Bowyer, Byron on the playoff brink after Richmond
Clint Bowyer left Richmond Raceway annoyed after struggling all night time along with his Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. He completed tenth for the second straight week.
William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports bluntly mentioned Saturday night time was a “gradual loss of life” for his Chevrolet crew. Byron completed twenty first, a number of laps down.
The 2 will go to Bristol, the primary elimination race within the NASCAR Cup Collection playoffs, combating for the bubble spot. Bowyer sits within the last switch spot by three factors on Byron, eight over Cole Custer, 25 over Matt DiBenedetto, and 27 over Ryan Blaney.
“I’m annoyed with tonight,” mentioned Bowyer. “It was a problem. We simply struggled all night time lengthy. We have been simply off a beat, however on the finish of the day, we’re nonetheless in. We’ve bought to go to Bristol and carry out. I just like the racetrack; we’ve bought some high 10s going, and we’re positively higher, however we’ve bought to be nice subsequent week.
“We will do it. That’s an excellent observe for us and a variety of enjoyable and a observe that I really feel like I can win at sometime. So, there’s nothing to be scared about going to a observe like that. You’ve simply bought to go there and have enjoyable with it such as you at all times do on a brief observe and race your ass off, and hopefully, that will likely be sufficient.”
Whereas Bowyer feels his crew has cleaned up its errors from the common season, it was the automotive that fought him at Richmond. Most of Bowyer’s complaints have been that the stability was off, and he his frustration got here via clearly over the radio about how you can make it higher. Working outdoors the highest 10 close to the tip of the second stage, Bowyer needed to fend off chief and eventual winner Brad Keselowski to maintain from going a lap down.
Bowyer been eradicated within the Spherical of 16 as soon as earlier than, again in 2014.
Byron made the playoffs for the second time in his profession when he received final month at Daytona, and issues began effectively with a fifth-place end within the opener at Darlington. An ill-handling automotive at Richmond was the crew’s downfall as he ran mid-pack after which fell off the lead lap throughout a protracted green-flag run within the second stage.
“It’s what it’s — we ran horrible tonight and no excuse for that,” mentioned Byron. “It was actually form of a gradual loss of life the complete race, so we’ll go to Bristol and regroup for that one.”
Byron wasn’t essentially stunned by his efficiency as he admitted Richmond was going to be his crew’s largest problem within the playoffs. They struggled on the observe final yr, and groups didn’t run at Richmond within the spring as a result of its date was canceled on account of COVID-19.
“We knew fairly early within the race that we have been in bother,” Byron mentioned. “I believe we misplaced like 10 spots in 10 laps, it felt like.”
Bowyer completed second within the spring Bristol race. Byron was eighth.