Clint Bowyer’s afternoon at Bristol included some laps led, some profanity on the radio and a top-10 finish after a late-race incident.
All in a day’s work.
The No. 14’s afternoon almost went awry with 69 laps to go when he made contact with Joey Logano, sending him into the wall a few moments later with minimal right side damage.
Bowyer in the wall. 69 laps to go.
— Davey Segal (@DaveyCenter) April 7, 2019
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) April 7, 2019
Post-race, Bowyer said it was just a racing deal and it was time to get up on the wheel.
“Yeah I mean it was,” he said. “He was racing me pretty hard. I could get down under him and he was diamonding (the corner). He just didn’t leave me much room there. It’s time to race there’s no question about it. We barely touched. Just knocked the valve stem out of it or something. hit it just right. The fender caught or something. Typical luck here, damned if you do, damned if you don’t. We put ourselves in position. Our Stewart Haas Racing Haas Ford was good. Damn I wanted to get that thing in Victory Lane. Such a good looking car. Just didn’t get it done.”
Besides the looks, the speed also wasn’t anything to scoff at. The No. 14 led 24 laps on the afternoon but unfortunately was unable to parlay that into a victory.
“We had a good car, it’s just horribly disappointing,” he said. “You get that close. Long runs were my strong suit. I couldn’t take off all day long. Some of those things made sense. We were down a little bit on air and it took a little bit of time for them to come in. The problem is when you balance around that and you just pump the air-pressure up, then it doesn’t work either and you don’t handle there. It’s just disappointing.”
The result is Bowyer’s third straight top 10 finish and fourth of the season. However, with Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing dominating most of the race and ending up in Victory Lane in the form of Kyle Busch, the Stewart Haas Racing driver knows the road ahead will be a bit rocky.
“We’ve got work to do,” he said. “We know that. This is a different beast – a different short track is a different beast. Early on, those Penske cars have more speed. You see that on restarts and stuff like that. My strong suit, just like last week, was long runs. We just slowly kept picking them away. You could see that on restarts. I couldn’t take off worth a damn, but I could really come on strong on the big end of a run.”
Bowyer can take some positive aspects of his performance leading into Richmond Raceway next weekend, a place the Emporia, Kansas native won in 2008. But he’s concerned with winning, not top 10s.
“You always take positive out of a good strong run like that, but you can’t think about that right now.”