Clint Bowyer wins the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-Hour Energy Benefiting Avon Foundation for Women Toyota, celebrates with team owner Michael Waltrip after Bowyer won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina
Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR

Clint Bowyer stretches fuel on two runs in order to win the NASCAR Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Clint Bowyer is just giddy over his change from last season from a seemingly great tea m at Richard Childress Racing to Michael Waltrip Racing. (One can’t get this from just quotes, only his demeanor at the press conference).  This win is his third win this season, almost half of his career wins in one year with a new team.  No one can blame him for being giddy.

Who would have thought in a million years after making this switch and coming over to a new family and everything that was new that we would be in victory lane three times and still — how many races, five races left?  Yeah, I’ve been paying a lot of attention.  Five races left, and we’re still in contention for a championship.  Our first year together, just to be able to do that with a brand-new sponsor, a brand-new manufacturer, I’m telling you the truth:  I was almost uncomfortable going to the shop at the beginning of the year because I didn’t know one face there.  I knew Ty Norris and Brian Pattie and Michael, you were there sometimes, and if I could catch him when he was there I could talk, but other than that I didn’t know anybody there.  To walk into a new family and to be able to have the success we’re having, having the teammates — Truex and I had a lot of fun back in the Nationwide days racing for championships and had a lot of fun back in the day, but Mark Martin, having him for a teammate, it’s just a class act.  You know Mark Martin, if he can’t win the race, he’s going to do everything he can do to help you win the race, to be in victory lane and come and congratulate us, it’s an unbelievable opportunity.” Clint Bowyer said about his change.

Clint Bowyer hung about the top ten most of the race. Then it came to the last run and saving fuel. “Saving fuel really helps me because I back the corner up and the car rotates and it’s kind of like slapping you in the face, saying oh, this is how it’s supposed to feel.  But I’m telling you, I wouldn’t have — I don’t think I would have won the race had I not moved up and tried to figure out that outside line.  A couple times Jimmie was running me down, and I was like, I’m going to go up here, and the back the corner up and try to make the arc of the radius as big as possible, starting backing the corner up to get the thing to turn, and next thing you know doing so you’re going faster and saving gas.” Clint said about saving fuel but he further added. “Truly I think the run that won us the race wasn’t the last one, it was the run before that, the next to last run, where Brian went out and it was a gusty call to go out and stretch it as long as possible on the last run, and if we would have pitted one lap earlier I think we would have ran out of gas.”

A win is a win and Clint Bowyer and his team took it to Brad Keselowski and his team who have been the kings of saving fuel to win the race.  The No. 15 team went from seemingly nowhere to in contention for the Championship for the Sprint Cup.

This is Clint Bowyer’s eighth victory in 248 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts.

Denny Hamlin was second, Jimmie Johnson was third, Greg Biffle was fourth and Kyle Busch was fifth.  Brad Keselowski the point’s leader ended the night 11th.

Brad Keselowski, who led the most laps at 139, is still the point’s leader.  Jimmie Johnson cut his lead in about half and is seven points back, Denny Hamlin is third 15 points back and Clint Bowyer with his win has moved up to fourth 28 pointes back.  Kasey Kahne is now fifth 35 points back or essentially the same as he was at the start of the race.

It was expected that this race would tighten up the Standings for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.  It did just that. What was not expected is that Clint Bowyer would move up in the standings above Kasey Kahne.  There are now five drivers in play for the final five weeks of the NASCAR season.  It will get more interesting every week from here on out.

Brian Berg Jr. is the Lead NASCAR writer for RantSports.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary. On Facebook at NASCAR News and Commentary

 


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