Clint Bowyer apologized to the media gathered outside the infield care center and said he was biting his tongue after making an early race exit Monday evening in Michigan.
Bowyer wrecked out of the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Lap 131, his third DNF of the season. Trying to keep clear of the No. 20 of Erik Jones, who had gotten loose in front of him, Bowyer said he got loose because of Austin Dillon charging underneath him. Bowyer’s Stewart-Haas Racing Mustang then got into the left rear of Jones’ Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, and got way out of shape leading to his accident.
“It was a pretty frustrating day,” Bowyer said. “Pretty frustrating out there.”
What made Bowyer so upset and forcing himself to hold back? The way the race played out, with the aero package for Michigan (550 horsepower and aero ducts) that had drivers noticeably closer together, the draft playing a significant role in the action.
“It’s not racing,” said Bowyer. “I have never been penalized for trying to make a pass in my whole life, since I was four years old. You get a run on somebody, and you can make a complete pass; and by the time you get to the next corner you’ve been passed by four people. It’s really, really frustrating.”
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver started the day fifth on the grid and was looking for his second straight win at Michigan. But he did not score points in either Stage 1 or Stage 2.
Asked if the driver can do anything to make the difference up Bowyer said, “It’s all situational, and all comes down to what call you make and when you make it; how your track position plays out for stage points, and how your luck plays out from there.”