Consider Clint Bowyer baffled about what happened at Talladega on Monday.
Bowyer had a strong car at Talladega; he won the race’s second stage after a crash with less than four laps to go ended the stage under caution. He sure looked like a contender for the win as he was working well with Joey Logano at the front of the field.
A flat tire derailed all of that in the third stage. Well, what happened after that flat tire did. After spinning around, Bowyer’s car got stuck on the apron beneath turns 3 and 4.
“That sucked last week,” Bowyer said. The thing that bummed me out the most was that I finally felt like we had some things going our way. All summer long it has been one crummy thing after another of just a let down. A strong run only to be let down with something crazy happening. I thought we had that shook off but I will be damned if I wasn’t stuck on the apron. I didn’t see that coming.”
“Out of 1,000 things that I could have wrote down of possibilities of what could happen and keep us out of this thing at the Talladega wild card race, being stuck in the apron - not in the grass - but on the apron would not be one of them. Then going two laps down because nobody could push me was another thing that wouldn’t be on the list. Yes, I am a little bitter about last weekend but there is nothing but pulling into Kansas Speedway and worrying about what is in front of us.”
Bowyer’s car got stuck partially because the rear bumpers are lower to the ground at Daytona and Talladega than they are at other tracks. With less space between Bowyer’s car and the track, he got stuck on the banking leading from the track itself to the grass.
Bowyer ended up finishing Sunday’s race in 23rd and dropped to 11th in the points standings, 24 points behind Logano in eighth. He’ll need a driver or three ahead of him to have bad races Sunday at Kansas to make the third round of the playoffs for the second year in a row. Or he’ll have to win at his home track for the first time in his Cup Series career.
“For me, it is a mile-and-a-half track and I struggle on some of them,” Bowyer said. “This is one of them. The weird thing is that I can come here and be just spot on and have a really easy weekend and be successful and other weekends I just feel like a fish out of water the whole weekend. You never do get comfortable.”
– – – – – –
Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
More from Yahoo Sports: