Kansas native Clint Bowyer had a fast car all weekend. He qualified third for the Kolbalt Tools 500 in Las Vegas and was one of the fastest cars in practice all weekend long. But strategy and luck were not on the 15 team’s side on Sunday.
Bowyer was one of the fastest cars in the early running, climbing as high as second. During a round of pit stops where some of the field did not stop, some took two tires and some took four, the 15 opted for four and was shuffled back to around 20th on the track. And on this day track position proved more important than tires.
Bowyer still battled his way back up to as high as sixth, but again stratagey on a stop with about 40 laps to go shuffled him back to 12th. On the restart the 15 hit the wall and had to pit for tires. That relegated him to a 23rd place finish.
“Well, that stinks. We were looking at at least a top-five finish there,” said Bowyer.” On that restart there at the end, people were checking up and once things got rolling, I had some damage on the right side and I had to pit for tires. I feel bad. My guys worked so hard and we were good all weekend. We had a good qualifying run and the 5-hour ENERGY Toyota was fast in practice. It’s just a shame.”
Bowyer still managed to gain a spot in the point standings and is up to 22nd.
Strategy and luck were on the side of Brad Keselowski. The 2 passed Dale Earnhardt, Jr when the 88, low on fuel, sputtered on the backstretch.
Earnhardt was able to get his car back up to speed and finished second. Paul Menard, Joey Logano, and Carl Edwards made up the rest of the top five.
The 20 team, whose front tire changer is John Royer of Otis, was 10th and the 13 team, whose tire specialist is Bryan Kincholoe of Glen Elder was 28th. The 1 car sponsored by Wichita based Cessna was 15th.