Bowyer Out to Tame Phoenix Again

Clint Bowyer

Clint Bowyer's win last fall extended Chevrolet's PIR winning streak to four years. (Photo: Getty Images)

Clint Bowyer started just one Camping World Truck Series race last season but he made it count by winning last fall at Phoenix International Raceway.

Bowyer returns to the one-mile desert oval this week, eyeing his second consecutive victory in the Lucas Oil 150 – which can be heard live on MRN Radio beginning at 7:45 p.m. (EST) on Friday. Bowyer will be part of Kevin Harvick, Inc.’s three-truck team which also includes four-time series champion Ron Hornaday Jr. and Nelson Piquet Jr.

Bowyer led 97 of the 150 laps in last year’s race, including the final 55 – beating runner-up Kyle Busch to the checkered flag by a little more than one full second.

“Kevin and DeLana (Harvick) have been so successful in this series and it’s fun for me to be able to drive one of their trucks,” Bowyer said, who’ll also wheel his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race. “Phoenix is an awesome track and I’m looking forward to making it back to Victory Lane.”

The Lucas Oil 150 has been run in the fall since 2001, moving to the earlier date this season as one of the adjustments to the 2011 schedule. Bowyer’s victory last season extended Chevrolet’s PIR winning streak to four years.

That run began in 2007 with Kyle Busch, who has since switched to Toyota and will have his No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Tundra in Friday night’s field. Busch led 25 laps of last year’s race before settling for second place.

“To be successful at Phoenix, you need to have a good-handling truck for the long green-flag runs,” Busch said. “When you get late into a run, you realize how important conserving your tires is.”

Busch is once again entered in all three races at PIR this weekend, driving his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas in Saturday’s Nationwide Series event and Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series headliner.

Under NASCAR’s new system, neither Bowyer nor Busch are eligible to earn championship points in the Camping World Truck Series. A third-place finish in the season opener last week at Daytona International Speedway left Clay Rogers as the points leader heading to Phoenix.

Rogers holds a two-point lead over rookie Miguel Paludo. Three drivers – James Buescher, Ricky Carmichael and rookie Jeffrey Earnhardt – are tied for third, five points off the pace.

Carmichael finished a career-best eighth at Daytona and eyes continued improvement on PIR’s one-mile oval.

“I like the flat tracks like Phoenix and New Hampshire,” said Carmichael, who drives the No. 4 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet.  “These are the kinds of tracks where drivers play a critical role in the outcome of a race. We had a great start to the year last weekend at Daytona and that sets the tempo heading into Phoenix.”

Carmichael’s a 15-time motocross/supercross champion who’s in the third year of his transition from two wheels to four. He finished 27th in last fall’s Truck Series stop at Phoenix.

Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 is the first of three races in as many days to air live on MRN Radio – “The Voice of NASCAR.” Saturday’s Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 Nationwide Series race will air at 5 p.m. (EST) with coverage of Sunday’s SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup Series race beginning at 2 p.m.

Race Center

Chevrolet Silverado 250

@ Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Radio Start:
MRN, 1 p.m. (ET)
TV Start:
FOX Sports 1, 1 p.m. (ET)

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