Clint Bowyer loses engine while leading at Atlanta

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Clint Bowyer has lost the engine on his No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota Camry while leading tonight’s Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Bowyer had warned his team over the radio that the motor on his car was “laying down” before it finally expired in a puff of smoke at Lap 192.

Bowyer’s powerplant is the third from Toyota Racing Development to have suffered issues this weekend at Atlanta. Both Denny Hamlin and Bowyer’s MWR teammate, Brian Vickers, had to change their own TRD engines leading up to tonight’s race.

“Everybody has engine issues, and we’re pushing hard for the Chase to try and win a championship,” Bowyer told ESPN in the Atlanta garages. “We were off a little bit – probably a sixth-to-10th place car –  and I told them I wanted to make some adjustments and go for a win.

“As soon as the track went into the night, we really gained some grip and the car took off. It was ours to lose and unfortunately, we found a way to lose. I’m going to have a beer.”

This is the second week in a row that Bowyer has had problems while leading. Last week at Bristol, he was at the point when he spun out on Lap 176 after contact with a lapped car; he would eventually finish 14th.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”