Sports Outside the Beltway

Clint Bowyer ‘steals’ NASCAR race at Richmond

There was a wild finish at last night’s race.

RICHMOND, Va. – Richard Childress always tells his drivers that luck occurs when preparation meets opportunity. Clint Bowyer proved the boss right on Saturday night.

Bowyer was a surprise winner at Richmond International Raceway, stealing a win that first seemed destined for Denny Hamlin, then Dale Earnhardt Jr. Neither made it to Victory Lane, though, because of a wild ending that saw three drivers denied the trip Bowyer made to Victory Lane.


Hamlin, the hometown favorite, ran away with the race and led a record 381 of the 400 laps in search of his first Cup victory at Richmond. Nobody came close to challenging him until a leaking right front tire allowed Earnhardt and Kyle Busch to catch him.

The two drivers split Hamlin as they moved past him, with Earnhardt emerging as the leader with 18 laps to go. Hamlin’s tire finally failed with eight to go, and NASCAR accused him of intentionally bringing out the caution that regrouped the field and gave Busch a chance to race Earnhardt for the win.

The two staged a strong battle for the lead when the race resumed, but contact between the two cars in turn three sent Earnhardt into the wall.


Bowyer used the opportunity to slide past both Earnhardt and Busch and into the front for the first time all night. Bowyer then held off Busch on a final restart to score his first Cup victory of the season, second of his career.

Here’s the video of what happened between Earnhardt and Busch last night.

I watch next to no auto racing these day. Back in the 70′s before I went in the military, I followed NASCAR quite a bit. These days my auto racing is pretty much confined to the Indy 500.

Clint Bowyer won last night’s race, he didn’t steal it. Hamlin’s car quit on him, fine. Busch and Earnhardt tangled with each other putting the kibosh with both these driver’s chances. Bowyer crossed the finish line first, he’s the winner. Memo to AP- Drop the ‘steal shit’

For did Al Unser steal his 4th Indy 500 in 1987, when Mario Andretti who was running away with the race for 180 laps, had his day end due to electrical failure?

Did Richard Petty steal the 1979 Daytona 500 after Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison collided on the final lap? That was the race with the famous fight afterwards that also involved Donnie’s brother Bobby.

I don’t remember anyone saying those races were stolen. The difference between A. Unser and Richard Petty versus Bowyer is that they were stars and Bowyer isn’t. So Bowyer gets slighted in his moment of triumph by it being said he stole the race. What a bunch of bull crap.

The only reason I’m writing this, is the ‘Morgan Pressel had the US Open stolen from her’ meme that is still floated by the golf media. Remember the 2005 US Open and Birdie Kim’s bunker shot that won the tournament? The way you here it today is that Morgan had it stolen from her. Let me point out a few salient facts.

1- Pressel finished 2 shots behind Kim.
2- Pressel finished tied for 2nd with fellow amateur Brittany Lang.

So even if Birdie hadn’t holed out, and made bogey or worse on 18 like almost the entire field did that day, Morgan still would have had to go 18 holes in a playoff with at least Lang, and possibly Kim also. In other words Morgan still hadn’t won the tournament by any stretch of the imagination.

Yesterday’s broadcast of the LPGA tournament in Oklahoma, mentioned Lang’s 2nd place finish in 2005. For a change it was nice to hear the media remember someone tied Morgan that day.

Note- The golf media has another meme going about the 2005 US Open also. That Lorena Ochoa lost it. Lorena hit 2 balls in the water at 18 on Sunday, finishing with a quadruple bogey 8 and 7 over par for the tournament. If Lorena scored what most of the field did on Sunday at 18, bogey she would have finished 4 over. Now if Kim had finished bogey too like the media wishes, how can they say both Ochoa lost the 05 Open and Pressel had it stolen from her? The two memes are contradictory.

Bowyer was opportunistic, Kim may have been lucky the hole got in the way of her ball. When it is all said and done, they are the champs. No member of the media can take that away from them.

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