By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
Ever since Clint Bowyer moved to Stewart-Haas Racing last year, he has been undergoing a career renaissance and Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway was just another example of that as he brought home a runner-up finish behind teammate Kevin Harvick.
With one win already under his belt this year, Bowyer was looking for more when his No. 14 team rolled into the Monster Mile.
Starting the day in 12th, Bowyer quickly climbed into the top-10, where he would remain for the majority of the race. Over the first two stages, he would clock in with finishes of seventh and fifth, respectively, before setting his sights on the race lead.
As Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. held onto the top spot at lap 296, Bowyer and Stenhouse had a thrilling battle for the lead before Bowyer ultimately won out and took over out front.
Leading the next 20 laps, Bowyer had asserted himself as one of the drivers to beat before rain showers set in around the track and brought out a 41-minute-long red flag. Despite his position out front, his biggest threat for his second win of the year was a familiar one in his teammate Harvick.
When the race resumed following the red flag, Bowyer jumped out to a sizable lead over Harvick, but that wouldn’t matter as Harvick chewed up the interval between the two in short order and made the final pass for the lead with 63 laps to go.
Though he gave it his all to try and keep up, Harvick was just too strong as he streaked away to win by more than seven seconds, leaving Bowyer to have to settle for a second-place finish.
“Cleary, Kevin was up front was the car to beat most of the day,” said Bowyer. “It was our first shot at tires and taking off in clean air. It makes a big difference. When your back in dirty air mired in traffic like we were most of the day it’s tough. Hats off to everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing. These Ford Fusions are fun to drive. The Haas Automation Demo Day was fun to drive. We won with this paint scheme in Martinsville and thought we were going to win with it again today. We keep knocking of the door like today we’ll get another win.”
With Sunday’s finish, Bowyer now has three top-five finishes and seven top-10 finishes in the first 11 races of the season to go along with his Martinsville win as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to his home state of Kansas next week.