Clint Bowyer became the 44th driver in the history of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to start in at least 500 points-awarding races by starting in Sunday’s (October 13) 1000bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Bowyer started eighth, led 13 laps and finished 23rd Monday, two laps down in his 500th start.
Bowyer, 40, made his first start in MENCS competition in April of 2005 at ISM Raceway for Richard Childress Racing.
Bowyer drove full time for RCR in the Cup Series from 2006 to 2011. Thereafter, he competed for Michael Waltrip Racing from 2012 to 2015.
After one season at HScott Motorsports in 2016, Bowyer joined Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017.
In 500 starts in NASCAR’s premier series, Bowyer earned 10 victories, 80 top-five finishes, 211 top-10 finishes, three poles, 2,952 laps led, and a career-high runner-up in driver’s standings in 2012.
500 START MARK
Bowyer became the fourth driver in 2019 to make 500 starts in the series.
Kyle Busch (Atlanta in February), Martin Truex Jr. (Michigan in August) and Denny Hamlin (Dover in October) each started in their 500th race this year.
Casey Mears (489), Paul Menard (465) and David Ragan (464) are the next active drivers closest to the 500-start mark.
An active driver is defined as a competitor who has made at least one points-awarding start in the current season.
The first driver in NASCAR history to make 500 starts was Buck Baker in the 1964 Volunteer 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway held in July of that year.
The next Cup Series race is the Hollywood Casino 400 scheduled for Sunday, October 20 at Kansas Speedway.
I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.