Bowyer picks up stage win with contrarian strategy

LONG POND, Pa. – When every car running ahead of Clint Bowyer came to pit road on Lap 96 – in a group that included race winner Kyle Busch, runner-up Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Chase Elliott, Bowyer inherited the lead.

Four laps later, Bowyer collected his first stage win and first playoff point of the season.

But that wasn’t the highlight of Bowyer’s day. Forced to pit under caution at the end of the stage, Bowyer restarted 11th and never advanced higher than fifth during the final 60 laps of the race. He finished sixth, after Brad Keselowski passed him for the fifth position in the closing laps.

Bowyer, who is fighting for a spot in NASCAR’s playoff, was pleased with the speed in his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.

“It was a big pit strategy day, for sure, and you know that going into a race like this,” Bowyer said. “Our car was good all weekend. We unloaded a fast car. This is the best car that we’ve unloaded in quite some time.

“A little bit different build. Hopefully, this is what we’re looking for, what I’m looking for and (we can) build on this.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.