Clint Bowyer had reason to celebrate. The driver of the #33 Chevrolet turned 30 on Saturday, and Sunday marked his first race with The Hartford as his primary sponsor.

The planned Sunday celebration at Bowyer's hauler ran into a problem, however, when the car transporting his birthday cake to the racetrack was rear-ended, leaving the cake in crumbs on the floor. Fortunately, the team was prepared for such an emergency and pulled a back-up cake from the hauler.

It's not a stretch to say the accident was emblematic of Bowyer's recent luck on the racetrack. After a strong start to the season, he has dropped to 16th in the Cup standings.

"Getting things off and running, I think we were as good as anybody," Bowyer said, "Obviously, the last month-and-a-half, getting to these mile-and-a-half racetracks, we've struggled. It's made us get back, regroup and go back to the drawing board to try to figure some things out. I feel like we've found some things."

Perhaps so. Bowyer finished eleventh Sunday at Dover, his best result since running fifth on 29 March at Martinsville.

by Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

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