Bowyer breaks drought at Martinsville

Speedcafe.com

Tuesday 27th March, 2018 - 11:28am

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Clint Bowyer

Clint Bowyer has broken a 190-race winless run with victory in NASCAR’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

In a race delayed a day due to snow, Bowyer (#14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) led 215 of the last 216 laps as Kyle Busch (#18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) and Ryan Blaney (#12 Team Penske Ford) rounded out the top three.

Bowyer kept touch with the front-runners throughout the first half of the 500-lap race, falling just short of winning Stage 2, before taking the lead for the first time when he passed Blaney on Lap 285.

From there, he would head the field every lap except for one under Caution, winning by 1.1s.

Kyle Busch finished second for the third time in four races, the other having been a third placing, but takes over the series lead after six rounds.

Blaney held out Bowyer to win Stage 2 after also fending off Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) in a contest which lasted several laps at the start of the stage.

He couldn’t keep up the pace in the final stage, however, and finished 4.7s adrift of second place.

Martin Truex Jnr (#78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota), pole-sitter by virtue of owner points after qualifying was washed out, led the first four laps on his way to finishing fourth.

Fifth through eighth was filled by Kevin Harvick (#4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford), Joey Logano (#22 Team Penske Ford), Alex Bowman (#88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet), and AJ Allmendinger (#47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet).

Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) finished ninth having twice got the free pass under Caution, one position ahead of Brad Keselowski (#2 Team Penske Ford).

Keselowski finished second in Stage 1, which was won by Hamlin in a tight three-car battle also involving Blaney.

Hamlin ultimately finished 12th after incurring damage from nose-to-tail contact with Harvick midway through the race.

There was one Caution for a crash, when Jamie McMurray (#1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) hit the wall after being tagged by Austin Dillon (#3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet) on Lap 384.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series takes a week off before the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 6-8.

Race highlights

Results: STP 500, Martinsville Speedway

Pos Num Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 500 215 Running
2 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 500 24 Running
3 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 500 145 Running
4 78 Martin Truex Jnr Toyota 500 4 Running
5 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 500 0 Running
6 22 Joey Logano Ford 500 0 Running
7 88 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 500 0 Running
8 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 500 0 Running
9 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 500 0 Running
10 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 500 1 Running
11 41 Kurt Busch Ford 500 0 Running
12 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 500 111 Running
13 21 Paul Menard Ford 500 0 Running
14 10 Aric Almirola Ford 500 0 Running
15 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 499 0 Running
16 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 499 0 Running
17 20 Erik Jones Toyota 497 0 Running
18 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 497 0 Running
19 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 497 0 Running
20 24 William Byron Chevrolet 497 0 Running
21 34 Michael McDowell Ford 497 0 Running
22 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 496 0 Running
23 37 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 496 0 Running
24 95 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 496 0 Running
25 38 David Ragan Ford 495 0 Running
26 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 495 0 Running
27 72 Cole Whitt Chevrolet 493 0 Running
28 96 DJ Kennington Toyota 493 0 Running
29 15 Ross Chastain Chevrolet 493 0 Running
30 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 493 0 Running
31 55 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 493 0 Running
32 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 488 0 Running
33 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 486 0 Running
34 43 Darrell Wallace Chevrolet 486 0 Running
35 51 Harrison Rhodes Chevrolet 482 0 Running
36 23 Gray Gaulding Toyota 481 0 Running
37 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr Ford 481 0 Running
38 00 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 211 0 Rear gear

Standings

Pos Driver Pts Gap Starts Wins Pl’off pts
1 Kyle Busch 257 6 0 1
2 Martin Truex Jnr 249 -8 6 1 7
3 Ryan Blaney 233 -24 6 0 2
4 Joey Logano 232 -25 6 0 0
5 Brad Keselowski 226 -31 6 0 1
6 Denny Hamlin 217 -40 6 0 1
7 Kevin Harvick 212 -45 6 3 11
8 Clint Bowyer 210 -47 6 1 5
9 Kyle Larson 195 -62 6 0 0
10 Kurt Busch 177 -80 6 0 2
11 Aric Almirola 171 -86 6 0 0
12 Erik Jones 152 -105 6 0 0
13 Austin Dillon 148 -109 6 1 5
14 Alex Bowman 145 -112 6 0 0
15 Paul Menard 139 -118 6 0 0
16 Ryan Newman 135 -122 6 0 0
17 Jimmie Johnson 121 -136 6 0 0
18 Chase Elliott 115 -142 6 0 0
19 AJ Allmendinger 110 -147 6 0 0
20 William Byron 108 -149 6 0 0
21 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr 108 -149 6 0 0
22 Daniel Suarez 100 -157 6 0 0
23 Darrell Wallace Jnr 97 -160 6 0 0
24 Chris Buescher 96 -161 6 0 0
25 Michael McDowell 91 -166 6 0 0
26 Jamie McMurray 84 -173 6 0 0
27 Kasey Kahne 78 -179 6 0 0
28 David Ragan 78 -179 6 0 0
29 Trevor Bayne 72 -185 6 0 0
30 Ty Dillon 62 -195 6 0 0
31 Matt DiBenedetto 54 -203 6 0 0
32 Cole Whitt 37 -220 4 0 0
33 Gray Gaulding 31 -226 6 0 0
34 Jeffrey Earnhardt 28 -229 5 0 0
35 DJ Kennington 28 -229 3 0 0
36 Mark Thompson 15 -242 1 0 0
37 Brendan Gaughan 9 -248 1 0 0
38 Harrison Rhodes 6 -251 2 0 0
39 Reed Sorenson 3 -254 1 0 0
40 Danica Patrick 2 -255 1 0 0
41 Corey LaJoie 2 -255 2 0 0
42 Landon Cassill 1 -256 1 0 0
43 Justin Marks 0 -257 1 0 0
44 David Gilliland 0 -257 1 0 0
45 Cole Custer 0 -257 1 0 0
46 Ross Chastain 0 -257 5 0 0
47 JJ Yeley 0 -257 1 0 0
48 Joey Gase 0 -257 1 0 0
49 Timmy Hill 0 -257 2 0 0

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