Clint Bowyer Snaps 190-Race Winless Streak With STP 500 Win At Martinsville Speedway


By: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com

RIDGEWAY, Va. – Clint Bowyer snapped a 190-race winless streak on Monday at Martinsville Speedway after he led a race high of 215 laps en route to winning the STP 500.

Prior to Monday, the last time that Bowyer celebrated in Victory Lane was back in 2011 when he won the October race at Talladgea Superspeedway. Monday’s victory is the 38-year-old’s ninth series win of his career. The driver of the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 Haas Automation Demo Derby Ford led more laps on Monday than he has in the previous four years combined.

“For whatever reason, it felt right driving up here,” Bowyer said. “It’s such a cool place to be able to drive up through the countryside on a two-lane road and think about the race.”

Bowyer continued and said, “Let me tell you something, Gene Haas, Tony Stewart, to give this old dog a fresh chance and fresh blood with a new opportunity. Finally to get the 14 in victory lane is just a weight off the shoulders. It’s been a long time. You start to question if you can get it done or not. To have it come at this place meant a lot.”

Kyle Busch finished second on Monday in his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 M&M’s Caramel Toyota. Busch attempted to chase Bowyer down, but he just wasn’t able to navigate through the lapped traffic as the final 109 laps went caution free. The second-place finish marks Busch’s second consecutive runner-up effort. 

“There was once or twice, I probably got held up with some lap traffic, and over the entire run, I probably lost 10, 15 car lengths just by lap cars getting side by side, but I’m sure he could say the same thing,” Busch said. “I only lost by five car lengths, but still, there was some times where certainly you get a little bit messed up and you mistime some lap cars, and they kind of get in your way or get side‑by‑side because they start racing or whatever. A couple times of that, but other than that, just didn’t quite have it.”

Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney led 145 laps throughout the afternoon in his No. 12 Menards/Libman Ford, but he came up short to finish third. Blaney entered the weekend coming off an eighth-place finish at Auto Club Speedway.

“It was a good showing for us, for sure,” Blaney said. “I think the track tightened up a good bit there towards the end and we just got a little bit behind. Congrats to Clint for winning that race. It was fun racing with him for a bit, but for us to come out of here and lead a bunch of laps, win a stage and run third here at Martinsville, where I usually run terrible, that says a lot about this team and the preparation that they did getting ready for this race. That’s nice to have, we just need to be a little bit better.”

Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five. Joey Logano finished sixth, followed by Alex Bowman, AJ Allmendinger, Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski.

There was only one crash during the STP 500 on Sunday. Jamie McMurray spun in Turn 2 and pounded the outside wall after contact from Austin Dillon. The caution flag flew for the accident on lap 385.

With the second-place finish, Busch will take over the lead in the standings by eight points over Truex Jr.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will take Easter weekend off, but the series will be back in action on Sunday, April 8 for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the race will broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) at 2 p.m. ET.

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