Clint Bowyer continues to show he is one of the best restrictor plate racers in the sport. After starting the day 27th, the 15 car raced his way up to a third place finish at the Talladega SuperSpeedway. It was Bowyer’s best finish of the season and if the caution doesn’t come out on the final lap, who knows what happens.
“Long day, long race, but it's all about being there at the end,” said Bowyer. “I liked the situation that I was in for sure. I knew Greg was going to try something, you know, and we did have a big push at him, and you see those guys crashing in the rear view mirror, and you're like, history has shown usually if they're straightened up not sitting in the middle of the racetrack we're going to finish this thing under green, and if you pull out right there and win the race right there, you might be 15th by the time you get two miles back over here to the start-finish line. We finished third.”
As it was, the caution came out with Denny Hamlin out front. It was a much need victory for the 11 car, which had dealt with a lot of adversity the past two seasons, but finds its self all but locked into the chase this season.
“A win like this kind of makes you forget all those things,” said Hamlin. “It obviously gives you a clean slate for the rest of the summer to start over. We don’t have to hit the panic button at this point we can just focus on our program and get our self into contention where we are a top five car every week.”
As far as Talladega races go, this one was relatively uneventful, with just four cautions on the day. But the final one was the ne everyone will be talking about. Justin Allgaier was spun on the white flag lap, and lost a bumper on the front stretch, but it took a half a lap before NASCAR decided to throw the yellow flag, which ended the race under caution.
“It's just frustrating because of the simple fact that we both thought we had an opportunity to pounce and make a move for the win,” said Bowyer. “NASCAR did the right thing there. You can't put people in danger right there. If there's another green-white-checkered, everybody would have been out of gas. It's just too much going on right there, and unfortunately we don't always see that crazy wild finish to the end. But I don't think that's on NASCAR. I think they did the right thing there, and unfortunately it was just -- didn't lead to that big wild crazy finish right there at the end.”
Greg Biffle finished the day second, with Bowyer, Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger rounding out the top five.
The series now heads to the Kansas Speedway for the first ever race under the lights in the Sunflower state.
“I love that racetrack” said Biffle. “It's a lot of fun to race on. Puts on a good race.”
Added Bowyer, “Thanks, Greg, appreciate that. Great place to go, great place to visit.”
Biffle continued,”I love Kansas. I love Clint's hometown, too.”