November 18, 2012
Clint Bowyer Homestead Miami Race Summary
No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished second in Sunday’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started sixth and raced at the front of the field throughout the event. The Brian Pattie-led team employed a fuel strategy late in the race that came close to paying dividends. Bowyer closed in on the leader in the final laps, but crossed the finish line 1.028 seconds behind winner Jeff Gordon. Bowyer finishes the season a career-best second in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup. The No. 15 posted three wins, 10 top-five finishes and 23 top-10 finishes in 2012.
- Started sixth and finished second.
- Raced at the front throughout the event.
- Brian Pattie led team employed a fuel strategy late in the race that nearly won Bowyer the race.
- Bowyer finished second behind race winner Jeff Gordon.
BOWYER: How was your race?
"We had a decent car. We didn't have the strongest car, but we had a really good car. (Brian) Pattie (crew chief) and everybody at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) and all of these guys on this 5-hour ENERGY Toyota really work hard on fuel mileage. It paid off there at the end. I hated to lose -- nonetheless, it was a good year for us and a good finish for us and just a good way to cap off a great year."
Did you think finishing second in the points was a possibility when you made the move to Michael Waltrip Racing?
"You just hope to run that good and hope to land with a good family and a good team. Everybody at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) -- all three of these cars -- Martin Truex (Jr.), Mark Martin and I are just fortunate to drive these race cars. Good cars each and every week. Like I said, it's a long, hard road, this season is and it feels good to finally be over with."
What were your feelings following the race?
"Frustrated and bummed out. I would've loved to have won that race, especially to beat him (Jeff Gordon). To end up second and second in points. There were several points in that race where I thought we were good and then we lost all of those positions on pit road and the 5 (Kasey Kahne) car was leading and I was like, 'Well, there goes third. Now where is fourth? How am I going to lose fourth?' To be able to bounce back through all of the adversity and overcome all of that and finish second is just a great feeling. I'm proud of Brian Pattie (crew chief) and all of the guys on the 5-hour ENERGY Toyota. They work hard and they deserve good finishes like this."
What was the racing like today?
"It was fun. This is a neat mile-and-a-half race track. I think one of the best that we come to. Just so many options. You slip and slide around, and that outside line because it's got the most banking is somewhat of a preferred line, but you can definitely slide people. It kind of reminds me of an old dry, slick dirt track. You've just got to make sure you slide them far enough and get that thing to stick once you get in front of them. Because a lot of times you'll slide up there and you might get in the wall or might spin out in front of them and take you both out. I've seen it all. I've seen them go good and go bad."
What does it mean to finish second in point standings?
"It's huge. To end up second in points and beat guys like Jimmie Johnson to do it. There's several races -- had I had to do over again -- I wish they would've been different. Talladega was the biggest one. We just got behind at Talladega and never could really bounce back. I'm proud of everybody, because we were there all season long."
What do you think of how the championship played out?
"Congratulations to Brad Keselowski. I watched that deal on SPEED with him and his family -- his parents -- and it's just a cool story. We'll have a new face as the champion of this sport. I would've liked for it to have been me, but I'm super proud of him and all of his efforts. He was strong when it counted and we all did a good job. We all had a great year. I'm proud of my MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) team."
FINAL CHASE STANDINGS
1 Brad Keselowski 2400 Leader
2 Clint Bowyer 2361 -39
3 Jimmie Johnson 2360 -40
4 Kasey Kahne 2345 -55
5 Greg Biffle 2332 -68
6 Denny Hamlin 2329 -71
7 Matt Kenseth 2324 -76
8 Kevin Harvick 2321 -79
9 Tony Stewart 2311 -89
10 Jeff Gordon 2303 -97
11 Martin Truex Jr. 2299 -101
12 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2245 -155
View the Miami Recap Video on Michael Waltrip Racing
View photos from the race >