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Bowyer finished behind race winner Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski to notch his best AMS Cup career performance. (Photo: Getty Images)

First Atlanta Top Five for Bowyer

Clint Bowyer’s third-place finish in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 was his first finish inside the top-five at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Bowyer finished behind race winner Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski to notch his best AMS Cup career performance.

“Yeah, one, two, three for Fords,” said a happy Bowyer after Sunday’s race. “Fords were good all weekend long. It wasn’t just today, it was unloading off the trucks. It was neat to see all four Stewart Haas cars in the top 10 qualifying. Everybody is working hard. You’ve got another manufacturer that got a new body, of course, over the off season; that makes you a little bit nervous. But so far, so good. We were as good as anybody, obviously.”

While Bowyer was happy about his finish, he admitted there wasn’t much anyone could do with his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Harvick. He dominated the race to score the win and continue his impressive Atlanta performance record.

“Truth be told, he’s damned good,” Bowyer said. “He’s damned good at this place, and he’s damned good at running Turns 1 and 2. That bottom down there, he could keep that thing locked on better than anybody. You watch the Xfinity race yesterday, you know it’s coming. He’s good at getting his cars set up. He knows what he needs to be able to run that line.

“And I mean, you see it. Everybody can start running that, and by the time the long run happens, they’ve got to move around or they get to bobbling and bouncing around and get inconsistent. He’s just able to keep the consistency down lap after lap down there and pull away from the field.”

Bowyer is in his second season at SHR and is hoping Sunday’s finish will be the start of something to build on in 2018.

“Absolutely. I said it all off season,” Bowyer said. “What we have to do is get more consistent, know what I mean? Over the course of my career, that’s kind of what’s kept me in the game is consistency, and last year we were spraying it all over the place. We’ve have good run and back it up with a bad one or two bad ones and then a good one. We were all over the place.

“You know, after last we were at the big dance last weekend and dropped a cylinder, and everybody was dejected and bummed out, and we come here and unload four fast cars and did a great job as a company. That’s what it takes. You’ve got to be able to unload good cars and then work together to fine tune them to make them good for the race and enjoy that strength in numbers, and that’s certainly what we had going on this weekend.”