Sparta, KY – Finishing 34th or worse in three of the last four races, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Clint Bowyer needed a strong run in Saturday’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.
Starting seventh, Bowyer would pilot his No. 14 Ford Mustang to a sixth-place finish.
Stage 1 was the roughest of the night for the Emporia, Kansas native. He reported that his car was a little tight and he quickly dropped to 14th. Pitting under green on lap 41, Bowyer would drop a lap behind the leaders. A caution came out on lap 48 and he took advantage of the wave-around to return to the lead lap. At the end of the first 80 laps, Bowyer crossed the line in 18th.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) veteran would begin to show progress in Stage 2. Due to his late stop in the first stage, Bowyer was able to start the second segment in second-place. He was able to finish the stage in fifth-place and picked up six important bonus points.
This was very similar to how the final stage would go. Holding a lead over eventual winner Kurt Busch, Bowyer elected to pit on lap 206. A caution in the final laps led to an exciting green-white-checkered finish, Bowyer could climb up to fifth and ultimately finished in sixth.
All in all, Bowyer picked up 37 points on the night. He is in 14th-place in the driver standings, eight points above the playoff cutline.
“It was a positive night for us,” Bowyer sounded. “It didn’t start out well, but we did a good job of working together, staying in it and not giving up.
We needed a solid finish and we got that and got some positive mojo back with our team and we will build on it.”
Building off Saturday’s success will be key for the No. 14 team. He is tied in the point standings with Jimmie Johnson, and Erik Jones, Ryan Newman and Daniel Suarez are all within 12 points of the duo.
Bowyer will look to get some separation in Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
In 25 career starts at the track, Bowyer has two wins and nine top-10 finishes.
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