Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-50):
● Clint Bowyer started 14th and finished 34th.
● The No. 14 Haas Automation Ford moved to the rear of the field for unapproved adjustment before the start.
● Bowyer was 33rd at the lap 20 competition caution.
● Because his competitors didn’t score enough stage points, Bowyer clinched a playoff spot.
● During the stage break, Bowyer pitted for four tires then topped off the fuel tank before taking the green flag.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 51-100):
● Bowyer started 31st and finished third to earn eight bonus points.
● The No. 14 Haas Automation Ford ran single file and saved fuel until 10 to go in the stage.
● He and several Fords stretched their fuel mileage and ran the entire stage without stopping.
● Bowyer moved to fifth at lap 90.
● Bowyer engaged in a wild battle in the closing laps of the stage to finish third.
● During the stage break, Bowyer pitted for tires and fuel.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 101-160):
● Bowyer started third and finished 19th.
● The No. 14 Ford ran as high as second before he fell out of the draft and back to 27th with 40 to go.
● A caution brought Bowyer to the pits for four tires and fuel with 15 laps to go.
● Race resumed with 13 laps remaining and Bowyer in 29th.
● It took just two laps for Bowyer to jump from 29th to 10th.
● Bowyer avoided damage in a nine-car wreck with eight laps to go and moved to sixth.
● NASCAR stopped the race for 10 minutes to clean the debris from the track. Bowyer restarted the five-lap shootout in sixth.
● Bowyer battled in the top three until another multicar accident with two laps to go sent the race into overtime.
● In a green-white-checkered finish, Bowyer looked to be in the perfect position for the win on the final lap, but contact from Denny Hamlin sent him hard into the wall in turn two.
● Bowyer drove back to the pits with a 19th-place finish.
● Bowyer qualified for the playoffs by virtue of his 10th-place finish in the regular-season standings.
● This is Bowyer’s ninth playoff appearance and his third in a row.
● Bowyer takes three bonus points into the playoffs via his two stage wins May 20 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and a stage win Aug. 9 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. His 10th-place finish in the regular season standings earned him a fourth bonus point.
● Bowyer has scored the sixth most points of all drivers in the last six races.
● SHR is the only four-car team to have its entire driver lineup in the NASCAR Playoffs.
● William Byron won the Coke Zero Sugar 400 to score his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory. His margin of victory over second-place Chase Elliott was .119 of a second.
● There were six caution periods for a total of 21 laps and only 20 of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
1. Kevin Harvick (2,057 points)
2. Denny Hamlin (2,047 points, -10)
3. Brad Keselowski (2,029 points, -28)
4. Joey Logano (2,022 points, -35)
5. Chase Elliott (2,020 points, -37)
6. Martin Truex, Jr. (2,014 points, -43)
7. Ryan Blaney (2,013 points, -44)
8. Alex Bowman (2,009 points, -48)
9. William Byron (2,007 points, -50)
10. Austin Dillon (2,005 points, -52)
11. Cole Custer (2,005 points, -52)
12. Aric Almirola (2,005 points, -52)
13. Clint Bowyer (2,004 points, -53)
14. Kyle Busch (2,003 points, -54)
15. Kurt Busch (2,001 points, -56)
16. Matt DiBenedetto (2,000 points, -57)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I got hit really hard on the final lap. It’s disappointing because we were in a really good position. On the good side we clinched and finished 10th in points. That’s something in which the No. 14 guys and everyone at SHR should be proud. The pay window opens next week in Darlington for the playoffs. We’re ready. This is going to fun.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Cook Out Southern 500 on Sunday, Sept. 6 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The first race in the 10-race NASCAR Playoffs starts at 6 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.