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.”

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 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 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.