Clint Bowyer got the run he needed at Atlanta Motor Speedway

(Getty Images)

HAMPTON, Ga. – Clint Bowyer didn’t win Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, but he got the sort of run he needed in the second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season.

On a day when all the Stewart-Haas Racing Fords were fast, Bowyer finished third behind SHR teammate Kevin Harvick, who dominated the action, and fellow Ford driver Brad Keselowski.

The third-place result was a welcome tonic for Bowyer, who suffered through an up-and-down campaign last year in his first season with SHR.

“I said it all offseason,” Bowyer said after the race. “What we have to do is get more consistent, know what I mean? Over the course of my career, kind of what’s kept me in the game is consistency, and last year we were spraying it all over the place.

“We’d have a good run and back it up with a bad one or two bad ones and then a good one. We were all over the place.”

Bowyer managed a 15th-place run in the season-opening Daytona 500 despite an engine issue.

“We were at the big dance last weekend and dropped a cylinder, and everybody was dejected and bummed out, and we come here and unload four fast (Stewart-Haas) cars and did a great job as a company.

“That’s what it takes. You’ve got to be able to unload good cars and then work together to fine-tune them to make them good for the race and enjoy that strength in numbers, and that’s certainly what we had going on this weekend.”

Bowyer climbed to fifth in the series standings, 15 points behind leader Joey Logano.