Bowyer Close But No Cigar At Watkins Glen

Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

After starting in the rear for unapproved adjustments after qualifying earlier Sunday morning, Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, was able to rebound to a fifth place finish.

Bowyer was able to make it to the second round of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) qualifying. However, he was unable to make a lap in the final round due to brake issues. Bowyer was accredited with a 12th place start.

In the first stage, Bowyer worked his way from the rear of the field to 25th, but pitted with three laps remaining. Bowyer lost a lap, but was able to regain the lap by being in the free pass position.

During the second stage, Bowyer was reporting lose conditions in the corners. He pitted early in an effort to gain track position for the second stage.

Despite finishing the second stage in the 28th position, Bowyer restarted the final stage in the 19th position. During the final stage, Bowyer and crew chief, Mike Bugarewicz, pitted for fuel only during the caution on lap 53, moving to the second position. For the remainder of the race, Bowyer was able to stay within the top-six. As the leaders began dropping down pit road for fuel in the closing laps, Bugarewicz told his driver to begin saving fuel.

“I stumbled down the back coming to two to go, so we wouldn’t have made it. It stinks. I wish I would have saved earlier like the 78 did. I pushed hard and thought we were better to go on gas than they were. They did a good job saving. I could have done better. If I would have started saving sooner I think we would have made it,” said Bowyer after the event. “You never know. I am pretty proud of the effort. We got up front at the beginning of the day and stayed there pretty much all day. I thought our strategy was right, and we had a good racecar. Things just didn’t work out for us. That is just the way it goes sometimes.”

With his fifth place finish, Bowyer remains stagnant in the 17th position in MENCS playoff grid. He trails 16th place driver, Matt Kenseth, by 28 points.

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