Good Sam Club 500 Victory to Clint Bowyer
Richard Childress Racing teammates Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton presented a superb example of teamwork and driving skill as they separated themselves from the pack, chasing each other and working together to maintain first and second positions at Talladega on Sunday. But on the final stretch of the Good Sam Club 500, Bowyer pulled past Burton to cross the finish line in first place – his first win of the current season and the 100th win for Richard Childress Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Third place was taken by Dave Blaney, with Brad Keselowski in fourth place and Brian Vickers in fifth, followed by Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin in sixth, seventh and eighth place respectively.
In a post-race interview Bowyer was reported as saying that he owed it to his team and sponsors to go out and win the race, even if it was up against his teammate. Burton noted that Bowyer did what he was supposed to do in making his move to take first place, following the strategy they had planned before the race. Commenting on the result, Childress said that he tells all his drivers to try to win the race, as they are in the business to race hard and to put on a good show for the fans.
While the two RCR drivers held the lead using the two-car drafting system, where two cars working in a nose-to-tail formation can gain at least a 10-mph advantage, other drivers further back in the field tried the same strategy with varying degrees of success. Jeff Gordon was less than impressed when Trevor Bayne failed to push him over the last two laps as Gordon had expected. Instead, Bayne joined the alliance of fellow Ford drivers in supporting Roush Fenway Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards in the championship race. Gordon had been in seventh place on the final restart, but fell to 27th spot when Bayne bailed on him. Gordon tweeted his disappointment with Bayne and his dissatisfaction with the two-car drafting style, noting that it is too premeditated.
A number of accidents marred the race, but fortunately no injuries occurred, although it did result in a reshuffle of the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup championship standings. The first ten spots, in order, are held by Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon.