Clint Bowyer’s last-ditch effort ends in nine-car wreck

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 17: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford, smokes during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

The timing was right. Unfortunately, from Clint Bowyer’s standpoint, the execution left something to be desired.

Bowyer was running out of time after a restart with two laps left in regulation in Sunday’s Daytona 500. On the backstretch at Daytona International Speedway, he ducked to the inside of Michael McDowell’s Ford in a three-wide attempt to move forward from his fifth running position.

But contact with McDowell’s car ignited a nine-car wreck that sent the race into overtime—without Bowyer in it.

“Hey, it’s the Daytona 500—I had to go for it,” said Bowyer, who was credited with a 20th-place finish. “I was a little bit frustrated with the lineup (for the Lap 199 restart). I know I was ahead of the 22 (Joey Logano) when the caution came out, but I guess it went back to the last scoring loop or something.

“This just sucks, man. We had such a good Rush Truck Centers, Mobil 1 Ford Mustang. This is my best foot forward I have ever had here. We had a shot at it, and I took it. I had a big run on the 34 (McDowell), and knew that I had to make quick work of him because in the mirror they were going three-wide and losing their minds, so you knew that was going to come down on you.

“So I decided to lose my mind, too.”