You’ll never confuse the Phoenix Raceway as one of Clint Bowyer’s best tracks. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver has typically struggled on the 1-mile Arizona oval. In 30 career starts now on it, he’s yet to reach victory lane.
But, Bowyer did do something special in Sunday’s FanShield 500 — he came away with a top five finish in his No. 14 Ford.
The Kansas native found himself in second in the closing stages of the fourth race of the NASCAR Cup Series season and he was able to hang on for a fifth place run, his first top five at Phoenix since a runner-up in 2008.
That gives him high hopes for the teams’ return back east. See, with Phoenix not being one of his better tracks and him coming away with a top five, it bodes well since they can now make adjustments to their race cars for the first time this season.
“As you go through this West Coast swing, you are lying in the bed you made,” Bowyer said after scoring only his third career top five on the race track in Cup competition. “We saw that all the time and it really is true. You come out here and these cars are prepared before we get out here. Certainly we are looking forward to getting back home and reevaluating some things. I can’t seem to figure out how to get the front end to turn. There is a new mentality with (crew chief) John (Klausmeier) all his engineers. All in all to grind it out on Sunday when the money is on the line, it was a good effort and some momentum going into Atlanta, a fun race track for me that I really enjoy. The Mobil 1 Ford is beat up a little bit as I look over your shoulder there. Hell, that is what this track is all about.”