Monster Energy Cup Series News (15089)
Trevor Bayne was involved in an early multi-car accident in the Food City 500 and was never able to rebound, finishing 24th in the two-day event at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“We want to be clicking off top 15s and top 10s every week,” Bayne said.“We haven’t had a clean weekend yet but my guys are still working really hard. We’ve just had some bad luck seems something has happened every weekend to hurt our result. We just have to keep working to clean up our weekends and make the most out of them.”
After starting 33rd, Bayne kept his nose clean through the first series of cautions advancing into the top-20 by lap 60. The Knoxville, Tennessee, native reported his AdvoCare Ford Fusion was free in and tight through the center for the opening laps, before a multi-car accident at lap 117 set him back.
Bayne had worked his way up to the 23rd position when suddenly the Advocare Ford broke loose bringing out the caution. . Crew chief Matt Puccia brought his Ford to pit road for a series of stops to make repairs, before Mother Nature set in for good and put a halt on the race at lap 204.
In Monday’s resumption that included a little sleet and rain, the No. 6 team began the day with another set of pit stops to continue repairs following Sunday’s crash. Bayne entered Monday the lone car one lap down, setting himself up to get back on the lead lap at the end of stage two. However, a long green flag run negated that forcing Bayne to finish 23rd, two laps down entering the closing stage.
Bayne and the No. 6 team would go on to battle for the last half of the race in an effort to gain laps back, but would ultimately end the weather-delayed Food City 500 in 24th.
The No. 6 car returns to the track this Saturday night under the lights at Richmond Raceway for the Toyota Owners 400. Race coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM radio channel 90.
StarCom Racing teams up with Joey Gase and Sparks Energy, Inc. to tackle Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, April 29 for the Geico 500.
"I'm very excited to be pulling double duty in Talladega again and can't thank everyone at StarCom Racing enough for the opportunity to represent Sparks Energy. The spring Talladega race weekend is a HUGE weekend for my great friends at Sparks Energy. They bring in hundreds of folks to the Sparks Energy 300 to say thank you to all of their employees, customers, families and friends," said Joey Gase. "Talladega has been very good to me in the past and I currently have my best finishes there, both in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series of 21st and in the NASCAR XFINITY Series of 5th. I can't wait for the race weekend to start.”
Sparks Energy, a partner of Gase’s since 2016 and title sponsor of the Sparks Energy 300 Xfinity Race at Talladega, was founded in 2007 to address a growing need by both Investor Owned Utilities and Electric Co-ops for a quality workforce to perform storm response and energy restoration services. Similar to StarCom Racings parent company, StarCom Fiber, Sparks Energy is a family owned and operated business with a love for the sport of NASCAR.
"I'm delighted to have Joey Gase in our car for Talladega. I've worked with him in the past, and he does a nice job," said Derrike Cope, StarCom Racing Team manager and former Daytona 500 Champion. “We’re excited to showcase Sparks Energy on the 00 Chevy Camaro as well."
To learn more about Sparks Inc. and Joey Gase visit www.sparksinc.com and follow Joey on Twitter @JoeyGaseRacing & on Facebook at @JoeyGaseRacing.
StarCom Racing PR
Global demand for the new 2018 model has driven Ford Mustang to its third straight year as the best-selling sports coupe in the world.
Global Mustang registrations in 2017 totaled 125,809 cars, according to Ford analysis of the most recent new light vehicle registration data from IHS Markit. This data – compiled from government and other sources and capturing 95 percent of global new vehicle volumes in more than 80 countries – puts Mustang ahead of all other sports coupe competitors worldwide. Sports coupes, as defined by IHS Markit, include two-door and convertible models.
“The world loves Ford Mustang,” says Erich Merkle, Ford sales analyst. “For years, Mustang was unobtainable for customers on most parts of the planet. It could only be found on TV or the internet, and now it rolls down streets from Beijing to São Paulo.”
Of the nearly 126,000 vehicles registered worldwide, Ford reported 81,866 of those were registered in the United States, meaning just over one-third of all Mustang registrations are occurring in export markets. Demand remains particularly strong in China, where Mustang was the best-selling sports coupe last year based on 7,125 registrations.
The most popular configuration worldwide is the Mustang GT with the iconic 5.0-liter V8. While sports cars have traditionally skewed toward male buyers in the United States, Mustang is increasingly finding favor with women. In an environment of relatively flat sports car sales to women, Ford research shows a 10 percent gain in women buying Mustang in the last five years. Since global exports began in 2015, through December 2017, Ford has sold 418,000 Mustangs in 146 countries around the world.
Mustang goes to NASCAR Cup
Building off its popularity, Ford also is announcing Mustang is coming to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – professional stock car racing’s top league – for the first time, beginning at Daytona in February.
“We’re combining America’s favorite sports car with America’s top stock car racing series,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “Mustang always has been about affordable performance, which can be traced to innovations we’ve made competing in racing, like NASCAR. Mustang is a perfect fit for our racing heritage today and tomorrow.”
Mustang has competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2011, winning championships in all but one season. It has taken Team Penske to four owner’s championships in the last five years and carried Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to consecutive driver’s championships in 2011 and 2012. This will be Ford’s fourth different Cup model in NASCAR’s modern era (1972-present), following Thunderbird, Taurus and Fusion.
“This announcement makes me very happy,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford Motor Company’s board of directors. “Mustang is a car that is woven into the fabric of our country, and it’s only right that we put it on the track in NASCAR’s most visible series. I can’t wait.” Ford has six organizations and 13 teams in its NASCAR lineup, including Wood Brothers Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Team Penske, Stewart-Haas Racing, Front Row Motorsports and Go Fas Racing.
Mustang is still going through initial testing and will be formally submitted to NASCAR for approval this summer. A public unveiling of the finished product will soon follow. The first series points race for Mustang will be the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2019.
Ford Performance PR
When rains brought the cars to a halt on Sunday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway, Paul Menard and his No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy Ford were running third and poised for a great finish after starting the race a season-best seventh.
When racing resumed on Monday, Menard continued to race inside the top 10 until around Lap 350 of 500, when the handling inexplicably got a little off on the Menards/Dutch Boy Fusion.
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said that from that point on, Menard, who had already missed several cars that spun ahead of him, did some of his best driving of the day.
“Paul came on the radio and said the car was a handful to drive,” Wood said. “He did a great job bringing it back home with a 13th-place finish.
“That was especially important today, because we were in a wreck at Texas a week ago, and you always want to finish the next race after one you don’t finish.”
Monday marked Menard’s fourth finish of 13thor better in the eight races run so far this season.
Wood also praised crew chief Greg Erwin for his race tactics, including a call to take the wave-around on the race’s final caution. “That was the right call,” he said.
And Wood had positive comments for the over-the-wall crew after a strong performance under the tough conditions of a tight pit road at Bristol.
Tyler Mitchell, the rear tire carrier for the Menards/Dutch Boy crew, made the race’s highlight reel with a spectacular performance during a pit stop at the end of Stage Two.
As the crew prepared to change tires, the new right rear tire, which was being carried by Mitchell, was struck by the 31 car, sending the tire bouncing away.
As the errant tire bounced back toward the track, Mitchell grabbed it in mid-air, quickly placed it on the hub, and the stop was completed in less than 20 seconds.
“That was a really good stop considering all that happened,” Wood said.
Menard remains 16thin the championship standings heading into Saturday night’s 400-lapper at Richmond Raceway.
After a career best qualifying effort at the ‘World’s Fastest Half-Mile’, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rebounded from an early spin to drive his SunnyD Ford to a fourth-place finish in the rain postponed race at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) on Monday afternoon.
“The guys brought me a great SunnyD Ford all weekend long,” Stenhouse said. “We were really strong, and I felt confident coming into the race yesterday and today. We fought adversity. We lost track position multiple times and had to pass many cars to get back to where we were.
“Brian made a great call coming down pit road and taking tires before that long green flag run that we had. We got into second and I was hoping it would just go green to the end, knowing that we had better tires than the 42, who was the class of the field all day. Overall it was a great weekend for us. Hopefully, this will kind of get us going and kick start us into next week and the rest of the season.”
After earning his career best starting position at BMS, the Olive Branch, Miss. native lined up in the fourth position for the 500-lap race. When the first yellow was displayed for a multi-car accident on lap four, Stenhouse Jr. was scored in the second position.
While jockeying for position running in the fourth position, contact was made from behind sending the Sunny D machine for a spin. With no damage, Stenhouse restarted in the 30th position and was able to work his way back inside the top 10 by the end of stage one picking up valuable stage points.
During the stage break caution, NASCAR deemed the team had an uncontrolled tire forcing Stenhouse to have to restart at the tail end of the field for the start of stage two. While patiently maneuvering his SunnyD Ford through the field, Stenhouse was scored in the fifth position when mother nature postponed the race to Monday with only 45 laps remaining in stage two.
With a huge temperature change from Sunday to Monday, the two-time Xfinity champion hit pit-road for four fresh tires for the final 33-lap shootout of stage two. After restarting in the seventh position, Stenhouse was able to pick up a position before the green-checkered flag waved earning additional stage points.
The No. 17 team pitted three times under the stage break to fix cosmetic damage that the SunnyD Ford suffered on the last restart. After having to start in the 22nd position for stage three, Stenhouse was working his way through lapped traffic but lost a lap to the leaders before a much needed caution allowed him to get the free pass.
With 100 laps remaining and fresher tires, the Roush Fenway Racing driver was reeling in the leaders and worked his way into the second position before a caution flag was displayed. Stenhouse restarted in the fourth position and after a great restart was on Kyle Larson’s bumper battling for the lead, but a tight handling condition kept him from completing the pass forcing him to settle with a fourth-place finish.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to Richmond International Raceway for the MENCS race on Saturday, April 21. Race coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX. Coverage can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-125):
● Aric Almirola started Stage 1 in the 19th position at Bristol Motor Speedway and ended it in the eighth spot to earn three bonus points.
● On lap four, the Tampa native slowed up to avoid an accident in front of him and received damage to his rear bumper. After assessing the No. 10 Ford Fusion, crew chief Johnny Klausmeier decided Almirola didn’t need to pit for repairs.
● The red flag was displayed on lap 47 for precipitation. After about a half-hour delay, Almirola climbed back in the Smithfield Ford and restarted in the 22nd position.
● The fourth caution of the race came out on lap 61, and the 34-year-old reported that his Fusion took off well on sticker tires. He restarted 16th and maintained a top-20 position.
● After not visiting pit road when several other competitors did during the lap-119 caution period, Almirola restarted third on lap 124. In a sprint to finish Stage 1, he ended up in the eighth position.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 125-250):
● Before the start of Stage 2, Almirola visited pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments. He started the second stage in the 20th position, and ended the stage in 18th.
● On lap 204, while Almirola was in the 17th position, the race was halted due to inclement weather and postponed until Monday afternoon.
● After the race resumed under caution just before 2 p.m. EDT, Almirola visited pit road on lap 212, just before the race went back to green. He restarted 15th on lap 217.
● In the green-flag run to the end of the stage, Almirola ran as high as 13th but finished the stage in 18th.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 251-500):
● During the caution period for the final stage break, Almirola visited pit road for fuel, four tires and adjustments He restarted 13th after a great pit stop by the Smithfield crew.
● By lap 276, Almirola was running in the 12th position and was able to maintain a top-15 position as the laps wound down.
● When the 12th caution of the race came out on lap 390 for weather, Almirola didn’t pit and restarted in 10th. Unfortunately, he slipped back to the 15th position.
● On lap 433 he worked his way back up to 13th in the Smithfield Ford and continued to soldier on from there in the closing laps. Just before sleet began to fall at the .533-mile track, Almirola took the checkered flag in sixth.
● Almirola was the highest-finishing Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Fusion driver.
● Almirola’s sixth-place finish was his best this season, and it was his third top-10 of 2018. It was also his third top-10 in 18 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol.
● Kyle Busch won the Food City 500 to score his 45th career Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his seventh at Bristol. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Larson was .628 of a second.
● There were 13 caution periods for a total of 114 laps.
● Only 12 of the 39 drivers in the Food City 500 finished on the lead lap.
● The first 204 laps of the Food City 500 were run on Sunday before rain halted the race and postponed it to Monday, when the final 296 laps were completed.
Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We worked on the Smithfield Ford all day, and we weren’t very good yesterday (Sunday) at all. Finally, when the track moved to the top our car got a lot better, so we kind of were prepared for that and our car was kind of set up to run the top. I was just miserable trying to run the bottom. My car was really, really bad on the bottom, and we finally got it to where it was going pretty good up top and the caution would come out. I feel like if the race would have been a normal race and we would have run a lot of green-flag laps up top, we would have been pretty good. It’s a good day. I’m a little disappointed with sixth, but at the same time, I’m happy and pleased that we rebounded after a bad day in Texas. To come out of here sixth is a great day, and I feel like we could have got more if it would have stayed green. I wish we would have run like 300 more laps (laughing).”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Richmond 400 on April 21 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. The race starts at 6:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX TV, MRN and SiriusXM Radio.
Kasey Kahne’s strong run at Bristol Motor Speedway ended in heartbreak, after a mechanical issue overcame the No. 95 WRL General Contractors Camaro ZL1.
Leavine Family Racing (LFR) was fast the entire weekend, running Top-10 speeds in the first practice, and barely missed the final round of qualifying to earn a 15th place starting position.
Saturday brought even more of an impressive performance, as Kahne was 5th fastest in the second practice session, finishing the final session in the Top-10, as well.
The Food City 500 was moved up one hour due to incoming weather but was still delayed almost 30 minutes. The field went green only three laps before a tangle-up in front of Kahne saw a few cars knocked out. Kahne reported his No. 95 WRL Camaro ZL1 was a bit loose handling, but overall fine to drive.
Kahne restarted 13th as the field went back to green on lap nine. Eight laps later, another caution came out for a spin behind Kahne, but caused him to get nose damage from a car checking up hard in front of him. Kahne told the crew his car felt fine, but that he had hit the car pretty hard ahead of him. Crew Chief, Travis Mack, made the call to stay out in order to not lose track position.
By lap 37, rain had begun to fall, causing the race to be red-flagged for a time. Kahne told the team he felt extremely competitive but was just dealing with a loose-handling car. As the track was re-dried, Kahne pitted when the yellow flag came back out to tape up the nose of the car and get four tires and fuel.
Kahne restarted 13th on lap 60 before another caution for a spin happened in front of him. On the restart, Kahne made it as high as 8th, before settling back into the 10th position. The biggest wreck of the day happened with only eight laps remaining in the stage and Mack made the call to pit for tires and fuel. The field ran only one lap to end the stage, with Kahne finishing 17th.
The call paid off, as Kahne started the second stage from the 11th position. The first caution of the stage came out on lap 154. Kahne reported he was on the free side, as he pitted for four tires and fuel. The field only made it a few laps before being red-flagged for rain, once again.
When the track was once again dry, Kahne restarted 14th with 83 laps remaining in the stage, making it as high as 11th, before the field was red-flagged for good, postponing the race until Monday.
Kahne began the race Monday with a pit stop under caution for four tires and fuel and gained two spots to restart the Food City 500 in ninth. Ten laps after restarting, Kahne reported he had no power steering and was forced to make an unscheduled stop. The team was unable to fix the car on pit road and brought it into the garage to look closer at the issue.
Though the team went multiple laps down, they worked rigorously to fix the No. 95 WRL Camaro ZL1. Kahne was finally able to go back out on lap 375 but was still unable to steer the car, forcing LFR to be done for the day.
"It’s unfortunate after how good we were all weekend,” said Crew Chief, Travis Mack. “This car was good enough to win under the right circumstances. We didn’t want Kasey to stay out there and risk wrecking someone or even put himself in danger. We will learn and move on to Richmond.”
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-125):
● Started first and finished 12th.
● After earning the top starting spot during Friday’s qualifying session, Busch led the field to the green flag on Sunday. With cloud-covered skies and rain showers circling the area, Busch exercised caution during the opening laps. He maintained the top spot until getting passed for the lead on lap 17.
● The 2015 NASCAR Cup Series champion was in second place during a restart on lap 22, but he got caught on the outside and dropped back in the running order, finally settling in at 10th place by lap 30. He quickly reported that the Skittles Toyota was very loose getting into the turns and then wouldn’t turn in the center nor exits.
● Busch was in ninth place when rain forced NASCAR to display the red flag on lap 46.
● After a brief delay, cars returned to the track. Most teams used the caution period to get new tires and make adjustments. The No. 18 team made air pressure adjustments, changed four tires and added fuel. Quick pit work placed Busch in fifth place for the restart on lap 59.
● Once green-flag racing resumed Busch once again fell victim to the outside lane, dropping as far back as eighth place. After settling in he went to work picking off lost positions and was back in the top-five by lap 115.
● An accident on lap 118 involving race leader Ryan Blaney forced NASCAR to display the red flag. During the delay Busch noted that his racecar was handling better up top but that he still needed help with the handling in the bottom groove. Once again, the team used the break in action to change four tires, make air pressure adjustments and add fuel.
● Busch was in seventh place for the restart and wound up in 12th place when the field came around to complete Stage 1.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 126-250):
● Started sixth and finished second.
● Having just made a stop for tires and fuel, Busch stayed out during the break between stages, placing him in sixth place for the restart. With the car not handling its best during the early part of the run, Busch once again fell victim to the restart, dropping from sixth to 15h place.
● The longer a run would go, however, the more the handling on the Skittles Toyota improved, allowing Busch to quickly catch the frontrunners. This proved true from laps 175 to 197 as he raced from 10th to fifth place.
● The Las Vegas native was in fourth place when rain once again covered the track and forced NASCAR to display the red flag. The rain persisted, so NASCAR canceled activities for the rest of the day, moving the race’s restart to Monday at 1 p.m. EDT.
● After a round of pit stops, green-flag racing resumed on lap 217 with the No. 18 Skittles Toyota in fourth place. Busch was able to make his way to second place by the time Stage 2 concluded on lap 250.
● Busch reported that the car needed grip to help with the turn exits. The team made air pressure adjustments, changed four tires and added fuel.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 251-500):
● Started third and finished first.
● Busch started the final stage in third place, and an aggressive restart saw the top-five positions traded back and forth throughout the opening laps of Stage 3. Busch finally settled into the runner-up spot and began logging laps, trying to track down the race leader.
● An accident on lap 324 involving race leader Kyle Larson resulted in Busch taking over the top spot as the field came around to take the yellow flag. In an effort to help with grip, the team made a stop for more air pressure adjustments, four fresh tires and fuel. Quick pit work allowed Busch to maintain the top spot for the restart.
● Busch quietly logged laps from the top spot during the next several circuits around the half-mile track, noting that the biggest issue he was battling was the persistent lack of rear grip. He maintained the lead until a round of pit stops during a caution on lap 353. Teammate Daniel Suarez stayed out, placing Busch in second place for the restart.
● By lap 381 Busch was back in first place, showing the way with his Skittles Toyota for the next 58 laps before Larson caught him and passed him on lap 474.
● Busch had issues with his wearing tires, fading to third. As he debated whether to pit for tires, he caught a huge break when Brad Keselowski brought out the caution on lap 475.
● The Skittles driver came to pit road for four tires and fuel and restarted second with 22 laps to go.
● Busch dropped to third after the restart, but he quickly made his way back by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for second and set his sights on leader Larson. With eight laps to go, Busch got to Larson’s bumper. With just five laps to go, Busch pushed under and then by Larson to take the lead and bring home his second consecutive win in Monday’s rain-delayed, 500-lap race.
● Busch won the Food City 500 to score his 45th career Cup Series victory, his second of the season, his seventh at Bristol and his second consecutive win after winning at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth last weekend. His margin of victory over second-place Larson was .628 of a second.
● The 45th career victory for Busch moved him up to 16th on the All Time Cup Series win list, one back of NASCAR Hall of Famer Buck Baker.
● Busch’s victory was his seventh Cup win at Bristol, the most wins there among active drivers.
● There were 13 caution periods for a total of 114 laps, including four red-flag periods over two days.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Skittles Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
How did you overcome all of the adversity with the race and weather to get to victory lane?
“It’s just the long, long delays and things that happen that kind of get you in and out of your game. Tell you what, you just got to stay focused for the entirety of it and try to keep going. I of course used some Skittles in order to help me do that and some NOS. We had plenty of those during the break. But I can’t say enough about this Skittles Toyota Camry. I mean Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and these boys brought a great racecar. We knew it was going to be good in the long runs. We weren’t quite as good as the 42 (Kyle Larson) on that long run before that last caution came out. I actually thought I had a tire going down, but we were able to get some tires on it and go give it everything we had. We had a 20-lap shootout, and that was everything that it was about was right there, just chasing down that 42 and being able to get there. Thanks to M&M’s, Interstate Batteries, Cessna, DVX Eyewear, Black Clover, the fans. I appreciate the fans coming out today. I know it was a hard one, a tough one, a cold one for everybody that was here in Bristol and around Bristol, Tennessee, but we appreciate that.”
How are you feeling after such a long race?
“I was breathing hard there those last 20 laps, whatever it was. That was a heck of a run right there with the 42 (Larson) – chasing him down, being able to get to him, being able to get by him and then trying to hold him off with some lap traffic ahead of us. I can’t say enough about this Skittles Toyota Camry. Adam Stevens and my guys, they continue to impress and do an amazing job for me and give me great racecars week in and week out. We knew we were going to have a great long-run car. We just had to get there and had to get some long runs. Actually, the 42 was better than us right there before that last caution came out, so I don’t know what happened to ours, but we just got really, really bad tire vibrations and just wasn’t able to run as hard as we wanted, but we got it. Came in, got them four tires put on it, and man we were fast there at the end. We chased those guys back down.”
Next Up: The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Toyota Owners 400 on Saturday, April 21 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. The race starts at 6:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX.
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-125):
● Clint Bowyer started 14th and finished third.
● Avoided an accident on lap six that damaged several cars.
● Reported his car was very loose in the opening laps, then faded to 18th when he was trapped in the outside groove.
● Moved to third when he stayed on the track during a caution while much of the field pitted. He held his position during the one-lap green-flag run to the stage end.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 126-250):
● Started 23rd and finished 13th.
● Bowyer’s team made major handling adjustments during the stage break, and the No. 14 started at back of the field.
● Rain postponed action after lap 204 on Sunday, and racing resumed Monday afternoon.
● Loose-handling condition remained, and the crew made more chassis changes.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 251-500):
● Started ninth and finished eighth.
● Bowyer reported his car was tight for the first time. He had climbed to seventh by lap 325.
● Bowyer ran 96 laps on a set of tires as the race ran green, allowing cars that took tires to drop him to 10th.
● Restarted ninth after the final caution with 22 laps remaining.
● Moved to eighth in the final laps.
● Bowyer’s eighth-place finish was his fifth top-10 of 2018 and his 12th top-10 in 25 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol.
● Bowyer finished third in Stage 1 to earn eight bonus points.
● Bowyer has finished in the top-11 in six of the season’s eight races.
● Kyle Busch won the Food City 500 to score his 45th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory. It was his second win of the season and his second straight, and it was his series-leading seventh win at Bristol. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Larson was .628 of a second.
● There were 13 caution periods for a total of 114 laps. Only 12 of the 39 drivers in the Food City 500 finished on the lead lap.
● The first 204 laps of the Food City 500 were run on Sunday before rain halted the race and postponed it to Monday, where the final 296 laps were completed.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Demo Days Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It was a long weekend. We weren’t very good all weekend long and just kept working on it. We were smart with the race. Early on there was a lot of trouble yesterday and even more today. It was just a weird weekend. I mean, the weather just capped off everything else that was going on. It seemed like the VHT, for whatever reason, a little bit different this time than it’s been in the past. Our tires seemed like they were a little bit different than what we’ve had, for whatever reason. It was a weird weekend, so I’m glad with a top-10.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Richmond 400 on April 21 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. The race starts at 6:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with a prerace show at 6 p.m.