Not the Vegas finish Bowyer was looking for.
Penzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nevada
Sunday, February 23, 2020
80-80-107= 200 laps
Rain? I mean rain? In the dessert? This is Las Vegas WHY? Oh yeah, the Nascar race was scheduled. Mother Nature had other plans for qualifying, canceling the event due to rain. Drivers would start due to owners’ points. Clint Bowyer would line up in the 9th position, in his No.14 Blue DEF, Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing. The fuel mileage would be around 54 laps. A competition caution would happen on lap 25, teams could not take fuel until then.
It would not take long for the 1st caution to fly, a matter of fact it was at the start of the green flag, the No.96 of Daniel Suarez would stall out on the restart and need a push. The race would get started under the green flag on lap 5. By lap 10 Bowyer informed his team that his car was not turning well. He had started slipping back to the 11th position.
The 2nd caution flag flew at lap 25 signaling the competition caution. Bowyer would hit pit road from the 10th position for four tires, and adjustments to help the car. He would return to the track ready for the lap 31 restart in the 7th position. As the run progress’s Bowyer asked what the team did to the car on the last pit stop, he was answered with only an air adjustment. On the next stop, the team would try a wedge adjustment. He was scored back around the 14th position.
Lap 80 would bring about out the 3rd caution signaling the end of round 1. Bowyer would be scored in the 18th position. Under caution, he would bring the No.14 down pit road for some wholesale changes attempting to help the handling of the car, returning to the track in the 16th position ready for lap 88 race restart. By lap 106 he would fall back to the 20th position still battling an ill-handling race car. Green flag pit stops would begin around lap 120 with Bowyer pitting on lap 122, making adjustments continuing to help the car.
John Hunter Nemechek in the No.38 car having problems on lap 159 would bring out the 4th caution. This would also end Stage 2 under caution as the stage would end at lap 160. Bowyer would still be scored in the 16th position. His team would administer a quick pit stop gaining their driver four spots on pit road. Bowyer would be ready for the lap 167 restart from the 12th position.
Martin Truex Jr in the No.19 car cutting a tire down, and hitting the wall, would bring out the 5th caution on lap 177. Bowyer would pit from the 13th position for four tires and fuel, informing the crew his car was now too tight. With 50 laps remaining in the race Bowyer would hit pit road under green flag conditions for four tires and fuel, he would tell his crew that the front end of his car was not working, and he needed it to work.
Chase Elliott’s No.9 car brought out the 6th caution, as he cut down a tire with 47 laps remaining in the race. The No.6 car of Ross Chastain filling in for Ryan Newman would spin with 6 laps remaining in the race, causing a 2 laps shoot-out to the checkered flag.
Bowyer would finish in the 12th position.
Race Winner Joey Logano.
A quote from Bowyer's, Stewart-Haas Racing, post-race report: “That was a long day for us. We just couldn’t get our front end to work like we wanted it to work. Our car did not want to roll the middle today. We’ll be better in Fontana next week.”
Hard Fought 6th Place Finish
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
Sunday, February, 16th 2020
65,65,70 = 200 laps, 500 miles.
Clint Bowyer qualified in the 25th position for Sunday’s Daytona 500, in the No.14 Rush Truck Centers/ Mobil 1 Ford Mustang, for Stewart-Haas Racing. This is the first big race with his new crew chief Johnny Klausmeier. The fuel window for the race would be 40 laps. Leading up to the start of the race was a pretty big deal, as the President of the United States was the Grand Marshall of the race. Dale Earnhardt Jr was the Honorary Started waving the green flag. During the pace laps, President Trump took “The Beast”, his limo, on a lap around the Daytona International Speedway. Bowyer commented on the radio. “ I wish they would let us get closer to him.”
Before the green flag officially fell, rain would move into the area, Spotter Brett Griffin mentioned, “Spotters are talking about the Wind is picking up, and the temps are dropping.” Bowyer’s response was, “(Explicit), that’s a shame.” He was itching to go, as the other drivers were as well with Daytona being the biggest race of the year. NASCAR called for the cars to be stopped double file on the front stop. After a brief stop for the rain, engines were fired again. Griffin said, “ Hate to tell ya this, but there is another one (rainstorm) about the same size in the same place. Just not going as fast.”
Earnhardt Jr waved the green flag, and the 62nd running of the Daytona 500 got underway. Bowyer continued to ride around in the back of the pack attempting to stay out of the way of any cautions that may happen. By lap 10 he informed the crew that his car was tight, he was told that rain was coming.
The 1st caution flag flew at lap 19 for rain. This caution would also bring out a red flag, also causing the race to be postponed until Monday, February 17th, at 4:00 pm.
Monday the race resumed under caution at Lap 21, with the green flag officially flying at lap 25, the No.14 continued his strategy of riding around the in the back of the pack. On lap 48 he was scored in the 34th position. The 2nd caution flag of the race would fly on lap 59 as the No.47 of Ricky Stenhouse caused the No.24 of William Bryon to take a ride through the grass and hit the inside wall. Bowyer was not involved in the accident but radioed in under caution, “ My side mirror just broke off.” Klausmire commented, “Don’t worry we will fix it.” Bowyer hit pit road on lap 60 for four tires, and fuel. The race restarted with a 2 laps shoot out to the end of Stage 1 on lap 63.
The 3rd caution flag would fly on lap 65 signaling the end of round 1. Bowyer would be scored in the 32nd position. Stage Winner No.9 Chase Elliott.
Bowyer hit pit road on lap 70 under the stage break caution to fix the side mirror and a second time to top off the fuel tank. The green flag for Stage 2 would be on lap 71. Bowyer would continue to ride around the in the back being scored in the 37th position on lap 86.
The No.10 of Aric Almirola would clip the No.00 of Quinn Houff, who would collect the No.52 of Bj McLeod, bringing out the 4th caution flag on lap 89. Klausmeier would call his driver to pit road on lap 93 for four tires and fuel. The race restarted on lap 95. Bowyer would be scored in the 34th position on lap 99. Things would be pretty quiet for the remainder of Stage 2 until the 5th caution flag flying on lap 130 signaling the end of the stage. Bowyer would be scored in the 30th position for the restart on lap 135. The team agreed to race in the back another 20 laps or so before dashing towards the front.
Lap 160 Bowyer was in the 29th position preparing with a few other Ford teammates to make their way to the front. Green flag pit stops would be upon the field and Bowyer would hit pit road on lap 170 for two tires. As the field cycled through Bowyer would be scored in the 5th position on lap 177.
The 6th caution for the first “Big One” of the race happened on lap 183. (“Big One” meaning a wreck that takes out a lot of cars.) The following cars were involved in some way, shape, or form, on the backstretch: No.2 Brad Keselowski, No. 1 Kurt Busch, No.48 Jimmie Johnson, No.19 Martin Truex Jr., No. 12 Ryan Blaney, No.3 Austin Dillon, No.16 Justin Haley, No.88 Alex Bowman, No. 8 Tyler Reddick, No. 77 Ross Chastain, No.36 David Ragan, No.38 John Hunter Nemechek, No.17 Chris Beuscher, No. 21 Matt DiBenedetto, No. 62 Brendan Gaughan, No. 22 Joey Logano, and No.13 Ty Dillon. This wreck would bring out a short red flag for clean up purposes. Griffin would yell over the radio,- “How the (heck) did you do that,” Bowyer would move up to the 6th position.
The race would restart on lap 190 with 10 laps remaining, Bowyer was scored in the 7th position. The 7th caution flag would fly on lap 192 for the No.27 of Reed Sorenson and No.66 of Timmy Hill dancing together on the backstretch. The race would restart on lap 195. Bowyer would be scored in the 13th position informing his team he would prefer the top line.
Lap 198 would bring out the 8th caution flag for the 2nd “Big One” of the race. The No. 22 Logano, No. 77 Chastain, No.9 Elliott, No.37 Ryan Preece, No. 8 Reddick, No. 13 T. Dillon, No. 10 Almirola, No.95 Christopher Bell, No. 34 Michael McDowell, all get together in turn one.
Griffin comes over the radio to tell his driver, “We can win this thing now.” Bowyer moved up the 4th position. This would set up and overtime situation. After a scoring issue and Bowyer voicing his opinion, Nascar had him scored in the 5th position behind the No.6 of Ryan Newman. Bowyer spins on the restart, bringing out the 9th caution, he is forced to pit for repairs.
The 2nd overtime green flag would wave on lap 207 making this the longest Daytona 500 in the history of the sport. Bowyer would miss another big wreck on the white flag of the race lap 208. The No.12 of Blaney would be pushing the No.6 of Ryan Newman for the Win, Newman’s car snapped right, hit the wall started spinning got hit on the driver’s side by the No.32 of Corey Lajoie, hit his roof, slide down the front stretch in flames, gas was pouring out of the car. No radio contact. This wreck scared the Nascar Community to many of us it was a reminder of the 2001 Daytona 500. Newman was helped from the car and taken straight to the Halifax Hospital. Thankfully he and everyone else involved is ok.
Bowyer would finish in the 6th position.
Race Winner No. 11 Denny Hamlin.
Follow and chat with me: @CrystalDTitus
Putting on the dry shoes again. pic.twitter.com/xp72ZG9AmN— Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) February 16, 2020
500 miles. 4 @StewartHaasRcng drivers. 1 exceptional season ahead. Good luck to @ClintBowyer and the rest of the team as they start the season at the #Daytona500! How many wins will #SHRacing rack up in 2020? Reply with your predictions! pic.twitter.com/MCnh3moH75— Mobil 1 (@Mobil1) February 15, 2020