Federated Auto Parts 400 Race Report
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer won Saturday night’s 400-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started fourth and quickly showed he had one of the fastest cars on the track climbing to second by the race’s halfway point. Bowyer raced in third on lap 244 when he a cut a left-rear tire after contact with Juan Montoya. The cut tire triggered a long slide but Bowyer avoided wall contact. The 5-hour ENERGY Toyota fell to 15th before he began the climb up through the field and took over the lead on lap 312. Bowyer never relinquished the lead and won by 1.198 seconds over Jeff Gordon. It marked Bowyer’s seventh career victory and MWR’s fourth. Bowyer and the 5-hour ENERGY team return to action Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in the first of NASCAR’S 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup. Bowyer will start the Chase tied for fifth with Greg Biffle and just six points out of first.
· Started fourth and won the race.
· Moved to second by the halfway mark
· Spun on lap 244 because of a cut tire after making contact with Juan Montoya.
· Began climbing back through the field and gained the lead on lap 312.
· Led from lap 312 until the checkered flag on lap 400
· Led 88 laps; seventh career victory and second in 2012
BOWYER: “Unbelievable. To be able to win again, everything's new. Brian Pattie and everybody on this team, I'm so proud of them, to be able to bounce back from a bad weekend. Anything bad that could happen last week did happen last week. To be able to bounce back from that and get a win, get that momentum, heading into this Chase is exactly what we needed. I’m proud of everybody at MWR, my teammates. Martin Truex was up there, had a great car just like I did. It's unbelievable. To be able to come to a new team, new home like I did with MWR, to be able to have the success our first year is a dream come true.
“Never in a million years would I ever dream that I would be racing against these guys and on this racetrack. I love this racetrack. We've won here before. It's just a fun racetrack. I really wish we had three or four more of these across the country. I think it's a great product of what we have on display for our fans. Just like Michael said, thankful to have the opportunity with a new home, new sponsor, new manufacturer with Toyota. With everything new, never would have dreamed in a million years all this would have happened this quickly. Obviously, it's the goal to win races and be in the Chase. Realistically, I knew what we were up against. Just pleasantly surprised.”
MICHAEL WALTRIP: “It's just a really great working atmosphere. I'm thankful for tonight. I'm obviously really happy with having two cars in the Chase. My inspiration for having a team from the beginning was Dale Earnhardt. I always wanted to have a team like Dale had. So anytime something goes good, I always think about what all he meant to me. We're thankful.