Clint Bowyer snaps 190-race winless streak at Martinsville

From The Marbles

Clint Bowyer is finally back in victory lane in the Cup Series.

Bowyer dominated the second half of Monday’s snow-delayed race at Martinsville to score his first victory since October of 2012 when he was driving for Michael Waltrip Racing.

It’s been a long, strange trip for Bowyer since he finished second in the standings to Brad Keselowski that season. He was directly involved in Michael Waltrip’s race manipulation scandal at Richmond in 2013, a race that helped lead to the downfall of the organization. He finished outside the top 15 in 2014 and 2015, the final two seasons of the team’s existence, before he signed with Stewart-Haas Racing to replace Tony Stewart.

But Bowyer had to spend the 2016 season — Stewart’s final season — somewhere else. So he drove for another now-defunct team, HScott Motorsports, and finished 27th in the standings. In 2017, his first official year with SHR, he missed the playoffs because he didn’t get a win.

He’s got that win now and will be a member of the playoff field in 2018. As he conducted his post-race interview in victory lane, Bowyer told someone off-camera to “give me one of those damn beers.”

“It’s just a weight off the shoulders,” Bowyer said with his voice starting to crack. “It’s been a long time. You start to question if you can get it done or not, to have it come at this place, I’m telling you it means a lot.”

He then took a long sip of beer.

The victory snaps a 190-race winless streak and was absolutely no fluke as Bowyer led 215 of the race’s 500 laps. Bowyer drove away from Kyle Busch after the race’s final restart — a restart that happened because Jamie McMurray hit the wall off Austin Dillon’s bumper. That was the only caution for a crash in what turned out to be an incredibly tame race.

Busch came home second, his third second-place finish through six races of 2018. Ryan Blaney, who led 145 laps, finished third.

1. Clint Bowyer
2. Kyle Busch
3. Ryan Blaney
4. Martin Truex Jr.
5. Kevin Harvick
6. Joey Logano
7. Alex Bowman
8. AJ Allmendinger
9. Chase Elliott
10. Brad Keselowski
11. Kurt Busch
12. Denny Hamlin
13. Paul Menard
14. Aric Almirola
15. Jimmie Johnson
16. Kyle Larson
17. Erik Jones
18. Daniel Suarez
19. Ryan Newman
20. William Byron
21. Michael McDowell
22. Ty Dillon
23. Chris Buescher
24. Kasey Kahne
25. David Ragan
26. Jamie McMurray
27. Cole Whitt
28. DJ Kennington
29. Ross Chastain
30. Austin Dillon
31. JJ Yeley
32. Matt DiBenedetto
33. Trevor Bayne
34. Darrell Wallace Jr.
35. Harrison Rhodes
36. Gray Gaulding
37. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
38. Landon Cassill

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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