MARTINSVILLE, Va. — When snow at Martinsville Speedway gave NASCAR a rare day off, Clint Bowyer loaded his car with kids and drove them to North Carolina for the Hall of Fame.

As Bowyer returned for Monday’s rescheduled race, he told his 3-year-old son he wanted to take a picture in victory lane with the boy.

Cash Bowyer told his father he wanted a checkered flag.

Both of them got their wish.

Bowyer snapped a 190-race losing streak dating to 2012 with a dominating victory. Monday’s win continued the strong start to the NASCAR season for Stewart-Haas Racing, which has won four of the first six races to start the year.

“For whatever reason it felt right driving up here. It’s such a cool place to be able to drive up through the countryside on a two-lane road and think about the race,” Bowyer said. “I told (Cash) this morning, I was like, ‘We’ve got to get our picture in victory lane.’ He told me he wanted a checkered flag.


“He’s really proud of that checkered flag,” Clint Bowyer said as the toddler waived the flag, then leaned his head on his father’s shoulder.

Bowyer then went into the stands to greet fans who returned two days after a snowstorm pushed all track activity to Monday.

Bowyer’s victory was his first with SHR, the team he joined as Tony Stewart’s replacement last year. The move was supposed to turn Bowyer’s fortunes around, but his struggles continued through his first year in the No. 14 Ford.

He finally figured it out on the short track in Virginia and won for the first time since his victory at Charlotte in October 2012.

Bowyer had led just 145 combined laps the last four years and bettered that Monday with 215 laps led and his first career Martinsville victory.

It was the ninth career victory for Bowyer but first since he was a legitimate title contender in 2012 before the bottom fell out. He was snared in a cheating scandal with Michael Waltrip Racing, that team never recovered and folded, and Bowyer has been trying to find his footing since.


He thanked Gene Haas and Stewart for bringing him to SHR.

“To give this old dog a fresh chance and fresh blood with a new opportunity – finally to get the 14 in victory lane is just a weight off the shoulders,” Bowyer said. “It’s been a long time. You start to question if you can get it done or not.”

Bowyer began his celebratory burnout before completing a cool-down lap, then climbed on the hood of his car with his arms raised in victory. He jumped into the arms of his SHR crew, then was met by his son, who had never seen his father win a Cup race.

Bowyer is the first driver to notch victories driving a Chevrolet, Toyota and Ford.

Kyle Busch finished second in a Toyota and Ryan Blaney, who led 145 laps and won the second stage, was third in a Ford. Martin Truex Jr., the winner last week in California, was fourth in a Toyota. Kevin Harvick, the winner of three races this season, was fifth.

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