By admin | May 9, 2008
Childress drivers finding themselves in right place at right time
By Richard Allen
The best car does not always win. In some cases, the second or third best car does not win either.
It looked like Clint Bowyer was headed for a solid 4th place finish at Richmond last Saturday night. Denny Hamlin clearly had the strongest car for the first 380 laps. Unfortunately for Hamlin, the race was a 400 lapper and when his tire deflated he lost his shot at victory.
Then, it looked as if Bowyer was headed for a solid 3rd place finish. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Kyle Busch stormed passed the lagging Hamlin and appeared as if they would battle to the finish line. Instead, the two cars tangled entering turn 3 of the .75 mile track. When the smoke cleared it was Bowyer who emerged as the unexpected leader.
Bowyer went on to hold his place and capture the second win of his career. It was the second short track win out of three chances for Richard Childress Racing this season.
“We took advantage of a misfortune,” Bowyer said, “but our Chevrolet was fast all day. … It was pretty wild up there — it was bound to happen. They were racing hard. That’s what racing at Richmond is all about, in my opinion. It just didn’t work out [for either].”
Ironically, Jeff Burton won at Bristol after the two lead cars took each other out. That race played out much like the Richmond affair. Denny Hamlin was leading and appeared set to win. Then, his car faultered leaving one of his teammates, this time Tony Stewart, to battle another driver, Kevin Harvick, for the win. After those two collided the way was cleared for Burton to snare the trophy.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Burton. “We had some breaks, and we put ourselves in position to take advantage of those breaks, and that’s what we did today.”
Sometimes, racing is a matter of being at the right place at the right time. The RCR cars in both cases had run well and had put themselves in the position to take advantage of the misfortunes of others. That is what happened in each of these cases. Neither driver or team has to apologize for their win. A win is a win and every win is well deserved, no matter how it comes about.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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