Clint Bowyer: “First of all, the damn lappers out there.”
There was a very odd crash in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday night
Down the back stretch, Ryan Newman put his hand out the window indicating he was coming to pit road. However, there was a lap car between Newman and Bowyer at that point. In turn four, News jumped on the brake pedal. He was on his way to pit road during the green flag pit cycle.
Watch the Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman crash video below.
This was unknown to Clint Bowyer who was racing lap traffic just behind with the freshest tires in the field following a pitstop 7 laps earlier. As Newman pumped the brakes, Bowyer was in the throttle and closing quickly.
Bowyer slammed him in the left rear. Bowyer went up the hill on pounded the wall with the right side. Newman was spun backwards and into the wall. After Bowyer bounced off the wall, the car uncontrollably climbed the hill once more and hit the wall for a second time.
Bowyer came to a stop on the apron. Newman was rolling down the hill backwards. He turned the steering wheel and rolled backwards into Bowyer for one more light impact.
“It was a shot,” Bowyer said of the accident. “I don’t know; he must have been pitting. I mean he just stopped right in the middle of the racetrack.”
“First of all, the damn lappers out there,” said Bowyer. “I don’t know who the damn 99 car is or whatever, but I think I lapped him 50 something times. He’s all over the damn place.”
Derrike Cope was the driver of the #99 car. He had nothing to do with the Ryan Newman incident. However, Bowyer was making a separate point following his frustrating day at the track.
“You come by him. You come by this guy. You don’t even have a chance to get track of where you’re at because of who you’re racing and some of the guys that are in the race.”
“Everybody deserves a chance out there, but I’m tired of that crap. Frustrated. I was really proud of this car with Ned Jarrett here today. it was a pretty special day.”
Clint Bowyer’s 2018 Southern 500 paint scheme was a nod to New Jarrett’s 1965 Ford.
“I don’t know what it is about this place — I run decent here, I never can finish. It’s always something stupid. I don’t know. I guess I’ll go home [and] pout some more.”
“I need an Advil,” Bowyer told Claire B Lang after the impact.
With two wins, Clint Bowyer is locked into the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Darlington is Newman’s favorite race track. However, following the crash Ryan Newman is on the outside looking in. He now sits 18th on the playoff board.
Derrike Cope has run three races in the 2018 season. He’s completed 69.3% of the laps attempted. In 2017, he completed 3681 of 4481 laps available with three mechanical failures. He managed to finish 85 laps down last year at Fontana.
He attempted to qualify for Kansas Speedway but failed to make the show. The first event ended in a crash at Dover International Speedway
At Pocono Raceway, Cope finished 8 laps down. Last weekend, Cope was 21 laps down to the leaders at Darlington Raceway.
Cope’s qualifying lap was a 30.662. The pole speed by Denny Hamlin was set at 28.332. However, as tires wear over the course of a long race that difference becomes magnified.
This is far from the first time a NASCAR driver has complained about the Derrike Cope obstacle course.
Just last year, comments were been made by Martin Truex Jr after he was wrecked from the lead at Richmond Raceway. The crash came following a late race restart where Cope hit the wall and brought out the caution while he was multiple laps down.
In addition, ahead of 2018, Kurt Busch and a panel of NASCAR drivers all gave comments on Cope. Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and Matt Kenseth all took shots at Cope.
“I swear that guy’s reading a road map, as he’s driving,” Kurt Busch concurs. “Turn right 200 feet.”