Follow me on

Twitter Feed Facebook Feed RSS Feed Linked In Youtube

Clint Bowyer: If not for that Loudon controversy, he might be right in the thick of this championship race

  And the winner is......hey, just where was Sunday's finish line anyway? (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern



   For a guy who's now won two of the seven NASCAR championship playoff races, you'd think Clint Bowyer would be sitting on top of the world.
   Well, maybe if NASCAR officials would give him back those 150 points.....

   But Bowyer, Sunday's winner here over teammate and fellow title contender Kevin Harvick, after a lengthy review of video tapes and scoring loops, has long since given up hopes of a Sprint Cup title. He just really wanted another win to go with that controversial victory at Loudon, N.H.
   For "Vindication," the Kansas driver said jubilantly Sunday evening.
   Bowyer, despite two chase wins, is stuck 12th and last in the playoffs, and about the best he can hope for is to finish seventh, after the tour's final three events, this week's stop in Texas, next week's stop in Phoenix, and the season finale at Homestead-Miami.
   In an oddity, and for no apparent reason, while NASCAR now has 12 men in the chase each fall, only the top 10 finishers get the full awards' banquet treatment.
   "Before this race I didn't think I was going to have a shot at walking across the stage," Bowyer said with a laugh. 
   "I knew I was going to have to go to Vegas, but they kick you out shortly after you get done with the media.
   "Maybe I can walk across the stage if I keep this up."

  Clint Bowyer celebrates (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


   Give him back those 150 points, and Bowyer would be fifth in the standings, with three to go, still 217 points down.
   But then Bowyer says that Loudon controversy took him and his guys off their game for a couple of weeks, otherwise they'd be even closer.
   And just what NASCAR didn't like about that Loudon car, still nobody is saying, making it all very, very curious.
   "We were real close to winning three of the seven races in this chase," Bowyer pointed out.
   "To be able to win, it is redemption.  It finally puts that behind me....
   "I'm still frustrated. That took the wind out of my sails.  The two races after that whole mess, it was a disaster. 
    "If we were along our normal routine, I don't think we would have had those bad runs.
    "So it has been very frustrating.  Haven't had much to look forward to. 
    "Didn't have much to look forward to...other than I knew my car was very, very fast going into this race."


   It was a mob scene on the track Sunday at Talladega (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   Bowyer will have regular crew chief Shane Wilson back for this week's Texas race, after a suspension for the Loudon affair.
   Scott Miller, the team's competition director, has been running Bowyer's team in the meantime.
   Miller said the key to victory was Bowyer finding the right places to be on the track. Not easy, considering how up and down the day was for just about every driver.
    "The whole race is about Clint did a fantastic job of putting himself in a position to win," Miller said.  "We tested the waters a lot all day long to see what would work and what wouldn't work. 
    "Fortunately some of the things he found during the race worked out for us there at the end."

   Whoops! Hang on, AJ. The final moments of Sunday's Talladega 500 didn't go quite as AJ Allmendinger planned (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

    For Richard Childress, the day marked the occasion of Dale Earnhardt's last NASCAR victory, here in that dramatic rally from 18th with only five laps to go. And Bowyer's win was Childress' 11th victory at Talladega, more than any team owner in NASCAR history. The win gives Childress a Talladega sweep; Harvick won the spring 500.
    "Standing in the winner's circle with Clint and the team...it was real special because it brought back memories of being here 10 years ago with Dale Earnhardt when he won this race," Childress said.
     After swapping pit crews last week, having Bowyer's men working on Harvick's crew, Childress swapped the crews back. "It was important to me to get my pit crew guys," Bowyer said. 

   In the wake of Bowyer's photo finish win over Harvick, the question of whether or not Bowyer should have given Harvick the spot and those five extra points. The title chase is extremely tight, with Johnson only 14 points ahead of Denny Hamlin and only 38 ahead of Harvick.
    "Although we're racing for the championship, it comes down to a win," Childress said. "It may be different at Homestead, but not really.
    "If you have a chance to win a Cup race, you've got to go after it. I just told them if it comes down to the win, you guys have got to do what you got to do."
    Childress says winning, not just good finishes, will be key to winning this championship: "All three races Kevin Harvick is really good at...but so are Denny and Jimmie. 
    "Whoever can pull off some wins is going to be the team to win the championship.
    "We had Clint in a position to win in 2007...Kevin was right up in there in 2008. And we were off in 2009.
     "This is the closest we've been in contending with three to go.
     "Hopefully Kevin can pull it off.  We're going to throw everything at it we can."

    Clint Bowyer's victory donuts (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


One of the most impressive

One of the most impressive moments in the race for me, was when Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon decided to "GO!", they took off and within 3 laps and 20+ positions later, they were in front. Still curious about JG's motor? He said it was gonna go, (I'm thinking high water temp) but hung in there for a Top 10 finish. Should ran it til it blew. Period.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

© 2010-2011 www.mikemulhern.net All rights reserved.
Web site by www.webdesigncarolinas.com