Monday, September 10, 2012

Bowyer Runs Out Of Gas And Wins at Richmond

RICHMOND, VA – The rain-delayed final race kept the suspense up on who final 10 drivers to compete in The Chase were to be.  The rain forced a 2-hour delay to the start of the race as well as a 15 lap caution on lap 137 and a 51 minute red flag.  Clint Bowyer was at the lead when the checkered flag dropped followed by Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin.  When Bowyer took his victory “burn-out” he ran out of gas in his Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota.

This was a sweet win for Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip.  “Never in a million years would I ever dream that I would be racing against these guys and on this racetrack,” said Bowyer.  “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.”  After a near disastrous first season in 2007, MWR advances 2 drivers, Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. to The Chase.  “In racing, tonight is really special because somebody famous and smarter than me made a quote that says those that have invested the most appreciate success the most,” said Waltrip.  “I remember coming here and missing the races in '07.  Six years later we're sitting in Victory Lane.  Got two cars in the Chase.  …I'm pretty damn happy right now. That's what it's all about, being happy.”

Jeff Gordon, who finished second and made the Chase for the Sprint Cup, and crew chief Alan Gustafson had an unbelievable weekend.  Gordon, in a competition with Kyle Busch for a wild card spot in the Chase, qualified his #24 car on the outside of the front row.  Gordon then made a strong start leading a couple laps early in the race.  However, some handling issues cropped up causing Gordon to drop down a lap.  Following a pit under yellow on lap xx, He and his Hendrick Motorsports team decided to disconnect the rear sway bar.  Normally that’s a case of desperate people do desperate things and they normally never, ever work out. But this time it truly worked out, then he pitted very early on his last stop under green, hoping he didn’t get burned on a caution, and got the advantage of those fresh tires and drove through there and finished second (  “It was amazing,” said Gordon. “I still can't believe we actually did it. I know how proud Rick (Hendrick, team owner) is to have all four teams into this Chase.  That was a big goal of ours.  Pretty amazing to know we accomplished that.”

Hendricks has made the best showing in The Chase qualifying all 4 drivers for the Chase.  Roush-Fenway and Michael Waltrip Racing each placed two drivers.  Gibbs, Penske, Stewart Haas and Childress each placed one driver.  The field includes 6 Chevrolets, 3 Toyotas, 2 Fords and only one Dodge.  The twelve drivers are:

Greg Biffle – Roush-Fenway Racing, Ford
Dale Earnhardt Jr – Hendricks Motorsports, Chevrolet
Matt Kenseth – Roush-Fenway Racing, Ford
Jimmie Johnson – Hendricks Motorsports, Chevrolet
Brad Keselowski – Penske Racing, Dodge
Martin Truex Jr. – Michael Waltrip Racing, Ford
Clint Bowyer – Michael Waltrip Racing, Toyota
Denny Hamlin – Joe Gibbs, Toyota
Kevin Harvick – Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet
Tony Stewart – Stewart-Haas Racing, Chevrolet
Kasey Kahne – Hendricks Motorsports, Chevrolet
Jeff Gordon – Hendricks Motorsports, Chevrolet

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