The Lugnut Report: Clint Bowyer Grabs Top Ten in Phoenix

It was an unexpectedly busy weekend at Phoenix International Speedway for Clint Bowyer. Coming into the first Saturday night race of the season, Bowyer was ninth and points and ready to put all his focus on the Subway Fresh Fit 600.

On Friday, Bowyer practiced his No. 33 Cheerio's/Hamburger Chevrolet in both Sprint Cup practices, putting the No. 33 sixth and 13th on the speed charts.

During the only Nationwide Series practice of the day John Wes Townley had a hard wreck and Richard Childress Racing announced Bowyer would take over the No. 21 car for Friday's Nationwide race.

After Cup practices were over, Bowyer qualified the Nationwide car 21st, and headed back to the Cup garage to qualify his No. 33 25th.

Despite rumors in the garage, Bowyer said before the Basha's Supermarkets 200 began that he had no intention of driving the Zaxby's Chevrolet for the rest of the year, and that Townley was "a good kid from a good family."

Trouble for the No. 21 team came on lap 31 when Bowyer hit the wall. However, Bowyer spent most of the race successfully battling his way toward the front.

Late in the race, Bowyer managed to escape a multi car wreck, caused by leader Kyle Busch's bad restart, with minimal damage.

Bowyer would finish the race just outside the top ten, in 11th.

On Saturday night, Bowyer started mid pack but he and teammates Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton were all in a hurry to get to the front.

Upon the lap 22 restart Clint Bowyer, in the midst of traffic, spun the 2010 Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray, bringing out the second caution of the night. The No. 33 escaped with no damage, while McMurray had to bring his Chevy down pit road for repairs.

By lap 71, Bowyer had cracked the top ten and stayed there the majority of the night. He didn't make much noise there, however, until late in the race. He and Jeff Gordon had an intense side by side battle for third on lap 361, but Gordon ultimately prevailed.

Bowyer continued to challenge in the top five, but the pit stop prior to the green white checkered back tracked on Bowyer's momentum, and he fell back out of the top five. He finished ninth.

The finish,though, shot Bowyer three spots up to sixth in points. Next up for Bowyer is the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 18, 3 PM ET on FOX.

Thanks to Racing Reference,, NASCAR on FOX, ESPN2, Jayski,,, and for the information, quotes and stats used in this post.
The Lugnut Report: Clint Bowyer Grabs Top Ten in Phoenix The Lugnut Report: Clint Bowyer Grabs Top Ten in Phoenix Reviewed by Jen Preston on Sunday, April 11, 2010 Rating: 5