ATLANTA — Clint Bowyer won the first NASCAR Holeshot Competition during Saturday night’s Monster Energy Supercross event at the Georgia Dome but nearly paid a price for victory.
Bowyer went tumbling off his Kawasaki after nipping Greg Biffle in a drag race down the “straightaway” on the red clay.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ty Dillon also competed in the exhibition event, which was held as a crossover promotion with NASCAR racing this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Bowyer’s older brother, Andy, who works for Supercross promoter Feld, helped organize the event after several NASCAR stars were at last year’s event. Saturday’s event also was well attended with Jimmie Johnson (who dropped the starting gate), Kurt Busch (who helped introduce the riders) and Danica Patrick (who held the starting board) involved in the race.
Joey Logano, Trevor Bayne, Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and Parker Kligerman were among the other drivers who attended the event.
But the star attraction was Clint Bowyer, who put his motocross experience to good use in winning the event by admittedly anticipating his crash.
“I knew I wasn’t going to make the corner, so I went for the soft wall,” he said. “Soft walls are good in our sport. Always trust the soft walls.”
Said Biffle, who also is a motorbike enthusiast: “I’m slowing down, and (Bowyer) goes by, and I’m like, ‘Where’s he going? There’s bleachers and a corner and grandstands.’ He was aiming at the wall. He went by me 20 mph faster.
“It was so much fun.”