Bowyer Finishes 12th in Las Vegas

Race Winner:      Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner:  Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 2 Winner:  Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

Clint Bowyer started ninth, finished 18th.

● The No. 14 BlueDEF Ford Mustang started ninth after rain cancelled Saturday practice and qualifying.

● Bowyer immediately reported his car wouldn’t turn as he needed it and it was tight in traffic.

● During a lap-25 competition caution the No. 14 crew made tire pressure air adjustments to improve the handling.

● Bowyer restarted seventh, but as the race wore on the problems worsened, and Bowyer dropped to 18th by the end of the first stage.

● The crew took a bigger swing to correct the issues, making a wedge adjustment during the stage break.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

Started 16th, finished 16th.

● Bowyer still struggled with handling through the first green-flag run of the stage before pitting for tires and fuel on lap 122.

● Bowyer remained in 16th throughout the stage, telling the team that the “front end is just really numb.”

● No. 14 BlueDEF Ford Mustang crew made more adjustments during the stage break, and a quick stop jumped Bowyer from 16th to 11th.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):

Started 11th, finished 12th.

● The No. 14 BlueDEF Ford Mustang took advantage of early cautions in the stage to pit for tires and fuel.

● With 87 laps to go, Bowyer restarted the race in 17th.

● He worked his way up to 14th during the stage before drifting backward.

● His final green-flag stop came with 50 to go, but seconds later a caution dropped Bowyer and all except the top-five cars off the lead lap.

● Bowyer took the wave-around to return to the lead lap in 18th with 42 laps remaining.

● A shootout just before the white flag waved saw Bowyer jump from 18th to 12th.

 

Notes:

● This is Bowyer’s second straight top-15. He finished sixth in the Daytona 500.

● Joey Logano won the Las Vegas 400 to score his 24th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his second at Las Vegas. He beat second-place Matt DiBenedetto as the race ended under a last-lap caution.

● This was Ford’s series-leading 13th NASCAR Cup Series victory at Las Vegas and its 687th all-time NASCAR Cup Series win.

● There were nine caution periods for a total of 37 laps.

● Twenty-four of the 38 drivers in the Las Vegas 400 finished on the lead lap.

● Ryan Blaney leaves Las Vegas as the championship leader with a three-point advantage over second-place Logano.

 

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 BlueDEF Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“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.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, March 1, at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

TSC PR

Speedway Digest Staff

Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest