Saturday, September 26, 2009

Clint Bowyer wins Nationwide Dover 200 race

Piloting the #29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, Clint Bowyer won the NASCAR Nationwide series Dover 200 on Saturday afternoon. In the past, the one-mile Dover International Speedway was known to be a true test of green NASCAR Nationwide series drivers with some rising to fame and others struggled. In order to infuse the RCR operation with some positive race efforts, the team decided to put Clint Bowyer in to replace part-time Nationwide native Stephen Leicht slated earlier to run.

The Dover 200 started under threats of rain leading drivers and teams planning to focus on finishing closer to the halfway mark of the 200-lap Dover event(at lap 101 NASCAR would are recorded as official). Perhaps provoked by the upcoming weather system, the early stage of the race went by quickly as not even a single caution slowed the field. Lapping up to 14th place before a series of green flag pit stops would commence, Busch's #18 NOS Energy Toyota dominated Dover from the pole. For the caution-free stint, Kyle Busch set a lightning fast pace succeeding to gain a near 4 second lead over than second place Carl Edwards.

During the first service period, Dover International Speedway's reputation for being one of the most difficult pit roads entrances NASCAR was reinforced by some driver errors. Brad Keselowski first attempt to enter pit road had to be aborted costing him time on the track. By the time he pitted, Keselowski overran pit road speed in the #88 Chevrolet through four timed sectors causing NASCAR to assess a drive-through penalty. Adding to the eventful pit sequence, Penske Racing's #12 Dodge of rookie Justin Allgaier stalled on pit road. It took six laps and a major effort by the Penske Racing team to get Allgaier back into the race.

As the race was slowed by caution after halfway, remaining lead lap cars were finally brought closer to Kyle Busch. Clint Bowyer gained the top spot at lap 118 from the #18 Toyota and would never give up the spot. At lap 190, Brad Keselowski added to his eventful 200 lap race when he made contact with Denny Hamlin through the #88's surge back from the pit stop ordeal.

Clint Bowyer's win became his second Nationwide win at Dover. Facing a career as the ultimate underdog in Nationwide competition in 2009, Mike Bliss secured a hard fought 2nd place finish in the #11 Toyota. Bliss, who had won a Nationwide race at Lowes Motor Speedway earlier this year for James Finch, is proving himself again in NASCAR Nationwide. In third place, despite all the setbacks, Keselowski finished strong. Coupled with the race problems, the JR Motorsports team was without Tony Eury Sr who was involved in a car accident a little less than two weeks ago. Son and Earnhardt Jr's former Cup crew Chief Tony Eury Jr filled in the duties for the #88 Chevrolet. On related news, the senior Eury suffered minor injuries but was mentioned to be "resting comfortably" by

Next race for the NASCAR Nationwide series is next Saturday at Kansas Speedway.

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