Bowyer and Elliott lament missed opportunity at Bristol

Clint Bowyer and Chase Elliott led a combined 232 of 500 laps at Bristol, but both left the track dissatisfied as the victory slipped through their fingers.

Bowyer and Elliott lament missed opportunity at Bristol
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Rush Truck Centers/Cummins
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Rush Truck Centers/Cummins crew
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Rush Truck Centers/Cummins
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Haas 30 Years of the VF1
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Kelley Blue Book
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Kelley Blue Book
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Kelley Blue Book
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Kelley Blue Book

Clint Bowyer and Chase Elliott came away from Bristol with strong finishes, but both lament the missed chance for a victory at the 'World's Fastest Half-Mile.'

Both drivers spent time out front Saturday night, but fell short at the checkered flag. 

For Bowyer, it all came down to a late-race restart. On Lap 473 of 500, he and teammate Kurt Busch restarted side-by-side, but Busch was able to seize control from the bottom of the track.

Bowyer had the chance to respond on the final restart of the race with 13 laps to go, but he spun the tires. The mistake dropped him outside the top-five and relegated him to a sixth-place finish after leading 120 laps.

“I just clearly didn’t do a good job on the restarts," he admitted. "When I had the lead I thought I got a good jump and about the time I shifted Kurt (Busch) hit me in the door and it just lit the tires up. He didn’t do anything wrong – it’s just a product of it. Then when I was on the bottom, I spun the tires real bad and they all got around me. It’s disappointing. You get a car that good and you get that close you hate to not come home with it, but, all in all, for as terrible as we started the weekend and as bad as our day was yesterday, to lead laps or even be in the top-10, I was pretty surprised to be honest with you.

"In the grand scheme of things, it was a pretty good run for us, but you hate to give them up like that.” 

Elliott left BMS with a similar feeling, wondering what could have been. NASCAR's newest winner led 112 laps, but lost touch with the top spot in the closing stages. However, a roll of a dice move to pit from third-place during the final caution for fresh rubber nearly paid off.

Elliott restarted seventh with 23 laps to go and quickly found his way back through the field. In the final ten laps, he had made his way up to third once again, but simply ran out of time as he ran down Kyle Larson and eventual race winner Kurt Busch.

When asked if he was satisfied with the result, the Hendrick Motorsports driver did not mince words. “Not very, to be honest.

"We had a great car and it was really good through those mid-stages and we were really able to capitalize and lead some laps. We got kind of tight right after that. Once we got it fixed back, I thought it was really good again. And I just got the bottom on some of those late-race restarts, minus that very last one, just hate that I had a car that I felt like could contend with those guys when we had it right. And, we had it right there at the end."

He then added, "We needed to capitalize tonight. This is a great race track for us and it’s pretty unfortunate we didn’t ... I just wish we could have capitalized. This was a great opportunity for us that we really needed to get some more Playoff points and I hate that we didn’t.”

shares
comments
Opinion: Bristol Night Race win says much about SHR, Kurt Busch
Previous article

Opinion: Bristol Night Race win says much about SHR, Kurt Busch

Next article

Analysis: Why Trevor Bayne deserves another look

Analysis: Why Trevor Bayne deserves another look
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021