Bowyer Comes Back from Spin to Win at Richmond

Bowyer celebrates a win at Richmond
Photo – Getty Images

By Jason Schultz

The race that didn’t end until after 1:00 AM Eastern Time sent Clint Bowyer to victory lane for the second time this season.

Bowyer had previously won at Sonoma in June, earlier this season. This win gave Bowyer more bonus points heading into the Chase that will begin at Chicagoland Speedway next weekend.

Bowyer had to bounce back from a spin that occurred on lap 235, and Bowyer came back and showed his skill in the car. In a post-race interview Bowyer said “thanks Juan Pablo for wrecking me than winning me the race.” Bowyer was referring to Juan Palo Montoya who cut Bowyer’s tire down when Bowyer spun earlier in the race.

The race ended up starting until after 9:30 PM eastern time, due to rain that moved through the area. The race started under a green/yellow condition allowing cars to finish drying areas of the track the jet dryers couldn’t dry. A green/yellow condition is when the race laps are counting but cars are not allowed to advance their position as they follow the pace car.

The first seven laps were run under green/yellow conditions and since Dale Earnhardt Jr won the pole he led the first seven laps. On lap 7 the green flag officially came out and the cars roared off into turn one.

Wild Card contender Jeff Gordon passed his teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr to lead the next few laps. But on lap nine, Earnhardt Jr retook the lead. Prior to the race, the second wild card position belonged to Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon was chasing Busch down for the spot. In the beginning of the race, Gordon started losing positions and Busch charged toward the front.

The competition caution came out on lap 46 due to the rain that washed out the track earlier in the day.

On lap 52 David Ragan brought out the third caution when he spun on the frontstretch. Soon after the restart Denny Hamlin took the lead from Earnhardt Jr.

For the next thirty laps, Earnhardt Jr and Hamlin kept swapping the lead. Hamlin took the lead for a while on lap 94.

The next caution came out on lap 138 for more rain, followed by the red flag, delaying the race for 57 minutes. Once the cars restarted, Dale Earnhardt Jr took the lead.

Finally, at lap 200, the halfway point arrived, marking the race as official. Hamlin led followed by Bowyer, Truex Jr, Kahne and Johnson.

On lap 224 a round of green flag pit stops began.

On lap 235 eventual race winner Clint Bowyer spun on the frontstrecth after contact with Juan Pablo Montoya cut Bowyer’s tire down.

Martin Truex Jr took the lead for the first time on lap 242 but Hamlin took the lead again just seven laps later.

More rain moved into the area bringing out another caution on lap 276, but the cars remained on the track and the race restarted quickly.

Wild card contender Jeff Gordon was back on the lead lap under this caution.

Stewart-Haas Racing moved to the front on lap 265 when Tony Stewart went three-wide for the lead. Soon Ryan Newman would move up to second and then take the lead from Stewart on lap 300. Newman needed a win to make the Chase.

The final lead change took place with 87 to go when Bowyer took the lead from Newman.

As wild card contender Jeff Gordon started moving forward, Kyle Busch started to move back. Gordon needed a finish more than thirteen spots ahead of Busch to make the Chase. Busch made his final pit stop with 66 laps to go and went three laps down when he finally came back on the track.

With 42 laps to go, Jeff Gordon made his final pit stop.

Busch eventually got one lap back but it wasn’t enough to catch Gordon. Jeff Gordon went onto finish second to race winner Clint Bowyer and Gordon earned the second wild card spot, gaining him entry into the Chase.

Busch was extremely disappointed that he didn’t make the Chase and said after the race “we missed.” Even though Busch is not in the Chase, he could still be a big threat to win some races within the ten Chase races.

Gordon said his team “made this car good enough to run up front.” Gordon needed to run up front if he wanted a shot at making the Chase and he did everything he needed to to make it happen.

Kasey Kahne kept the first wild card position and will make the Chase after missing out on it last season.

The Chase field is now reset by victories earned by each top-ten driver this season. Denny Hamlin leads the way with four wins and gets the top spot for the Chase. Jimmie Johnson is the second, Tony Stewart third, Keselowski fourth, Biffle fifth, Bowyer sixth, Earnhardt Jr seventh, Kenseth eighth, Harvick ninth and Truex Jr tenth.

Both Wild Card drivers’ wins will not give them bonus points for the Chase. So Gordon and Kahne will start out tied.

A very late night had the twelve Chase drivers celebrating along with Clint Bowyer earning his second win of 2012.

The final ten races of the season will be exciting and interesting. The Chase for the Sprint Cup kicks off next Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.

Results and Point Standings via Nascar.com

FIN

ST

CAR

SPONSOR

STATUS

1

4

15

Toyota

5-hour Energy

47/4

400

Running

2

2

24

Chevrolet

Drive to End Hunger

43/1

400

Running

3

6

55

Toyota

Aaron’s Dream Machine

41/0

400

Running

4

28

14

Chevrolet

Office Depot / Mobil 1

41/1

400

Running

5

17

17

Ford

Best Buy

39/0

400

Running

6

20

31

Chevrolet

Caterpillar

38/0

400

Running

7

10

2

Dodge

Miller Lite

37/0

400

Running

8

14

39

Chevrolet

Quicken Loans

37/1

400

Running

9

23

16

Ford

3M / Owens & Minor

35/0

400

Running

10

13

29

Chevrolet

Budweiser

34/0

400

Running

11

11

22

Dodge

Shell / Pennzoil

0

400

Running

12

21

5

Chevrolet

Quaker State

33/1

400

Running

13

5

48

Chevrolet

Lowe’s

32/1

400

Running

14

1

88

Chevrolet

Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard

31/1

400

Running

15

22

9

Ford

Mac Tools

29/0

400

Running

16

15

18

Toyota

M&M’s

28/0

400

Running

17

16

99

Ford

Kellogg’s

27/0

400

Running

18

7

11

Toyota

FedEx Express

28/2

400

Running

19

12

83

Toyota

Burger King

25/0

400

Running

20

24

42

Chevrolet

Target

24/0

400

Running

21

9

56

Toyota

NAPA Auto Parts

24/1

400

Running

22

26

1

Chevrolet

Bass Pro Shops / Allstate

22/0

398

Running

23

25

27

Chevrolet

Menards / Moen

21/0

398

Running

24

3

78

Chevrolet

Furniture Row / Farm American

20/0

398

Running

25

29

47

Toyota

Bush’s Baked Beans

19/0

397

Running

26

18

43

Ford

Smithfield

18/0

397

Running

27

32

93

Toyota

Burger King / Dr Pepper

17/0

397

Running

28

30

51

Chevrolet

Phoenix Construction

16/0

396

Running

29

42

13

Ford

GEICO

15/0

396

Running

30

8

20

Toyota

The Home Depot

14/0

396

Running

31

35

38

Ford

Mossy Oak / Pursuit Channel

13/0

395

Running

32

27

34

Ford

Taco Bell

12/0

395

Running

33

33

36

Chevrolet

Tommy Baldwin Racing

11/0

395

Running

34

37

10

Chevrolet

Inc. 5000 / @TMone 6-peat

10/0

393

Running

35

39

32

Ford

Federated Auto Parts

9/0

393

Running

36

36

33

Chevrolet

Special Ops OPSEC

8/0

390

Running

37

31

30

Toyota

Inception Motorsports

7/0

127

Brakes

38

34

87

Toyota

AM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves

0

90

Brakes

39

38

23

Chevrolet

North Texas Pipe

5/0

78

Brakes

40

40

119

Toyota

Plinker Tactical

0

70

Wheel Bearing

41

19

98

Ford

Phil Parsons Racing

4/1

63

Brakes

42

41

26

Ford

MDS Transport

2/0

57

Brakes

43

43

191

Chevrolet

Plinker Tactical

0

57

Power Steering

 

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