Pit Stop gives Bowyer Richmond Busch win
Clint Bowyer won the race off pit road after Friday night's final pit stop and ran away from Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton to win the Circuit City 250 Busch Series race at Richmond International Raceway.
Points leader Carl Edwards and rookie David Ragan stayed out on old tires and led the field to the final restart on Lap 228. But Bowyer, who had pitted with the rest of the leaders under a caution caused by Derrike Cope's spin in Turn 2, quickly caught Edwards and passed him for the lead through Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 231.
Kenseth, who restarted fifth, passed Burton for second on Lap 237 but couldn't catch Bowyer, who finished 1.483 seconds ahead of the driver of the No. 17 Ford. Burton held onto third, followed by Kevin Harvick and
Greg Biffle, Casey Mears, Reed Sorenson, David Reutimann, and Scott Wimmer completed the top 10. The gamble at the end of the race cost both Edwards and Ragan, who faded to 13th and 14th, respectively, the last two cars on the lead lap.
"I was real proud of the guys getting us out of the pits," said Bowyer, who won the fifth Busch race of his career and his second of the season. "That won the race for us."
After the sixth caution of the race, Burton restarted in the lead on Lap 147, with Bowyer second and Kenseth third. Kenseth caught Bowyer on Lap 152 and passed Burton for the lead on Lap 167.
Kenseth stretched his advantage to more than two seconds before contact between the Chevrolets of J.J. Yeley and Cope sent Cope's No. 28 spinning toward the Turn 2 wall -- setting up the final pit stop. Bowyer
was first out of the pits, while Kenseth had a slower stop and came out third behind Burton.
"I thought if we came out of the pits first, I might have had a chance to win the race," Kenseth said. "But we had a little mistake on pit road and didn't have time to catch him at the end."
Burton, who led 138 laps, was strong early but said he couldn't keep up with Bowyer's pace in the closing laps.
"We had a great car," Burton said. "But we didn't have the best car when it counted."