Clint Bowyer won the fifth Chase Race held at Charlotte Motor Speedway under the lights. He powered his Toyota passed the finish line easily ahead of his nearest competitor Denny Hamlin, but ran out of gas while trying to perform his celebratory burnouts! His crew had to push the car to Victory Lane, an act that left them all in smiles.
Fuel conservation was the story of the evening at the tail end of the Bank of America 500. Bowyer just made it. It was Bowyer’s first win at Charlotte Motor Speedway, his eighth career Cup win, and third this season.
Second place finisher Hamlin was also conserving but finished a scant .417 seconds behind race winner Bowyer.
Third place finisher Jimmie Johnson was similarly given the same directive by his crew chief to conserve which left him in good position to end the night making up points on the leader.
Unfortunately, points leader Brad Keselowski missed his window for pitting before running out of fuel which resulted in an 11th place finish.
Pole-sitter for the race Greg Biffle placed fourth and non-Chase racer Kyle Busch picked up fifth.
Bowyer’s Michael Waltrip Racing teammate and non-Chase racer Mark Martin brought home sixth. Non-Chase racer Carl Edwards was seventh. Kasey Kahne was eighth. Non-Chase racer Joey Logano, winner of the Nationwide Series race the night before, turned in a ninth place finish. Bowyer and Martin’s teammate Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top-10.
Keselowski held on to the top spot on the NASCAR Sprint Cup leaderboard for another week, although his lead dwindled to a mere seven points ahead of Jimmie Johnson, who occupies second for yet another week.
Denny Hamlin also stays in third for another week.
After a terrible run at Talladega last week that had Bowyer mixed up in the last lap melee, he rebounds landing in fourth, an elevation of one spot. Kahne dropped one position to fifth.
Biffle’s solid run saw him leap three spots to occupy sixth. Truex Jr. moved up one place to seventh. Tony Stewart, defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, earned 13th in the race and fell one position to eighth. Jeff Gordon, 18th in Saturday night’s race, plummeted three spots to ninth. Kevin Harvick, 16th in the race, remained in 10th.
Matt Kenseth, 14th in the race, ascended one spot to take over 11th. And, finally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost one spot to occupy 12th. Earnhardt Jr. announced earlier in the week that Regan Smith would be driving in his stead at both Charlotte and Kansas as he had suffered a concussion at Talladega – his second in several weeks.
Smith had a strong start to the night but a blown engine on lap 61 resulted in his 38th place finish.
The second half of the ten race Chase begins at the Kansas Speedway next weekend for the Hollywood Casino 400. The race will be run on Sunday, October 21st at 1 pm EST on ESPN.
Tune in to that race to watch the Chase unfold and be sure to return here to this site for my Hollywood Casino 400 Race Recap following the race.
Candice Smith can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit http://Chief187.com.