Late-Race Incident Spoils Top-Five Run for Bowyer at Dover Clint Bowyer was poised for a second-place finish in Saturday afternoon's Heluva Good! 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, but contact from another competitor during a restart with just...
Late-Race Incident Spoils Top-Five Run for Bowyer at Dover
Clint Bowyer was poised for a second-place finish in Saturday afternoon's Heluva Good! 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, but contact from another competitor during a restart with just three laps remaining caused a red flag, heated tempers and a disappointing 25th-place finish for Richard Childress Racing's No. 21 Zaxby's team.
The less-than-desired result moved car owner Richard Childress down three positions, to 22nd, in the NNS Owners' Point Standings.
Bowyer, the defending NNS race winner at Dover, started the weekend with the quickest time overall among 46 drivers who participated in the weekend's lone practice session on Friday.
During Saturday morning's qualifying session, the Emporia, Kan., native notched a 23.294-second lap around the one-mile oval for a speed of 154.546 mph, earning him a 12th-place starting berth for Saturday afternoon's Heluva Good! 200.
Upon taking the green flag in front of an estimated 33,000 race fans, Bowyer immediately began working his way to the front of the field and the No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet was scored in the fifth position within 30 laps of the start of the race. He was running fourth on lap 33 when crew chief Dan Deeringhoff made the call to pit under caution for four Goodyear tires, a right-rear air pressure adjustment and fuel.
Restarting eighth, it did not take Bowyer long to work his way back into the top five. The team pitted for a second time on lap 82, taking four Goodyear tires and fuel. Restarting the race in the fourth position on lap 86, the 2008 NNS champion moved to second on lap 109, where he would remain for the next 91 circuits.
Bowyer was running second, gaining ground on race leader Kyle Busch and breaking away from third-place contender Denny Hamlin, when the when the caution was displayed on lap 195 of 200 for a turn two incident involving another competitor. The caution set the field up for a green-white-checker finish to the 200-mile race and Bowyer lined the No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet on the inside of the front row, in position for a top-five finish. However, when the green flag dropped, the car restarting behind Bowyer drove into the back of the Zaxby's Chevrolet, causing Bowyer to slam hard into the outside frontstretch wall before spinning in front of the entire field. A nine-car pile-up and an 11 minute, 43 second red flag ensued.
With heavy damage to the Zaxby's Chevrolet, Bowyer drove to pit road, where Deeringhoff and the RCR team assessed damage. Quick work by the team allowed Bowyer to return to the racetrack promptly, but he was unable to finish the race, which was extended six laps past the advertised distance, after NASCAR officials parked him for making contact with another competitor under caution.
Bowyer finished 25th in the final running order, six laps down. Kyle Busch earned his fourth NNS victory of 2010, while Ryan Newman finished second. Jamie McMurray, Reed Sorenson and Jason Leffler rounded out the top five.
The next NASCAR Nationwide Series race is the Tech-Net Auto Service 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 29.
CLINT BOWYER: "I wasn't pleased that my car got torn up but it's the guys on this team that are really struggling. The last two or three months they've been coming home with wrecked race cars and we were finally in a position for a good finish before it was taken away from us."