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Bowyer Leads All-Stewart-Haas Podium In Rainy Michigan

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 10 2018

Clint Bowyer was a happy driver after winning at Michigan on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Ashley R Dickerson)

Clint Bowyer collected his second NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season on Sunday when he won under red-flag conditions at rain-plagued Michigan International Speedway.

To get the victory, Bowyer had to stay ahead of Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick on a late restart – a restart that preceded a race-ended rain storm which hit the track.

Bowyer’s first win of 2018 came at Martinsville in Week No. 6.

The scheduled 200-lapper at the 2-mile MIS track started hours late and went just 133 laps because of the rain.

Harvick finished second, third SHR teammate Kurt Busch third and Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing fourth.

Fifth was Ryan Blaney.

Bowyer got the lead under caution at the end of Stage when crew chief Mike Bugarewicz opted for two tires on the No. 14 Ford.

Bowyer had to do the rest, holding off Harvick after a restart on Lap 126, barely preventing Harvick, who had fresh rubber on all four corners of the car, from clearing him off Turn 2. Bowyer got the good fortune he needed when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun in Turn 2 on Lap 129, causing the eighth caution of the afternoon.

Rain started almost immediately and soaked the track, forcing NASCAR to call the race after 133 of a scheduled 200 laps at the 2-mile track.

“It took something crazy on a restart to be able to get Kevin,” Bowyer said. “That was a gutsy call. When we went out there on two tires, I looked in the mirror and I was so far ahead of everybody else (coming off pit road), I was like, ‘Oh man, we are in trouble!’

“The rain came just in enough time. I was trying to hold him off. I was cutting him off and taking his line away pretty bad. If it wasn’t for a win, you wouldn’t be doing that. He was so much faster than me in (Turns) 1 and 2. I got down in (Turn) 3 and just had to take his line because that bear was coming.”

“The 14 just gambled, rolled the dice that the rain must have been going to come, and he was able to keep me on the bottom there just by a little bit on the restart,” Harvick said. “Then it was just going to take me a few laps to work back by.

“But he did a good job hanging onto his car, and the gamble paid off for him. Look, I’ve been on both sides of this. If you’re going to have racing luck work against you, you want to at least stay on your own team.”

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race – FireKeepers Casino 400

Michigan International Speedway

Brooklyn, Michigan

Sunday, June 10, 2018

  1. (12) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 133.
  2. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 133.
  3. (1) Kurt Busch, Ford, 133.
  4. (3) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 133.
  5. (15) Paul Menard, Ford, 133.
  6. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 133.
  7. (5) Joey Logano, Ford, 133.
  8. (9) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 133.
  9. (13) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 133.
  10. (24) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 133.
  11. (6) Aric Almirola, Ford, 133.
  12. (10) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 133.
  13. (14) William Byron #, Chevrolet, 133.
  14. (16) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 133.
  15. (8) Erik Jones, Toyota, 133.
  16. (21) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 133.
  17. (25) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 133.
  18. (17) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 133.
  19. (28) Bubba Wallace #, Chevrolet, 133.
  20. (20) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 133.
  21. (31) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 133.
  22. (11) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 133.
  23. (29) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 133.
  24. (18) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 133.
  25. (23) Michael McDowell, Ford, 133.
  26. (33) Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 133.
  27. (32) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 133.
  28. (26) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 133.
  29. (7) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 133.
  30. (22) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 132.
  31. (34) Gray Gaulding, Toyota, 132.
  32. (36) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 132.
  33. (19) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 132.
  34. (37) * DJ Kennington, Chevrolet, 132.
  35. (38) * Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, 132.
  36. (30) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 131.
  37. (35) BJ McLeod(i), Chevrolet, 131.
  38. (27) David Ragan, Ford, Accident, 35.
  39. (39) * Garrett Smithley(i), Chevrolet, Transmission, 1.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  132.723 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 00 Mins, 15 Secs. Margin of Victory:  Caution.

Caution Flags:  8 for 30 laps.

Lead Changes:  9 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   Kurt Busch 1-46; R. Blaney 47-61; K. Larson 62; K. Kahne 63-71; K. Harvick 72-87; P. Menard 88-90; K. Harvick 91-122; K. Kahne 123-124; K. Harvick 125; C. Bowyer 126-133.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  K. Harvick 3 times for 49 laps; Kurt Busch 1 time for 46 laps; R. Blaney 1 time for 15 laps; K. Kahne 2 times for 11 laps; C. Bowyer 1 time for 8 laps; P. Menard 1 time for 3 laps; K. Larson 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 12,42,14,4,11,2,41,24,22,10

Stage #2 Top Ten: 4,14,41,18,21,12,2,1,20,24

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 10 2018
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