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XFINITY

Bowyer Looks Back to Form in XFINITY Chicagoland Race

Clint Bowyer made his first XFINITY Series start in four years on Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway, and topped the day off with a sixth-place finish.

Bowyer, the 37-year-old Sprint Cup Series veteran, drove the No. 88 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports at the mile-and-a-half track. He qualified seventh for the race, and it was arguably the best Bowyer has looked in any NASCAR race all year.

He ran in the top 10 throughout the 300-mile event and climbed to fourth in the final 30 laps. He led three of the 200 laps, which is as many as he has led in the last 31 Cup races dating back to Talladega in October 2015.

The 2016 season has been a struggle for Bowyer on the Cup side. He has only three top 10s and sits 28th in the points standings. Bowyer signed a one-year deal with HScott Motorsports to drive the No. 15 Chevrolet and in 2017 he will be in Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 14 Ford as soon-to-be-retired Tony Stewart’s replacement.

Bowyer ran one Camping World Truck Series race this season and scored a fifth-place result at Kansas Speedway in May driving the No. 24 for GMS Racing. It was his only top five across the three national series all year.

Bowyer’s last XFINITY race was at Daytona International Speedway in July 2012. He piloted the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing and finished 26th after being involved in an accident.

It was a feel-good day for Bowyer, who’s been in need of a strong performance all year. After the race, he tweeted:

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By John Haverlin

John Haverlin is currently studying Communication at Arizona State University. He has been a reporter at Phoenix International Raceway for three years and has written news stories for the track's official site. Born and raised in Long Island, N.Y., Haverlin has lived in Arizona the past three years.