Bowyer wins at Talladega
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Clint Bowyer piloted a special paint scheme celebrating the 100th anniversary of Chevrolet to victory lane following the Good Sam Club 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday to give car owner Richard Childress his 100th win in the series. The victory was Bowyer’s first since his win in the same race at Talladega last October.
“Things played out just as we planned,” Bowyer said in victory lane.
That plan was to draft all race long with Richard Childress Racing teammate Jeff Burton. The two ran together at or near the front all race long. On a final restart after the ninth and final caution of the race that came out with just under 10 laps to go, Burton and Bowyer pulled out in front of the field and built up enough of a cushion to race each other side-by-side on the final lap for the win.
Burton was the lead car in their RCR two-car draft for many of the laps late in the race and had the lead on the final restart. Burton said after the race that he though Bowyer made the move to try to pass him for the win too early, but it turned out to be the perfect move. He also expressed mixed emotions in regards to finishing second to his teammate.
“Part of me wants to cry, and part of me wants to cheer,” Burton said.
Dave Blaney was pushed to a third-place finish by Brad Keselowski. With a fourth-place finish, Keselowski was the highest-finisher among the 12 drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup and the only one who finished in the top-six. The Red Bull Racing teammates, Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne, finished fifth and sixth. Tony Stewart was the second-highest Chaser in the final rundown, finishing seventh.
Stewart’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Ryan Newman, spun on lap 80 to bring out a caution. From there, Stewart picked up Joey Logano, who just happens to be the driver of Stewart’s former ride at Joe Gibbs Racing, as a drafting partner. Despite heavy damage on Logano’s car from an incident early in the race, the Stewart-Logano draft made its way toward the front.
Stewart lost another drafting partner in Logano, though, when Logano switched off to work with JGR teammate, Denny Hamlin. Stewart quickly found another drafting partner in Paul Menard, an RCR teammate of Bowyer and Burton. Menard had lost his previous drafting partner -- another RCR teammate -- Kevin Harvick when Harvick was collected in a multi-car accident with about 85 laps to go.
Hamlin finished eighth, Michael Waltrip was ninth and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top-10.
After hanging out near the back of the field with Roush Fenway Racing teammate, Greg Biffle, most of the race, Carl Edwards made his way toward the top-10 late in the race but fell just shy, finishing 11th. That was enough to keep him in the championship points lead, though. With four races remaining, Edwards is in first, with his closest competitor being Matt Kenseth, 14 points back in second.
Track officials put an extra $100,000 incentive up for grabs if Sunday’s race featured 100 lead changes. That money wasn’t awarded, as the race saw only 72 lead changes among 26 different drivers.