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Bowyer rights ship at Dover with Nationwide win

Clint Bowyer was on a mission Saturday - to rejuvenate the Nationwide Series program of Richard Childress Racing's #29 Chevrolet.

Mission accomplished. After passing polesitter Kyle Busch for the lead on Lap 118 at Dover International Speedway, Bowyer led the final 83 laps of the Dover 200 and beat Mike Bliss to the finish line by 1.319 seconds to win his second Nationwide race of the season and the eighth of his career.

On a day that didn't fulfill the promise of rain until the race was over, Busch, who came home fourth and widened his series lead to 211 points over fifth-place finisher Carl Edwards, wasn't the lightning rod for controversy this time. That distinction went to third-place finisher Brad Keselowski, and Denny Hamlin, who spun into the wall on Lap 190 after contact from Keselowski's Chevrolet.

After the race, Hamlin confronted Keselowski on pit road, but crew members broke up the shoving match before it could escalate.

Team owner Richard Childress asked Bowyer to replace Stephen Leicht in the #29 and run a three-race stretch starting at Dover to establish a baseline of consistency for the car. Bowyer, who won the Nationwide Series championship last year, has shared driving duties with Leicht and Jeff Burton this season.

"Stephen's a wonderful racecar driver - he's done a good job for us this year," Bowyer said. "This is tough times. We haven't been where we wanted to be with this car. We needed to get this car running better, and Dover is one of my best racetracks, so it is fitting for me to get in that car and race this race.

"I hated that he didn't get his chance, but he will. We need to get this thing running better for him, so he has an equal opportunity of developing as a young driver and showing his talent."

Bowyer's crew chief, Doug Randolph, said the team made adjustments to correct a tight handling condition in Bowyer's car during the first cycle of green-flag pit stops, and from that point on, Bowyer was the class of the field.

The incident between Keselowski and Hamlin brought out the fourth and final caution of the race. Keselowski was attempting to pass Hamlin to the inside when the contact occurred.

"Oh, the 88 (Keselowski), he just (stinks) real bad," Hamlin said after driving his damaged Toyota to the garage. "He just ran into us."

Keselowski countered after the race during a radio interview: "He cut us off. That's what he always does."

Hamlin heard the remark and asked, "Did you say I cut you off?"

Keselowski retorted, "You always do," and the drivers traded insults until Tony Eury Jr., who works with Keselowski's JR Motorsports team on which his father (Tony Eury Sr.) serves a crew chief, stepped in to defuse the situation.

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News


Tagged as: Nationwide , Clint Bowyer

Related Pictures

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Clint Bowyer [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Derrike Cope, driver of the #70 youtheory Chevrolet, and Jamie Dick, driver of the #55 VIVA Auto Group Chevrolet, spin out after an incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, celebrates with his crew after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying first for the NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, smiles at Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates with his son, Keelan, in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Brian Scott, driver of the #2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet, leads thre field past the green flag to start during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
(Back Row L-R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Back Row L - R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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