He had to finish in the top two to make it into the Sprint All-Star Race and Clint Bowyer did just that as he dominated the second half of the 40 lap Sprint Showdown to grab the victory.
“Our car was really strong,” Bowyer said on Fox. “We’ve been struggling. We’ve been fast in practice but can’t close the race.
“I spent a lot of time in the shop this week and I think we got to the bottom of a lot of things. … Huge improvement tonight.”
He will be joined in transferring by A.J. Allmendinger, who led the middle portion of the race after qualifying second. It marks Allmendinger’s first All-Star race as he continues to show more improvement each weekend.
The rest of the drivers will not transfer to the main event tomorrow night with Casey Mears leading the way with a third place finish, followed by Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola. Ambrose had to fight back after going for a spin at lap three due to contact with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Kyle Larson finished sixth, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Danica Patrick.
Beyond the top two finishers, a driver chosen by the fans advances to the all-star race on Saturday night. The Reddit/Dodgecoin nation struck gold as they voted Josh Wise into the show. Wise finished 18th in the Showdown.
“I am still trying to wrap my head around it,” Wise said. “This is huge for me and our team. Really this started with a 16-year-old kid posting something on Reddit.com about some good runs that we had and for whatever reason this huge, awesome community got behind us.”
Well some people aren’t pleased that a backrunner is in the show, it could help popularity with the sport in attracting new fans.
“This is kind of a big deal for our sport because it is a lot of young kids and people from around the world,” Wise said. “I’ve had the chance to interact with a lot of them. There’s a lot of people had never watched a NASCAR race who have now watched several.”