LAS VEGAS — The last time Clint Bowyer sat on the pole for a Cup Series race, the year was 2007; Bowyer was in his second year full-time racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for Richard Childress Racing.
Jimmie Johnson was the defending Cup Series champion, a one-time champ at the time, and the President of the United States was George W. Bush.
Fast forward to 2019, Bowyer secured his first pole in 431 races by posting the fastest lap in qualifying Saturday (September 14) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the South Point 400 Saturday with a lap time of 30.180 seconds (178.926 mph).
“The thing was really fast yesterday in our qualifying run, so I had that in the back of my mind,” Bowyer said to The Racing Experts. “It was a handful yesterday.”
Saturday marked the third time Bowyer earned the pole award in NASCAR’s premier series.
Other drivers with three career poles in the Cup Series include Marcos Ambrose, Pete Hamilton, Casey Mears, Joe Ruttman and Kenny Wallace. All are now tied for 112th-most poles all-time in the Cup Series.
Bowyer will now look to end a 47-race winless streak in the Cup Series, with his last win coming in June 2018 at Michigan International Speedway.
“It is a different agenda tomorrow,” Bowyer said.
“Our cars are trimmed out to go fast. You can make subtle adjustments to be able to be better in race trim over the course of a long fuel run or something like that. Time will tell. Clean air is very important.
“You have to have a sleek car and have a fast car to have the clean air. You also have to make sure that you don’t make any mistakes on the race track, on pit road, on strategy calls, on an adjustment or anything. You can’t afford to get back there in traffic because they don’t like to be back there.”
Rounding out the top-five are Daniel Suarez, Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch.
The South Point 400 will be televised live on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, September 15 at 7 p.m. ET.
I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.