BROOKLYN, Mich – The good news for Clint Bowyer on Sunday is that he only lost six points in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings. Jimmie Johnson got into the wall early and had a flat tire shortly after and finished a disappointing 34th. Ryan Newman didn’t score a single stage point and only finished 12th.
But, it was another day that got away from Bowyer. He scored stage points in the second stage and was in the hunt for a top 10 in Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400 at the Michigan International Speedway but a Lap 136 crash ended his day with a last place finish (37th).
“Somebody got in the back of me,” Bowyer said of the incident. “When I went around I just saw Bowman and thought it was him. I guess maybe the 21 or somebody. As soon as it happened, I was just along for the ride. I don’t know.”
The finish was Bowyer’s eight outside of the top 10 in his last nine Michigan starts. Seven of those eight were 23rd or worse. He crashed out in June and finished 35th too. Also, he has just one top five finish on the season since Memorial Day weekend. That’s why he went from +73 leaving Kansas to +6 heading to Bristol next weekend. With how they’re running right now, Bowyer isn’t concerned about the playoffs because he knows that even if he somehow makes it, he’s not going to be there long.
“We have to get something figured out with these race tracks,” Bowyer continued. “We are really fast by ourselves, practice and qualifying really well, in the top-five almost every single time but then we start the race and don’t make the grip we need to compete. We definitely need to find some things out. You can talk about the bubble and worrying about points but I am way more worried about getting established and running up front at these types of race tracks. If you make the playoffs and can’t compete in it then what is the use? We have some things to work out. We have some time. We have some good race tracks for us including Bristol coming up. We have plenty of racing but we have to get some things figured out.”