NASCAR: Bowyer gets first win of season in Nationwide
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. ó Clint Bowyer’s first victory of the season gave Richard Childress Racing a much-needed boost.
Bowyer won the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night, holding off Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards in a green-white-checkered finish.
“These guys never give up, the guys at RCR and the ladies,” Childress said. “They just dig and dig. We’ve been a little bit off, and when you get a little bit off, everybody wants to kind of kick you. We just take that lick and come on back.”
Bowyer, the defending series champion, was the leader when a multicar accident brought out the caution with six laps to go in the Subway Jalapeno 250. That set up a final two-lap overtime sprint, and Bowyer lined up inside of Edwards for the double-file restart.
With Busch pushing him from behind, Bowyer raced to the front. He didn’t have to deal with a challenge from Busch because an accident in the fourth turn brought out a race-ending caution, giving RCR its first win of the year.
Busch finished second, followed by Edwards, Joey Logano and Kasey Kahne.
Bowyer’s win might not do much to soothe Childress’ problems in the Sprint Cup series, where Bowyer (15th), Jeff Burton (16th), Casey Mears (20th) and Kevin Harvick (27th) are all out of championship contention. Then again, a trip to Victory Lane could raise morale across the board.
“At RCR, things haven’t been the best this year and you need something,” Bowyer said. “You’re always looking for that little thing, and hopefully this victory will give everyone a pep in their step and some excitement.”
This one wasn’t a fluke. Bowyer had the car to beat much of the night. He started on the pole and spent much of the night running up front. He moved to the front for good with about 30 laps to go, often driving away from his competitors down the backstretch.
“That was the best we had,” Busch said. “Clint’s car was better than ours tonight.”