Bowyer a big loser when late race move fails

Clint Bowyer figured he was in line for a fourth-place

finish.

Then he was looking at a chance at victory, and when he went for

it – and failed – the fingers pointed every which way.

It was Bowyer’s move to the inside of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie

Johnson entering Turn One that wound up wiping out all three of

them on the penultimate restart, but Bowyer said he had a boost

from behind from Ryan Newman to help him.

He also was one of many wondering exactly what David Reutimann

was doing as he circled the track with no brakes and the race

winding down, and then stopped in a precarious spot just before

Turn One to bring out the caution that changed everything.

”He drove around there for 10 laps with no brakes and finally

just stopped,” Bowyer said. ”That was ridiculous.”

It irked Brad Keselowski, too. He ran near the lead all day, but

wound up ninth.

”That was really, really uncalled for and ruined the day for a

lot of people,” he said.

The caution allowed everyone but Gordon, who was leading, and

Johnson, who was second, to stop for at least two tires. The two

Hendrick Motorsports cars had dominated the day, but the new rubber

behind them made their ability to hold on questionable.

On the restart, the cars chasing bunched up quickly, and mayhem

ensued.

”They had the cars to beat. They should have won the race and

we should have finished fourth there, but that’s just the nature of

the beast,” he said, adding that Gordon, on old tires, spun them

on the restart, and Bowyer went where Newman was heading.

”If I didn’t go down there, (Newman) had already hit me in the

rear and he was going to. I did and (Newman) won.”

.Newman said he’s been on the opposite end of such scenarios,

too, and made no apologies.

”Like I said, we’ve lost them that way hands down several

times. It’s nice to be able to win one,” he said.

Reutimann said he was trying to stay in the top 35 in points,

which guarantees him a spot in the next race, and was very

apologetic for what happened, and how it changed the outcome for so

many drivers.

”They gave me a black flag. We were coming to pit road and it

shut off,” he said. ”And that’s as far as I could go.”

Gordon, meanwhile, seemed to take his lost opportunity in stride

once Bowyer explained what had happened.

”That’s Martinsville, green-white-checkered,” he said. ”There

are no guarantees at this place.”

HELLO, NEWMAN: Bowyer wasn’t thrilled with Newman for bumping

him into the melee at the end, but second-place finisher A.J.

Allmendinger could hardly have been more complimentary of the way

Newman raced him on the final two-lap sprint.

”He didn’t run me up the racetrack. He ran me as clean as could

be,” he said.

HAMPERED HAMLIN: Denny Hamlin has won four times at

Martinsville, but tried something new Sunday.

”We just tried a new setup trying to see if we could make some

big gains for the fall and just didn’t have it all figured out

today,” he said. ”We brought a new car here and it looks like it

needs some different things than what we typically run.”

Hamlin led twice for 31 laps, and finished sixth.

AND BABY MAKES … WORK: Kevin Harvick is a whole lot more

relaxed at the track these days now that he’s no longer juggling

his driving duties and the one he had as an owner and sometimes

driver in the truck series.

”There’s a lot of things going on,” he said. ”I really

haven’t missed it at all and really underestimated how big of a

relief it would actually be. So, it’s been great and I still get to

drive the cars and trucks, and enjoy that part of it. I get to be

more a part of my Cup team off the race track, in the trailer, and

at the shop. That part of it is going well.”

With wife DeLana expecting their first child, there’s plenty of

activity at home.

”Well right now they are working on nurseries, playrooms, and

the back yard has been completely dismantled,” Harvick said of

baby-proofing efforts. ”It’s a pile of dirt now. We’re digging out

swimming pools and all kinds of stuff to start working in that

direction. Everything from baby gates, to dingers on elevators, you

name it. There’s a lot that’s being changed. It’s been fun though.

It’s fun to walk up there and see his clothes sitting in the closet

and know that its real and coming that direction pretty fast.

”The time is going by pretty quick.”

A growing family also gives him another thing to talk about with

fellow racers who also are parents.

”With the baby coming, there’s a lot more that you can relate

to with the guys in the garage. That’s kind of fun, and fun to talk

about experiences that they’ve had, and try to get a little insight

on things that are going around. You never know what kind of

conversation is going to pop up when you’re riding around. It

depends on how long the ride is. It won’t be long here.”

PIT STOPS: The 515 laps and 270.89 miles made the race the

longest in Martinsville history in terms of distance. … The seven

cautions for 56 laps were the lowest on the 0.526-mile oval since

there also were seven on Sept. 22, 1996. … Gordon’s 328 laps led

were the most by a non-winner since Rusty Wallace led 343 on April

9, 2000, and finished 10th. Gordon finished 14th. … Newman’s

victory was the 16th of his career and first at Martinsville.