SHR Prepares For 1,000th Cup Start

Clint Bowyer

Gene Haas and Tony Stewart’s Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) organization is still considered the new kid on the block compared to the other Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams it competes against each weekend. So, it might be surprising to learn SHR is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018 and will mark its 1,000th Cup Series start when all four drivers fire-up their Roush-Yates powered Fords for the April 8 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

“That makes me feel really, really old,” SHR competition director Greg Zipadelli said with a laugh. “Seriously, a thousand starts is a sign of longevity and that’s an accomplishment. It helps in keeping good people and recruiting good people.”

Since its first season in 2009, the SHR driver lineup has at one time included Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman and Danica Patrick on a full-time basis while drivers like Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Brian Vickers, Regan Smith, Ty Dillon, Austin Dillon and Max Papis have served as substitute drivers.

Harvick and Stewart won championships at SHR in 2014 and 2011, respectively, while five drivers have divvied up SHR victories: 17 for Harvick, 16 for Stewart, five for Busch, four for Newman, and Clint Bowyer added his name to the list Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, notching his ninth career victory and first for SHR.

“That’s pretty good company,” said Bowyer, who has also finished second three times since joining SHR in 2017. “Gene Haas and Tony Stewart and all their partners and employees have shown a lot of faith in me. It was so great to be able to celebrate with them in victory lane Monday night.”

The 1,000 starts might seem like a lot, but Hendrick Motorsports and Roush-Fenway Racing own more than 3,000 starts each while Joe Gibbs Racing has more than doubled SHR’s total.

SHR’s winning ways began in May 2009, when Stewart won his only NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Since then, SHR has gone on to accumulate 43 points-paying victories, three non-points victories,  199 top-fives, 378 top-10s, 35 poles and two championships in 996 starts. SHR owns victories at every current track except Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

SHR isn’t done. In fact, it might be at its best right now. In 2018, SHR Fords have led 723 of a possible 1,811 laps and won four of the first six races. All four SHR drivers are in the top-11 in the driver standings.

“Make no mistake, all four Stewart-Haas cars have been good all year long,” Bowyer said. “Kevin led that charge when he won three races in a row, but we’ve been ‘Steady Eddie’ with our 14 car and the things that I’ve always been accustomed to. Consistency and things like that I’m starting to see, knowing our strengths, knowing our weaknesses from last year, focusing on those weaknesses and then, all of a sudden, it starts to click in and putting things together, and you have those conversations. You feel confidence.”

 

Bowyer will drive the No. 14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford at the 1.5-mile Texas oval. Like SHR, both Mobil 1 and Rush Truck Centers cite longevity as keys to their business success. Mobil 1 Annual Protection ultimate full synthetic motor oils feature advanced lubricant technology that provides proven protection for 20,000 miles or one full year between oil changes. Rush Truck Centers has transported SHR’s racecars to the track since 2009 and serviced its customers for more than 50 years.

 

Bowyer hopes to take both Mobil 1 and Rush Truck Centers to victory lane at the 1.5-mile Texas oval, where he has posted three top-five finishes and 10 top-10s in 24 races. In 2006, Bowyer won a Camping World Truck Series race at Texas. In 2017 Cup Series competition for SHR, Bowyer started third at Texas in April and raced as high as fourth in the final stage before finishing 11th. In October he spent 30 laps behind the wall, ruining what was shaping up to be a top-10 finish.

“Texas is one of those big, fast, high-banked tracks – you just have to go,” Bowyer said. “You better be good rolling off the truck. Normally, you can tell in the first few minutes of practice who will be good in the race.”

Clint Bowyer: Driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What are your thoughts on Texas?

“We’ve been close there a number of times over the years. At Texas, it’s all about having the sheer speed. On those 1.5-mile tracks, you have to have a car that unloads fast. You can be a little bit tight or a little bit loose but, if that car isn’t making grip, making downforce and having the speed on the racetrack, then you are going to struggle. Unloading a fast hot rod right off the truck is going to be so important because you are going to have to qualify well and have that track position to be a contender.”

 

What role does Mobil 1 play at SHR?

“Obviously, Mobil 1 is one of the corporate partners that you see on the car and I think everyone understands that role. What you might not know is Mobil 1 helps us out a ton on the competition side. The lubricant technology they bring to us translates into improved speed, fuel mileage and horsepower. Our racing is so close these days that we’ll do anything for just a slight advantage. Because of that, we value the edge Mobil 1 gives us with information as important as what we learn in the wind tunnel or tire testing. Here is the other thing about Mobil 1: they do a lot of on-track testing that leads to new technology developments for race fans. That Mobil 1 Annual Protection – the oil you see Harvick advertising on television – now allows drivers to travel up to 20,000 miles, or one full year, between oil changes. That’s lubricant technology that racing helped create.”

 

No. 14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Team Report

Round 7 of 36 – O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 – Texas

Car No. 14: Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford Fusion Team Report

At Track PR Contact: Drew Brown with True Speed Communication (Drew.Brown@TrueSpeedCommunication.com)

Primary Team:

 

Driver: Clint Bowyer

Residence: Emporia, Kansas

 

Crew Chief: Mike Bugarewicz

Hometown: Lehighton, Pennsylvania

 

Car Chief: Jerry Cook

Hometown: Toledo, Ohio

 

Engine Specialist: Matt Moeller

Hometown: Monroe, New York

 

Engine Builder: Roush Yates Engines: Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Spotter: Brett Griffin

Hometown: Pageland, South Carolina

Over-The-Wall Crew:

Front Tire Changer: Daniel Coffey

Hometown: Granite Falls, North Carolina

 

Rear Tire Changer: Shannon Myers

Hometown: Salisbury, North Carolina

 

Tire Carrier: Josh Sobecki

Hometown: New Kensington, Pennsylvania

 

Gas Man: James “Ace” Keener

Hometown: Fortuna, California

 

Jackman: Ernie Pierce

Hometown: San Diego, California

 

Windshield: Chris Trickett

Hometown: Grafton, West Virginia

Road Crew:

 

Truck Drivers: William “Stump” Lewis and Rob Fink

Hometown: Linkwood, Maryland and Baltimore, Maryland, respectively.

 

Engineers: Lee Deese and Chris Chidgey

Hometown: Rockingham, North Carolina and Gainesville, Florida, respectively.

 

Mechanics: Tony Silvestri and Rich Letendre

Hometown: Sylvania, Ohio and Lowell, Massachusetts, respectively

 

Tire Specialist: Russell Simpson

Hometown: Medford, New York

 

Shock Specialist: Wayne Smith

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

Notes of Interest:

 

  • Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford will carry Mobil 1 and Rush Truck Centers decals at Texas. Mobil 1 provides primary sponsorships across SHR’s four Cup Series drivers. Harvick’s No. 4 Ford will carry Mobil 1 branding six times, Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford will wear Mobil 1 twice, and Busch’s No. 41 Ford and Almirola’s No. 10 Ford get one race apiece. Mobil 1 is an associate sponsor of SHR for the entire 2018 season.
  • Rush Truck Centers is the largest network of commercial vehicle dealerships in the United States, with more than 100 dealership locations in 21 states. These vehicle centers, strategically located in high-traffic areas on or near major highways, represent truck and bus manufacturers, including Peterbilt, International, Hino, Isuzu, Ford, Mitsubishi, IC Bus and Blue Bird. They offer an integrated approach to meeting customer needs — from sales of new and used vehicles to aftermarket parts, service and collision repair plus financing, insurance, leasing, and rental. The company also provides alternative fuel systems, telematics products, and other vehicle technologies.
  • Sunday’s race will mark Clint Bowyer’s 440th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 25th Cup Series start at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, where he owns three top-five finishes and 10 top-10s. He has led 85 laps.
  • Bowyer owns career totals of nine wins, two poles, 66 top-five finishes, 183 top-10s and 2,575 laps led in 439 NASCAR Cup Series races. He also owns eight Xfinity Series victories.
    • His most recent Cup Series victory came at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (March 27, 2018).
    • His most recent Cup Series pole came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 16, 2007).
  • The 2018 season marks the 10th anniversary of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). The Kannapolis, North-Carolina-based team is co-owned by Tony Stewart and Gene Haas and has recorded 43 victories and 35 poles since its inception in 2009. Stewart won the 2011 NASCAR Cup Series title and Kevin Harvick gave SHR its second title in 2014. SHR’s Kurt Busch won last year’s Daytona 500, and Harvick won three times in 2018 while Bowyer owns one victory.
  • SHR has five poles, two points-paying victories, eight top-five finishes and 19 top-10s in 54 starts at Texas. Harvick won the AAA Texas 500 on Nov. 5.
  • Crew chief Mike “Buga” Bugarewicz is in his third season as a Cup Series crew chief. He oversaw Tony Stewart’s final campaign in 2016 and his pit strategy played a key role in Stewart’s victory at Sonoma in June 2016. Bugarewicz and Bowyer’s first season together in 2017 saw the duo post the 11th-best average finish of all full-time teams. In 2018 they earned their first victory together winning at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in March. The Lehighton, Pennsylvania native served as the lead engineer on SHR’s No. 4 entry in 2014 and 2015. The Penn State University graduate was the only rookie crew chief to be part of the Cup Series playoffs in 2016
  • Bowyer’s Best Finishes at SHR (2017-2018):
    • Wins
      • Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (March 26, 2018)
    • 2nd place: 
      • Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (April 24, 2017)
      • Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (June 25, 2017)
      • Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (July 1, 2017)
    • 3rd place:
      • Atlanta Motor Speedway (Feb. 25, 2018)
      • Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California (March 26, 2017)
      • Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (Oct. 29, 2017)
  • Bowyer’s Stage Victories In 2017
    • Pocono (Pa.) Raceway Stage 2 (July 30, 2017)
  • Bowyer Cup Series Career Victories:
    • Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (March 26, 2018)
    • Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (Oct. 13, 2012)
    • Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (Sept. 8, 2012)
    • Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (June 24, 2012)
    • Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 23, 2011)
    • Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 31, 2010)
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 19, 2010)
    • Richmond International Raceway (May 3, 2008)
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 16, 2007)
  • Bowyer Cup Series Career Poles:
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 14, 2007)
    • Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (May 11, 2007)
  • Bowyer Career Cup Series Points Finishes:
    • 2017 18th
    • 2016 27th
    • 2015 16th
    • 2014 19th
    • 2013 7th
    • 2012 2nd
    • 2011 13th
    • 2010 10th
    • 2009 15th
    • 2008   5th
    • 2007   3rd
    • 2006 17th
  • Bowyer Cup Series Career Stops:
    • 2017- Present Stewart-Haas Racing
    • 2016  HScott Motorsports
    • 2012-2015  Michael Waltrip Racing
    • 2006-2011 Richard Childress Racing
  • Bowyer Xfinity Series Championship:
    • 2008
  • Bowyer Xfinity Series Career Victories:
    • Dover (Del.) International Speedway (Sept. 26, 2009)
    • Daytona (Fla) International Speedway (July 3, 2009)
    • Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (March 15, 2008)
    • Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (May 4, 2007)
    • Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in Avondale (April 20, 2007)
    • Dover (Del.) International Speedway (Sept. 23, 2006)
    • Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park  (Oct. 22, 2005)
    • Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway (June 12, 2005)
  • Bowyer Camping World Truck Series Victories:
    • Kansas (Kan.) Speedway in Kansas City (June 4, 2011)
    • Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in Avondale (Nov. 12, 2010)
    • Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (Nov. 3, 2006)

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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