Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 10/23/14

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 06: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #33 Cheerios Chevrolet, stands on pit road during qualifying for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 6, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Many people were talking about the usual favorites to win at today's road course in Sonoma, but no one was talking about Clint Bowyer. Bowyer, led a race high 70 of 112 laps in his No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota and gave MWR their first win of the year.

Bowyer, became the eighth different winner in as many races at Sonoma as this race is really becoming a huge wild card. The win was Bowyer's sixth of his career and first since Talladega last October. He had over a 2-second lead nearing the end of the race, but a late wreck involving Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, and Juan Pablo Montoya brought out the second caution flag of the afternoon and forced a green-white-checkered finish.

Bowyer beat Kurt Busch on the G-W-C restart and cruised to the win and pretty much solidified his spot in the Chase with the win. Bowyer moved up to seventh in the standings and is 67 points out of the lead.

Tony Stewart passed Busch on the last lap to get his second straight runner-up finish as he's starting to really heat up during June. Stewart moved up to fifth in the standings and is 63 points behind leader Matt Kenseth.

For Busch, he came home an emotional third place as he was choking up in his post race interview. His crew chief said right before the final restart that something broke in the rear end and he would just try to hold on to salvage a good finish.

Brian Vickers gave MWR another car up front with a fourth place finish. It was Vickers' second top five finish of the season despite running only three races.

Jimmie Johnson, who started third on the day, continued his recent success in rounding out the top five this afternoon. Johnson's Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon had yet another strong afternoon and finished sixth as he moved up to 18th in the standings and with a win can position himself nicely for a wild card spot in the Chase.

Greg Biffle leap-frogged last week's winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. for second in the points with his seventh place finish. Junior was spun out on the final restart on top of the hill and was hit by Aric Almirola and Regan Smith. The damage was severe enough for Junior to limp around for a 23rd-place finish and drop to third in the standings after Biffle.

The duo trails points leader Matt Kenseth by 13 and 14 points, respectively, after Kenseth's 13th place finish in the No. 17 Roush-Fenway Ford.

Pole-sitter Marcos Ambrose came home eighth after leading the first 11 laps while A.J. Allmendinger and Joey Logano rounded out the top 10.

The third driver in the MWR stable, Martin Truex Jr., was running sixth on the final lap, but he spun out and failed to give MWR three cars in the top six. Truex Jr. wound up a disappointing 22nd place and dropped to ninth in the standings heading to Kentucky.

Denny Hamlin dropped the most in the points today after experiencing problems and for the second straight weekend ended with a DNF and finish of worse than 30th. Last week, Hamlin had problems and finished 34th, and this week he spun and broke something and his day ended with a 35th-place finish. The struggles have dropped Hamlin from fifth to eighth in the standings and is now 73 points out of the lead. What makes it especially tough for Hamlin was that both incidents occurred in the closing stages of the race while he was running in the top 10.

Hamlin's JGR teammate Kyle Busch also had problems near the end of the race while running in the near the front of the field. Busch got into a turn too fast and took out Paul Menard. Busch ended up 17th and is now 31 points out of the top 10, but still maintains the first wild card spot thanks to his win at Richmond in April.

The two cautions for seven laps today was a race record for fewest cautions as it broke the previous record of three cautions which had previously happened four times. Besides the Busch/Menard/Montoya incident with five laps to go, the only other caution came on Lap 81 when Tomy Drissi wrecked his car en route to a 38th-place finish.

The series heads to Kentucky Speedway for the second time in 2012 next week in the first of two straight Saturday night races. Kyle Busch is the defending champion of the Quaker State 400, and coverage for the race starts at 6:30 P.M. EST on TNT.

Race results:

1. 15 Clint Bowyer
2. 14 Tony Stewart
3. 51 Kurt Busch
4. 55 Brian Vickers
5. 48 Jimmie Johnson
6. 24 Jeff Gordon
7. 16 Greg Biffle
8. 9 Marcos Ambrose
9. 22 A.J. Allmendinger
10. 20 Joey Logano 

11. 31 Jeff Burton
12. 2 Brad Keselowski
13. 17 Matt Kenseth
14. 5 Kasey Kahne
15. 13 Casey Mears
16. 29 Kevin Harvick
17. 18 Kyle Busch
18. 39 Ryan Newman
19. 1 Jamie McMurray
20. 27 Paul Menard 

21. 99 Carl Edwards
22. 56 Martin Truex Jr.
23. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
24. 47 Bobby Labonte -1
25. 95 Scott Speed -1
26. 38 David Gilliland -1
27. 34 David Ragan -1
28. 43 Aric Almirola -2
29. 32 Boris Said -2
30. 26 Josh Wise -2

31. 83 Landon Cassill -2
32. 78 Regan Smith -3
33. 49 J.J. Yeley -5
34. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya -5
35. 11 Denny Hamlin OUT
36. 93 Travis Kvapil -20
37. 36 Dave Blaney OUT
38. 10 Tomy Drissi OUT
39. 7 Robby Gordon OUT
40. 98 David Mayhew OUT

41. 33 Stephen Leicht OUT
42. 19 Chris Cook OUT
43. 87 Joe Nemechek OUT

Sprint Cup Standings After 16 of 36 Races

1. 17 Matt Kenseth 596
2. 16 Greg Biffle -13
3. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. -14
4. 48 Jimmie Johnson -25
5. 14 Tony Stewart -63
6. 29 Kevin Harvick -64
7. 15 Clint Bowyer -67
8. 11 Denny Hamlin -73
9. 56 Martin Truex Jr. -76
10. 2 Brad Keselowski -106 

11. 99 Carl Edwards -117
12. 18 Kyle Busch -137 (Wild Card No. 1)
13. 39 Ryan Newman -143 (Wild Card No. 2)
14. 27 Paul Menard -151
15. 20 Joey Logano -155
16. 9 Marcos Ambrose -171
17. 5 Kasey Kahne -175
18. 24 Jeff Gordon -182
19. 31 Jeff Burton -188
20. 1 Jamie McMurray -194

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