Texas II: Clint Bowyer race report
Undesirable Finish for No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet at Texas FORT WORTH, Texas (November 6, 2010) -- Clint Bowyer and Richard Childress Racing's No. 21 Zaxby's team posted a disappointing 30th-place finish in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge NASCAR ...
Undesirable Finish for No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet at Texas
FORT WORTH, Texas (November 6, 2010) -- Clint Bowyer and Richard Childress Racing's No. 21 Zaxby's team posted a disappointing 30th-place finish in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon as a result of debris on the race track, which put a hole in the No. 21 Chevrolet's oil pan and caused an engine problem while the team was running in the top 10.
Saturday's race marked the last NNS race for Zaxby's and the RCR NNS program this season. RCR and KHI recently announced a partnership in which KHI will field NNS entries in 2011 with RCR providing chassis, engine and technical support. Since its inception in 2000, RCR's Nationwide Series program has earned 56 victories and five championships; two overall championships (2001, 2006 with Kevin Harvick), two owners-only titles (2003 with Harvick and Johnny Sauter; 2007 with Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer), and one driver-only title (2008 with Clint Bowyer).
The Richard Childress Racing team is currently 21st in the NASCAR Nationwide Series owners' point standings following the 33rd event of the NNS season.
Two practice sessions on Friday afforded race teams the opportunity to fine tune their race cars in preparation for Saturday afternoon's race. Bowyer and the Danny Stockman-led Zaxby's team were fifth at the conclusion of first practice, but posted the 17th-fastest time during final practice after an on-track incident involving another car during the final minutes of the session prevented the RCR team from making a run in qualifying trim.
The team knew that they had a fast Chevrolet and proved it during qualifying on Friday evening. Bowyer circled the 1.5-mile tri-oval in 28.647 seconds at a speed of 188.501 mph, earning him a fifth-place starting berth for Saturday afternoon's 205-lap race.
The 2008 NNS champion took the green flag in front of an estimated 72,500 race fans, utilizing spotter Kevin Hamlin for the 307.5-mile race.
Bowyer settled into fourth at the beginning of the race, but soon reported to Stockman that the No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet was extremely tight, and dropped to 16th in the running order before a lap-44 caution flag afforded the team the opportunity to make a trip down pit road.
During his pit stop, Bowyer's No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet was serviced with four Goodyear tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Quick work by a crew consisting partially of members of Jeff Burton's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' team, allowed Bowyer to try to make a quick break away from pit road, but the car stalled in the pit stall and members of the crew had to give the car a push before it would fire back up.
The minor setback lost Bowyer seven positions in the pits, and he restarted 21st when green-flag racing resumed on lap 49. Bowyer was able to work his way up to 15th in the running order, but the chassis of his Chevrolet was still much too tight for his liking, so a series of two pit stops were made when the second of five caution flags was displayed on lap 82.
Following the addition of tires, chassis and air pressure adjustments, Bowyer restarted 22nd on lap 86, and was scored in 15th position at the race's half-way point on lap 100.
Bowyer was running 13th when a tire began to fall apart, prompting the Emporia, Kan., native to suddenly veer down pit road on lap 133 so that the RCR team could service the Zaxby's Chevrolet with four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Bowyer restarted the race 13th with just 10 laps to go, and quickly worked his way towards the top echelons of the running order. He was running eighth with six laps to go and still charging through the field when several pieces of brake rotor left on the track from another competitor's car, hit the Zaxby's Chevrolet and caused extensive damage, including a hole in the oil pan and oil cooler, which caused a loss of oil and engine failure for Bowyer.
The RCR team's day ended early, and Bowyer recorded a 30th-place finish, seven laps down.
Carl Edwards won the 205-lap race over Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski. Joey Logano finished fourth, with Martin Truex, Jr. in fifth.
CLINT BOWYER: "That's about par for the course for this Zaxby's Chevrolet this year. We've haven't had the best luck, but they've been a good sponsor and I want to thank them for hanging in there. I'm ready to go out and find some success in the Nationwide Series next year."
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