Clint Bowyer was noticeably frustrated after the race and a difficult day at Texas Motor Speedway (Video)
Clint Bowyer started for the 2nd position at Texas Motor Speedway. Pole sitter Ryan Blaney selected the outside lane. Bowyer drove it to the bottom in turn one looking for the lead.
He clipped the apron the the car jump loose. Bowyer chased it up the banking where the ascent was abruptly stopped by door to door contact with Hamlin. Each car dropped through the field with fender rubs and heavy damage in the first corner.
Each driver made green flag pits stops. Bowyer made his stop on lap 13. That moved him from the front row, to now two laps down to the race leader.
With the fenders pulled out, Bowyer remained on the race track as the rest of the field made a stop. He was hoping for a caution. With 7 laps to go in stage 1, he came to his pit box for a fuel only stop. The goal was to make his stop as short as possible and hopefully remain ahead of the leader to get one of his laps back.
He took just a few seconds of fuel. However, the leader had gone by. The plan didn’t exactly work. But, they still had plans to take the wave around when the leader returned to the pit lane at the end of stage 1. That would have put the #14 just two laps down.
But, it got far worse from there. Bowyer was handed a penalty for a crew member over the wall too soon. Though, the crew member in question had nothing to do with the pit stop.
That team member was just sitting on the pit wall. He had his feet sitting inside the pit box on the race track side on the wall. That guy never moved off the wall as the lone fuel guy gave out the splash and go. But, per the rules, that guy was still over the wall too soon.
“That’s the rule. I know people don’t necessarily like all the rules. But, that’s the rule. If we don’t make that call, I think you guys would be asking why we didn’t,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer addressed the media after the race.
In summary, Clint Bowyer’s weekend peaked in qualifying on Friday. Two practice sessions and a single corner into the race, his race was over.
“It was a good weekend for us and a bad day,” Clint Bowyer stated after the race.
Clint Bowyer heads into ISM Raceway in a much win situation. Of his 26 races at the 1-mile Phoenix based track, Bowyer has two top-5 finishes. He has a best finish of 2nd which came in April 2008.