NASCAR Martinsville: Stewart-Haas’s Clint Bowyer ends win drought – NASCAR


Clint Bowyer dominated the NASCAR Cup race at Martinsville for Stewart-Haas Racing, to end his 190-race victory drought.

Short track specialist Bowyer took the lead just after half distance, having started ninth on the grid – set by driver owner points after qualifying was cancelled due to snow.

He then remained calm with Kyle Busch’s Toyota close behind for much of the remainder of the race.

With his maiden win for Ford, and his first since 2012, Bowyer became the first driver to take a Cup victory with all three current manufacturers: Ford, Toyota and Chevrolet.

Busch failed to make an impression on Bowyer and ended up second for third time in four races.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is now the points leader, after 2017 title rival and reigning champion Martin Truex Jr ended the race fourth.

Ryan Blaney held the lead through most of the second stage thanks to a rapid pitstop early in the second stage that vaulted him back into the race lead.

But Bowyer would go on to depose Blaney, with the Penske man falling to third at the flag ahead of Truex.

Kevin Harvick then improved throughout the race to move from outside the top 10 early in the race to end up fifth.

Harvick was caught up in controversy after he was accused of brake testing by JGR’s Denny Hamlin.

The SHR driver nudged stage one winner Hamlin several times with just over 100 laps to go, forcing his rival into the pits twice under caution to be taped up, eventually dropping down the order to 12th.

That contact came moments before the only non-competition caution of the race after Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon’s Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet nudged Jamie McMurray’s Ganassi Chevrolet into a spin and contact with the outside wall.

Joey Logano finished sixth for Penske followed by Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports in seventh and AJ Allmendinger took a season-best of eighth for JTG Daugherty Racing.

Penske’s Brad Keselowski finished 10th, having started the race in fourth.

A moment to forget came during the competition caution when Chris Buescher hit his jackman in a pitstop, and the JTG Daugherty Racing crew member was taken to hospital at the end of the first stage.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps
1 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 500
2 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500
3 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 500
4 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 500
5 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 500
6 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 500
7 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 500
8 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 500
9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 500
10 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 500
11 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 500
12 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500
13 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 500
14 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 500
15 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 499
16 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 499
17 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 497
18 Daniel Suarez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 497
19 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 497
20 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 497
21 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 497
22 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 496
23 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 496
24 Kasey Kahne Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 496
25 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 495
26 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 495
27 Cole Whitt TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 493
28 D.J. Kennington Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota 493
29 Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 493
30 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 493
31 J.J. Yeley Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 493
32 Matt DiBenedetto Go FAS Racing Ford 488
33 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 486
34 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 486
35 Harrison Rhodes Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 482
36 Gray Gaulding BK Racing Toyota 481
37 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 481
38 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet 211

Drivers’ standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Kyle Busch 257
2 Martin Truex Jr. 249
3 Ryan Blaney 233
4 Joey Logano 232
5 Brad Keselowski 226
6 Denny Hamlin 217
7 Kevin Harvick 212
8 Clint Bowyer 210
9 Kyle Larson 195
10 Kurt Busch 177
11 Aric Almirola 171
12 Erik Jones 152
13 Austin Dillon 148
14 Alex Bowman 145
15 Paul Menard 139
16 Ryan Newman 135
17 Jimmie Johnson 121
18 Chase Elliott 115
19 A.J. Allmendinger 110
20 William Byron 108
21 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 108
22 Daniel Suarez 100
23 Darrell Wallace Jr. 97
24 Chris Buescher 96
25 Michael McDowell 91
26 Jamie McMurray 84
27 Kasey Kahne 78
28 David Ragan 78
29 Trevor Bayne 72
30 Ty Dillon 62
31 Matt DiBenedetto 54
32 Cole Whitt 37
33 Gray Gaulding 31
34 Jeffrey Earnhardt 28
35 D.J. Kennington 28
36 Mark Thompson 15
37 Brendan Gaughan 9
38 Harrison Rhodes 6
39 Reed Sorenson 3
40 Danica Patrick 2
41 Corey LaJoie 2
42 Landon Cassill 1
43 Justin Marks 0
44 David Gilliland 0
45 Cole Custer 0
46 Ross Chastain 0
47 J.J. Yeley 0
48 Joey Gase 0
49 Timmy Hill 0

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