Clint Bowyer leaves Kentucky with a smile on his face and some stage points in his pocket

SPARTA, KENTUCKY - JULY 12: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation Ford, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart at Kentucky Speedway on July 12, 2019 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

The normally jovial and happy Clint Bowyer has been in funk of sorts lately.  Coming into Kentucky the Stewart-Haas Racing driver had been struggling. He finished 37th at Chicago and 34th at Daytona, crashing out of both races.

After starting seventh Saturday night, Bowyer found himself in the lead on lap 166 after scoring points in Stage 2. He led a total of 40 laps, but in the closing laps could only hold on to finish sixth. Still, Bowyer was happy to simply finish without crashing.

“It was a positive night for us,” Bowyer said. “We finally got some stage points the last two races.”

“It didn’t start out good, but we did a good job of working together, staying in it and not giving up. We got some track position and right there at the end,

“I don’t know. Our SHR cars are extremely fast, we show that in qualifying, but they aren’t the best in race trim and traffic yet. We have work to do there and we know that. We are going to the magic mile next weekend but given the month of June that we had, we had to get that monkey shook off our back.

“Right there at the end, you hate to give up fifth right there at the line but we could have just as easily wrecked in turn one on the restart and had another finish like we had in June. We needed a good solid finish and we got that and got some good positive mojo back with our team and we will build on it.”

Greg Engle