Coming into the first chase race, not many had Clint Bowyer pegged as a true contender. Following the race on Sunday at New Hampshire, however, that may have changed.
After leading over one hundred laps through the first three-quarters of the race, Bowyer found himself back in the fifth position. As the final 50 laps unfolded, Bowyer — while saving fuel — picked his way up to the second position and began his pursuit of Tony Stewart.
[media-credit id=2 align=”alignright” width=”255″][/media-credit]On the final lap, Stewart ducked down to the bottom as his Chevrolet finally ran out of gas, allowing Bowyer to cost around to victory.
With the win, Bowyer broke his 88-race winless streak in the Sprint Cup Series and jumped up ten spots to second in the points standings, trailing Denny Hamlin (who finished second) by 35 points going into the second week of the ten-race chase.
Non-chasers Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt finished third and fourth, respectively. They joined Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, David Reutimann, Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. in rounding out the top-ten finishers for the Sylvania 300.
Seven chasers finished outside of the top-ten, including three who finished outside of the top-20.
After running out of gas, Stewart finished 24th. Matt Kenseth finished 23rd and Jimmie Johnson finished 25th after both were involved in on-track accidents during the final half of the race.
The largest mover in series points was Bowyer. However, No driver dropped more than Johnson or Stewart. Behind Hamlin and Bowyer, Harvick and Kyle Busch held their third and fourth place points position. Gordon gained three spots and not sits in fifth, trailing Hamlin by 75 points.
Kurt Busch dropped one spot to sixth after finishing 13th. Johnson, who came into the race ten points behind Hamlin in second place is now seventh in the standings, and trails by 92 points.
Carl Edwards gained one spot and is now eighth, 95 points behind Hamlin. Greg Biffle lost two positions and sits ninth in the standings.
Jeff Burton stays in the tenth points spot, despite running out of fuel with one lap to go and finishing 15th.
Stewart is now 11th after a five spot drop and Kenseth is 12th and trails Hamlin by 136 points.
Note: Bowyer is used to starting off Chases with Victories. He won the 2007 race at New Hampshire to solidify his spot inside of the elite Chase field.
UNOFFICIAL RACE RESULTS
|4||32||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||160||0||300|
|10||15||77||Sam Hornish Jr.||Dodge||134||0||300|
|20||16||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||103||0||300|