Driving Kevin Harvick’s No. 2 Chevrolet, Bowyer won Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway in his first start in the series since Oct. 20, 2007 at Martinsville.
Todd Bodine also had reason to celebrate. With a 12th-place finish at Phoenix, Bodine wrapped up his second truck series championship. He leads Aric Almirola by an insurmountable 202 points entering next Friday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Bowyer beat race runner-up Kyle Busch to the line by 1.039 seconds. Johnny Sauter finished third, followed by Matt Crafton and Almirola.
“Everybody back at the shop did such a great job building this thing,” Bowyer said. “They were excited about it before we came down here, and any time these guys get excited about building a truck back at the shop, you know as a racecar driver that you’re going to have a good hot rod, and we certainly did.
“I love this series, and I think this is some of the best racing we have in NASCAR. It’s fun to be back in it.”
Bowyer had the dominant truck in the early going. After taking the top spot from polesitter Austin Dillon following a restart on Lap 24, Bowyer opened a lead that reached 6.626 seconds before NASCAR called the second caution of the race on Lap 53 because of fluid on the track.
Busch led 25 laps in the middle of the race, but Bowyer reasserted his superiority after beating Busch out of the pits for a restart on Lap 67.
Bodine added the 2010 crown to his 2006 truck series title.
“Along the way, we had a lot of good luck,” Bodine said. “Along with good performance, along with hard work, you’ve got to have good luck, and we had it this year. We did that. But the old adage is ‘You make your own luck,’ and this team has done a great job all year of doing that.”
Note: Busch, who drives his own No. 18 Toyota, holds a 120 point lead over Bodine’s No. 30 Toyota, fielded by Germain Racing, in the battle for the owners’ championship.