2010-11-04 / Sports

Clint Bowyer Noses Out Kevin Harvick

By Gerald Hodges TE RACING REPORTER

Clint Bowyer Clint Bowyer TALLADEGA, Ala. – Clint Bowyer edged out his teammate Kevin Harvick to win Sunday’s AMP Energy 500, in a race that ended under a last-lap caution.

Harvick was actually ahead of Bowyer when the white flag was given, signifying the last lap. After crossing the start/finish line, A.J. Allmendinger got sideways and went barreling over and over to bring out the last caution. It took replays and scoring loops to determine Bowyer had the edge on Kevin Harvick when the caution actually came out.

“Oh man, what a day,” said Bowyer. “If I hadn’t had help from Juan (Montoya), I couldn’t have done it. We had a fast car all day, but I got into the 47 car and knocked a whole in the front of my car.”

“The guys in the pits did a great job of getting me out, and it was the closest finish of any race that I’ve won.”

The win was the second of the season for Bowyer, but his first-ever restrictor-plate victory.

“I didn’t know when the caution came out, but I thought I beat him to the line for the last lap,” said Harvick. “It was really close.

“Our car was beat up in the front and I knew it was going to be a drag race to the end. We did what we needed to do, and it was a good points day.”

Harvick is still third in points, 23 behind Johnson.

Jimmie Johnson finished seventh and has a 10-point lead over Denny Hamlin.

“Our strategy didn’t play out well at the end,” said Johnson. “I don’t know what happened, but every car back of us abandoned us, and we really lost our momentum and got us out of sequence.”

David Reutimann, Juan Montoya, Joey Logano, Mar- tin Truex, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Jeff Gordon were the remaining top-10 finishers.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. made contact with Jeff Burton late in the race, ending the day for both drivers.

Top-12 Chase leaders with three races left: 1. Johnson 6149, 2. Hamlin-6139, 3. Harvick-6126, 4. J. Gordon- 5934, 5. Kyle Busch-5919, 6. Edwards-5902, 7. Stewart- 5841, 8. Kenseth-5825, 9. Burton 5797, 10. Kurt Busch- 5796, 11. Biffle-5788, 12. Bowyer-5717

The finish in Saturday afternoon’s Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega was so close even Kyle Busch and his No. 18 team weren’t entirely sure who had crossed the finish line first. But when the dust settled, Busch was posted as the winner by .002 of a second over Aric Almirola, the closest margin of victory in series history when using electronic scoring.

Busch, who led three times for just eight laps, went below Almirola in the final few hundred yards before the finish line and managed to beat him by inches when the checkered flag flew.

The win was Busch’s second consecutive victory at Talladega and his sixth Truck Series victory of 2010. Ironically, Busch beat Almirola last year at Talladega by just .057 of a second.

“That was cool,” Busch said. “I didn’t want to do it. Man, Aric (Almirola) deserved to win the race and deserved it from last year. I had Johnny (Sauter) pushing on me, and I was getting loose through the tri-oval – just trying to stay with the 51 (Almirola). I turned it back to the bottom to try to straighten it back out, and I was still loose alongside of him. I thought the 13 (Sauter) was going to my bottom so I wanted to block him. It was just crazy there at the end.”

Top-10 leaders after 22 of 25: 1. Bodine-3480, 2. Almirola 3264, 3. Sauter-3171, 4. Crafton-3067, 5. Dillon-3065, 6. Hornaday-2987, 7. Peters- 2980, 8. Skinner-2828, 9. Starr- 2777, 10. White-2678

Weekend racing: It’s on to the 1.5-mile Texas Speedway for all three of the NASCAR touring series this weekend.

Friday, November 5, Camping World Winstar World Casino 350k, race 23 of 25; starting time: 8:30 p.m. ET; TV: Speed.

Saturday, November 6, Nationwide Series O’Reilly Challenge, race 33 of 35; starting time: noon ET; TV: ESPN2.

Sunday, Nov. 7, Sprint Cup Lone Star 500, race 34 of 36; starting time: 1 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN.

Racing trivia question: Where is the last Sprint Cup race of the season held?

Last week’s question: When was Talladega Superspeedway opened? Answer. The first race was held Sept. 14, 1969.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at: hodgesnews@ earthlink.net

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