Bowyer finishes second despite "tearing the hell out of my car"

Once Clint Bowyer pulled his No. 14 Ford down pit road after Sunday’s race, in order to go under the hood of his car, his crew members had carve away layers of Bear Bond tape that held everything in place.

Bowyer finishes second despite "tearing the hell out of my car"
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

It was that kind of day, but in the end, he still came frustratingly close to earning his first win with Stewart-Haas Racing.

Bowyer rallied back from several on-track incidents and from the back in the field in the final Stage to move into second behind leader Kevin Harvick with seven of 110 laps remaining.

Harvick’s fuel and his lead remained in place and Bowyer took the runner-up position, which ended a streak of three consecutive races of finishes of 17th or worse.

“Actually, the (Bear Bond) is probably what helped it. The hood was flapping and everything else, I couldn’t really see over it,” Bowyer said. “You get back in traffic and you’re so much faster than them, you have to check-up to save a mistake.

“You run over them and you don’t mean to; you get frustrated and get a little bit farther behind and a little bit farther behind. I saw (Kyle Larson) check-up and I get into him and I was thinking, ‘Well, we’ll both survive this’. And then all of a sudden (A.J. Allmendinger) was coming through him and I smoked him and hurt the left-front.”

Bowyer began the final stage buried deep back in the field, outside the top 30. Because of his various incidents and multiple pit stops, his team had no new tires left so further trips down pit road would be to no avail.

That didn’t stop Bowyer’s persistence, however.

“By the time I got done tearing the hell out of my car, I was out of tires. Those stages, you know, I mean, obviously this is the first crack at it. That’s what lends to tore-up race cars,” he said.

“It's such a short stage (25 laps), there was some technical strategy that you've got to try to play and get track position, and then all of a sudden you’re on the bad side of tires trying to hold guys off and you’re blocking.”

Bowyer’s performance certainly caught the attention of one of his team owners, Tony Stewart, who was among the first to meet Bowyer on pit road.

“Clint ran one of the most aggressive, hard races of anybody,” he said. “He got buried back there in like 33rd after the second Stage. There was no trick strategy or gimmicks to get back up there. It was impressive.”

With no more fresh tires, Bowyer said he never thought he had a chance to catch his teammate, Harvick, for a chance at the win.

“By the time I tore my car up and having been through hell and back to get to where we were, I didn’t have a shot,” he said. “Just …. Damn!”

 Click on the image to watch Bowyer talk about his run on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway.

 

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