Bowyer Survives Late Restart, Wins At Sonoma
Posted by: Dave Thompson, follow @phillyfan17
June 24, 2012
Clint Bowyer held off a hard charging Kurt Busch in a green-white-checkered finish to win Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma raceway.
The win was Bowyer’s first at a road-course and sixth of his Sprint Cup Series career and his first victory with Michael Waltrip Racing.
Bowyer took the lead on Lap 74 and remained at the front until crossing the start/finish line.
Tony Stewart finished second after passing Busch on the final lap. Brian Vickers finished fourth for his second top-five finish in three races with Michael Waltrip Racing. Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon finished fifth and sixth.
Busch was looking to become the first repeat winner at Sonoma since Jeff Gordon (1998-2000) after winning the race last year while at Penske Racing. Busch battled Bowyer for several laps, reached his bumper several times but unable to make the pass before his tires began to wear down with 10 laps remaining.
Paul Menard’s spinout brought out the final caution flag which set up the green-white-checkered finish and gave Busch one last shot at Bowyer. Lurking in third on the restart was Stewart, who had 12 fewer laps on his tires than Bowyer and Busch. With just four laps to go, Bowyer shared his thoughts on the caution after building a two second lead over Busch. “You’ve got to be (expletive) kidding me!”
Bowyer continued his dominance on the final restart as he held off Busch and Stewart, pulling away to seal the win.
After the race, Bowyer was forced to walk to Victory Lane after his car ran out of fuel during his victory burnout.
“To switch teams like I did was a huge risk for me, and obviously a chance for me to showcase my talent,” said Bowyer after making it to victory lane to celebrate with his team.
The race itself set a record for fewest number of cautions in the race with two (four was the previous record). The first caution did not wave until lap 83 for a spin by Tomy Drissi, which set another track record for most green-flag laps to start the race.
Marcos Ambrose, the pole-sitter on Sunday, led the first 11 laps, but his car seemed to fade after 12-15 laps as he lost the handling on the No. 9 Stanley Ford. Ambrose was unable regain the handling and finished eighth.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was spun around on the final restart and finished 23rd, his worst finish of the season. In his 13 career Sprint Cup starts at Sonoma, Earnhardt has yet to finish in the top-10.
Matt Kenseth, who finished 13th, maintained his lead in the point standings over Biffle and Earnhardt.
Results of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma:
|1||6||15||Clint Bowyer||5-hour Energy Toyota||112||48||5||RUNNING||3||71|
|2||24||14||Tony Stewart||Office Depot / MOBIL 1 Chevrolet||112||42||RUNNING|
|3||8||51||Kurt Busch||Phoenix Construction Services Chevrolet||112||42||1||RUNNING||2||2|
|4||21||55||Brian Vickers||RKMotorsCharlotte.com Toyota||112||40||RUNNING|
|5||3||48||Jimmie Johnson||Lowe’s Chevrolet||112||39||RUNNING|
|6||2||24||Jeff Gordon||Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet||112||39||1||RUNNING||1||13|
|7||4||16||Greg Biffle||3M / US Stationary Ford||112||37||RUNNING|
|8||1||9||Marcos Ambrose||Stanley Ford||112||37||1||RUNNING||1||11|
|9||17||22||AJ Allmendinger||Shell Pennzoil Dodge||112||35||RUNNING|
|10||14||20||Joey Logano||The Home Depot Toyota||112||34||RUNNING|
|11||35||31||Jeff Burton||Wheaties Chevrolet||112||33||RUNNING|
|12||13||2||Brad Keselowski||Miller Lite Dodge||112||32||RUNNING|
|13||9||17||Matt Kenseth||Ford EcoBoost Ford||112||31||RUNNING|
|14||15||5||Kasey Kahne||Farmers Insurance Chevrolet||112||30||RUNNING|
|15||20||13||Casey Mears||GEICO Ford||112||29||RUNNING|
|16||26||29||Kevin Harvick||Rheem Chevrolet||112||28||RUNNING|
|17||7||18||Kyle Busch||M&M’s Toyota||112||27||RUNNING|
|18||10||39||Ryan Newman||Quicken Loans / Children’s Tumor Fndtn Chevrolet||112||26||RUNNING|
|19||25||1||Jamie McMurray||McDonald’s Chevrolet||112||25||RUNNING|
|20||23||27||Paul Menard||Menards / Moen Chevrolet||112||24||RUNNING|
|21||11||99||Carl Edwards||Aflac Ford||112||23||RUNNING|
|22||5||56||Martin Truex Jr.||NAPA Auto Parts Toyota||112||23||1||RUNNING||2||15|
|23||19||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Diet Mntn Dew / Ntnl Guard / 7-Eleven Chevrolet||112||21||RUNNING|
|24||18||47||Bobby Labonte||Clorox Toyota||111||20||RUNNING|
|25||22||95||Scott Speed||Leavine Family Racing Ford||111||19||RUNNING|
|26||27||38||David Gilliland||1-800-LoanMart Ford||111||18||RUNNING|
|27||29||34||David Ragan||Green 1 High Performance Green Ford||111||17||RUNNING|
|28||30||43||Aric Almirola||Medallion Ford||110||16||RUNNING|
|29||28||32||Boris Said||HendrickCars.com Ford||110||15||RUNNING|
|30||40||26||Josh Wise #||MDS Transport Ford||110||14||RUNNING|
|31||42||83||Landon Cassill||Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota||110||13||RUNNING|
|32||31||78||Regan Smith||Furniture Row / Farm American Chevrolet||109||12||RUNNING|
|33||38||49||JJ Yeley||America Israel Racing / JPO Absorbents Toyota||107||11||RUNNING|
|34||12||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Target Chevrolet||107||10||RUNNING|
|35||16||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Ground Toyota||98||9||Suspension|
|36||39||93||Travis Kvapil||Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota||92||8||RUNNING|
|37||32||36||Dave Blaney||Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet||84||7||Suspension|
|38||41||10||Tomy Drissi||Ice Age Continental Drift Chevrolet||78||6||Accident|
|39||34||7||Robby Gordon||MAPEI / Save Mart Supermarkets Dodge||73||5||Steering|
|40||33||98||David Mayhew||Phil Parsons Racing Ford||25||4||Brakes|
|41||43||33||Stephen Leicht #||LittleJoesAutos.com Chevrolet||22||3||Brakes|
|42||37||19||Chris Cook||Humphrey Smith Racing Toyota||13||2||Brakes|
|43||36||87||Joe Nemechek(i)||AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota||1||0||Engine|
Posted: June 24th, 2012
Categories: Featured, Nascar Sprint Cup Series, Results.
Tags: Brian Vickers, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, marcos ambrose, SONOMA, Tony Stewart