Strong run at Martinsville for Bowyer

Harold Hinson/ Harold Hinson Photography

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

After qualifying fifth earlier in the day at Martinsville Speedway, Clint Bowyer was able to overcome early issues on pit road to finish in the third position in the First Data 500.

Through the opening laps of the first stage, Bowyer was contently running in the top-10. On lap 40, Bowyer joined the rest of the field as they hit pit road for four tires and fuel. Bowyer entered pit road in the sixth position, but came out on the 17th position. The reason for the drop was an issue with the air gun.

With the issues on pit road, Bowyer would describe his day as a rollercoaster, but is pleased with the performance throughout the weekend.

“We had a fast Ford Fusion all weekend long.  Our Haas Automation Ford was good.  We qualified good and had a catastrophe in the pits.  It seems we’ve been struggling here lately trying to get some consistency in there to say the least, but fell back and got back up through them.  Then we had some more trouble and we’d gain some and lose some, gain some and lose some and we finally got there at the end.”

In the final moments of the race, Bowyer had the chance to score his first victory with Stewart-Haas Racing, and his first victory since 2012 at Charlotte.

On the final restart, Bowyer had an itching that something would break loose in NASCAR overtime.

“I wish they would have got into each other one more time and I just went ahead and finished the last one off if it was down to one, but it’s just a product of that situation.  Those guys are racing for a lot, there’s a lot on the line and you know on a green-white-checker at a place like this all hell is gonna break loose.”

Bowyer saw the final moments as a “breath of fresh air” to see how the intensity of the race transpired onto the racetrack.

“This is what put this sport on the map is racing like that.  It’s been a while since we’ve seen that and it’s a breath of fresh air to get back to a short track where it can breed some of that and put on a show for the fans.”

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