The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 29, 2013

Clint Bowyer has Richmond mess in rearview mirror

(Continued)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

It’s the third time since 2010 that Bowyer’s title chances were yanked out from underneath him in the blink of an eye.

He opened the 2010 Chase with a win at New Hampshire that vaulted him from 12th to second in the standings. Then NASCAR ruled his car was illegal, docked him 150 points, and the lengthy appeal process wore down his race team.

Richard Childress Racing never got the points back, but it didn’t matter, anyway. Bowyer finished 25th and 15th in the two races after New Hampshire and spent the entire Chase trying not to finish last in the field.

Last year, Bowyer used a win at Charlotte at the midpoint of the Chase to move to fourth, then close to third in the standings with the leaders in sight with two races remaining. But an angry Jeff Gordon chose the penultimate race to settle a vendetta and deliberately wrecked Bowyer late in the race at Phoenix.

It ended his title chances with one race remaining, and this year he hardly got out of the gate.

“Just been the story of my career in NASCAR. Two steps forward and one back,” he said. “A lot of that except for this last time, I didn’t have anything to do with it. I don’t build the damn cars, I didn’t crash myself at Phoenix. Some of those are out of your control. Certainly one of them I had something to do with it. It’s tough, but hey, man, it’s life. Life’s tough. It ain’t going to slow me down. I have a blast doing this.”

And Bowyer had a blast on Sunday at Martinsville, where it was clear he’s finally out of the fog.

He led 60 laps — he’d led only nine laps total since Richmond, where he led 72 — and finished third. It was his best finish of this Chase, only his third top-10 in seven races and first top-five.

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