Clint Bowyer finished his 2019 campaign in ninth place, which marked his best finish in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings during the playoff elimination era.
Once 2019 got underway for Bowyer and the No. 14 team things didn’t go very well to open up the season after being involved in a wreck in the late stages of the Daytona 500.
However, once the sun began to shine a little brighter in the spring, his team began to find a bit more pace. After a 38th-place finish at Auto Club Speedway to close out the annual West Coast swing his team began to find their pace in late March.
Bowyer found his stride by pulling off four consecutive top-10 finishes (Martinsville, Texas, Bristol and Richmond) and things started to turn around in the early months.
Moving along through the month of May, thing continued to be up for Bowyer after posting a top-10 finish at both Dover and Kansas. Despite the wonderful start in the spring, things began to turn upside down for him as his team most of the summer.
"We started slow out of the box as we got used to the new cars, then we ran good through May, but we just couldn’t get away from bad luck during the summer months," Bowyer said.
After an early exit at Michigan in June, he posted a total of four DNFs from the first Michigan race to the final Michigan race of the year in August.
Despite the troubles during the summer for Bowyer, the final three races of the regular season his team once again found a way to compile good finishes. Heading into the playoffs he posted a seventh-place finish at Bristol, a sixth at Darlington and closed out the regular season with a fifth-place finish at Indianapolis.
"All summer long, it was one crummy thing after another and just a letdown – a strong run only to be let down with something crazy happening," Bowyer said. "We picked it up as we got near the playoffs and, once we were in, we ran well and made it through the first round."
After having a solid start to the playoffs with three consecutive top-10 finishes, things didn’t go so well for Bowyer at Talladega when he spun and was unfortunately stuck on the apron. This hindered what was shaping out to be a very good day for Bowyer.
"In the playoffs, we stepped up in a big way. Not having a points pad or anything like that and going into those rounds was difficult. Those guys had 20 or 30 points on us," Bowyer said. "Had we not got stuck on the track in Talladega, we would be right there. We knew that was the opportunity, but unfortunately it just wasn’t our day."
Heading into his home track the Kansas Speedway he was faced with a must win situation to advance to the next round of the playoffs. While he finished in eighth-place at his home track, it just wasn’t enough to advance him into Round of 8.
"In the playoffs, we stepped up in a big way," Bowyer said. "We stubbed our toe one or two races and had some crummy luck at actually some good tracks for us it kind of got us behind the eight ball and kind of knocked us out of that Round of 8."
After being knocked out of the playoffs the season finished on a positive note as Bowyer finished the season in the top 10 in three of the final four races of the season.
"That hurt us, but, all in all, we rise to the occasion in the playoffs and ran our best all year long in the playoffs, so I was proud of those efforts," Bowyer said. "My guys have worked hard this year."
2019 Driver Season Reviews