth before the first of four cautions.
Bowyer continued his move forward when green flag racing resumed on lap 12 and the 2008 NNS champion was scored as the race leader from laps 16 through 26 before a strong group of cars drafted together on the high side of the race track to overtake the lead on lap 27, dropping Bowyer to third in the running order.
Throughout the early stages of the race, Bowyer reported to the Zaxby's team that the No. 21 Chevrolet was tight in the center of the corner so, when the caution flag was displayed on lap 33, it afforded crew chief Gere Kennon the opportunity to bring the RCR entry down pit road for four Goodyear tires, fuel, air pressure and chassis adjustments.
Restarting the race in 11th position on lap 36, the No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet felt good for approximately five laps before tight conditions returned. However, the Emporia, Kans., native was able to work his way around the race track in the draft, using both the high and low lines around the 2.5-mile track to advance positions, and was back in the lead on lap 42 before dropping to fourth on lap 48.
The No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet remained tight and Bowyer continued to drop in the field. He was running 10th when the caution flag was displayed on lap 71 and the team attempted to fix the ill-handling chassis with another round of adjustments on pit road.
Green-flag racing resumed with just 26 laps remaining in the Subway Jalapeno 250 powered by Coca-Cola and Bowyer did what he could to advance positions on the race track, moving up to fifth as the field settled into single-file racing, however, it was not long before the No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet again became tight.
The fourth and final caution of the race was displayed on lap 97 and Bowyer & Co. decided to make one more trip down pit road to take on four Goodyear tires and another chassis adjustment, positioning Bowyer in 14th position for a green-white-checker shootout that extended the race two laps past the advertised distance.
On the restart, Bowyer took the high line and stayed steady as the field scrambled around him to post a sixth-place finish in the No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet.
In a joint effort between JR Motorsports, RCR and DEI, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., drove a No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet fielded by Richard Childress to an emotional victory in honor of his father, the late Dale Earnhardt. Joey Logano finished second, followed by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick.
The next NASCAR Nationwide Series race is the Dollar General 300 powered by Coca-cola at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, July 9.
"The Zaxby's Chevrolet was fast so the guys did a great job on this new car. However, we need to work on the handling so that we can contend for the win the next time we come to Daytona. Overall, it was a good night."