If there is one thing that Clint Bowyer wants to accomplish before his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career comes to a close, it’s winning at his hometrack — Kansas Speedway. Saturday night in the Digital Ally 400, Bowyer didn’t have the best car for the majority of the race, but when the chips were on the table on an overtime restart Bowyer was in striking distance to pounce for the win.
However an errant block thrown by Erik Jones stalled Bowyer’s run and ended any hope of winning the race. After crossing the finish line to finish fifth, Bowyer slammed into the back of Jones’ No. 20 Toyota Camry to show his displeasure. When they got to pit road the two exchanged pleasantries.
“We should have finished second,” Bowyer said. “I had a huge run on both those guys but that kid [Jones], I guess he was willing to wreck himself to hold the position.”
Bowyer went on to say if things had been slightly different he would have simply disposed of Jones.
“Yeah, that wasn’t very smart,” Bowyer explained. “If it had been another scenario where I would have had some room I would have just turned him in front of the whole field and he would be back there wishing he wouldn’t have done that. Oh well.”
Jones, unsurprisingly, saw the incident differently.
“I think it was just racing,” Jones said. “We’re racing hard and this package kind of leads into a lot of blocking and a lot of protecting your position. When I take the white flag, I’m not going to give up a lane to give up two, three or four spots if he would have got to the inside.”
While Bowyer wanted to win this one badly, Jones too was in desperate need of a good showing. The 22-year old is working on a contract extension, but with Christopher Bell looking ready to move to the next level, pressure is mounting for Joe Gibbs Racing to move Bell up. Runs like Saturday at Kansas are what Jones needs to shut down any chance of him being bounced from the No. 20 car.
“The DeWalt Camry was good,” Jones stated. “We had a car that could have won. We just got in the wrong spot at the end of the race and we weren’t able to capitalize on it. We’ll keep moving forward. It’s been two good weeks. This is the best car we’ve had in a long time – really since Texas. It’s nice to be up in contention and have that shot.”
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.