Bowyer Enjoys Being Reunited With His Buddy, Kevin Harvick

Clint Bowyer
After finishing second Monday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway, one of the first people Clint Bowyer sought out on pit lane was Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate and friend Kevin Harvick, who finished third.

Congratulating each other after a good race was like old times for the pair. They have history.

Bowyer leaned on Harvick’s driving knowledge when he started his NASCAR career at Richard Childress Racing in 2005. The Emporia, Kansas native was new to the sport and Harvick was already winning races on a regular basis. Instead of reinventing the wheel, Bowyer quickly figured out it might be easier and wiser just to mimic what seemed to work well for Harvick both on and off the track.

“Everything I have learned in this sport of racing and racecars was always in his seat, with his pedals and where his steering wheel was,” Bowyer said. “Kevin always had it and I didn’t know any better. I had never driven one of these cars before. Everything I did when I learned how to drive these cars was how Kevin did it.”

It seemed to work.

At Childress, Bowyer started 217 Cup Series races, earning five victories and posting 31 top-five finishes. In the Xfinity Series races, he notched eight victories, including the 2008 series title. Bowyer and Harvick, who ultimately won 23 races at Childress, were not only friends but teammates who knew if one outran the other, then it was likely a good day. But those days came to an end when Bowyer left the team and joined Michael Waltrip Racing before the 2012 season and Harvick joined SHR in 2014.

SHR put the band back together when it announced Bowyer would take over the No. 14 vacated by three-time champion Tony Stewart, who retired from NASCAR competition after the 2016 season. Bowyer had some big shoes to fill in replacing a legend in Stewart, so he found a familiar friend to lean on for guidance.

“When I came to Stewart-Haas, they asked what I want to do with my pedals and seat and I said, ‘Hell, I don’t know, ask Kevin,’ Bowyer said. “It has been that way my whole career.”

Bowyer and Harvick are tied for eighth in the series standings and look to be contenders for the Cup Series title this season. Harvick seems to relish in his teammate’s success.

“I watched him drive his first stock car at RCR and, from that point on, he progressively learned and listened and brought a lot to the table as a driver,” Harvick said. “And we are good friends, which is something you can’t really buy. You either get along with somebody or you don’t. You communicate and drive like them or you don’t. It has been refreshing and fun to have him there and seeing him progress.”

Harvick isn’t Bowyer’s only resource. Bowyer said he values both SHR teammates Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch. Plus, there is always Stewart.

“Danica brings so much to SHR through her open-wheel experience and what she does away from the track,” Bowyer said. “Kurt really dissects his car more than anything I have ever heard. It really gets your mind going about maybe what you thought, or a trick somewhere. Makes you think about what maybe you were feeling when you thought you were feeling about something else. It’s a breath of fresh air to be in the meetings with those guys and debrief with them and work on the next week, or even just the race after practice.

“It is really cool to have those guys’ input going into a race, or the following week. What can I say about Tony except he’s one of the greatest drivers in the history of motorsports. Add in all the competition guys and you realize there’s a lot of brainpower at SHR. Gene Haas and Tony have built a really great racing organization.”

This week, Bowyer and his No. 14 Haas Automation Ford team led by crew chief Mike Bugarewicz, who was Harvick’s engineer before moving to the No. 14 team, visit Richmond (Va.) International Raceway for Sunday’s 400-lap race. Two of Bowyer’s eight career victories came at the .75-mile oval – in September 2015 and May 2008. He’s also notched four top-fives and led 348 laps there.

Bowyer would like nothing better than to visit victory lane again at Richmond. If he does, Harvick might be one of the first to come by victory lane or send a congratulatory text message.

Just like old times.

CLINT BOWYER , Driver of the No. 14  Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
You’ve come a long way in the last 18 months. Why would you be frustrated with second place after Bristol?

 

“You struggle and struggle and struggle for a year and a half here and, hell, next thing you know you’re being greedy about second. You know what I mean? That’s just the way racers are wired and the way it’s always been. Having a ton of fun and working hard and seeing the results is gratifying for this race team. I mean, we need sponsorship on the side of this car rather than the boss, and good runs like we had at Bristol, and positive momentum and mojo, is a good way to do that. You start getting that close to wins – know what I mean? – you can’t let too many of those go by the wayside. You’ve got to use those opportunities and capitalize on those opportunities but, definitely, a confidence- and momentum-builder, for sure.”

 

Haas Automation Racing Team Report

Round 9 of 36 – Richmond 400 – Richmond

Car No. 14:     Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing
 
At Track PR Contact: Drew Brown with True Speed Communication (704-498-7596 or 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, S.C.

Over-The-Wall Crew:

 

Front Tire Changer: Ira Jo Hussey

Hometown: Manchester, New Hampshire

 

Front Tire Carrier: Brett Morrell

Hometown: Windham, Maine

 

Rear Tire Changer: Chris McMullen

Hometown: Canton, Michigan

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Josh Sobecki

Hometown: New Kensington, Pennsylvania

 

Gas Man: James “Ace” Keener

Hometown: Fortuna, California

 

Jackman: Getty Cavitt

Hometown: Owensboro, Kentucky

 

Windshield: Justin Peiffer

Hometown: Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Road Crew:

 

Truck Drivers: William “Stump” Lewis and Rob Fink

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

 

Engineers: Lee Deese, Chris Chidgey and Kenny Oates

Hometown: Rockingham, North Carolina, Gainesville, Florida and Huntersville, North Carolina, 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:
  • Clint Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford will carry a special decal on the hood this weekend highlightingHaas Automation’s Demo Day 2017 planned for May 10. The annual event provides Haas Factory Outlets an opportunity to feature the latest CNC machines, innovations, and technology from Haas Automation. The outlets will showcase machine cutting demonstrations, as well as educational seminars to explain how the latest Haas machines and options can you make you more efficient and profitable. Current Haas users, potential customers, and anyone in the manufacturing industry is invited to attend and learn how the latest Haas machines can help a business be more productive, efficient, and profitable. For more information, please contact your local Haas Factory Outlet.
  • Sunday’s race will mark Clint Bowyer’s 406th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and 23rd career Cup Series start at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, where he has two victories, four top-five finishes and 12 top-10s and has led 348 laps.
  • Bowyer owns career totals of eight wins, two poles, 60 top-five finishes, 171 top-10s and 2,338 laps led in 405 NASCAR Cup Series races. He also owns eight Xfinity Series victories. He is tied for eighth in the Cup Series standings after eight races. His most recent Cup Series victory came at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (Oct. 13, 2012).His most recent Cup Series pole came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 16, 2007).
  • Bowyer in 2017: A 17-car accident on lap 127 of the Daytona 500 collected Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford and left him with a 32nd-place finish. At Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bowyer started 24th and climbed to third with 85 laps remaining before contact with another car and a cut tire left him with an 11th-place finish. At Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the No. 14 Ford team struggled early but improved throughout the race to finish 10th. At Phoenix International Raceway, Bowyer drove from 17th to 13th in overtime. Bowyer repeated his overtime feat at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, when he drove from sixth to third in the added laps to record his best finish of 2017. At Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Bowyer overcame a midrace accident to finish seventh. He finished 11th at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and second at Bristol on Monday, his seventh consecutive top-13 finish.
  • Tony Stewart and Gene Haas co-own Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), which has recorded 37 victories and 32 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 this year’s season-opening Daytona 500.
  • SHR owns one victory (Kurt Busch in April 2015), 10 top-five finishes and 20 top-10s in 46 starts at Richmond. SHR cars have led 655 laps on the Virginia.
  • Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz is in his second season after overseeing Tony Stewart’s final campaign in 2016. Bugarewicz’s pit strategy played a key role in Stewart’s victory at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in June 2016. The Lehighton, Pennsylvania native served as the lead engineer on Stewart-Haas Racing’s (SHR) No. 4 entry in 2014 and 2015. The Penn State University graduate was the only rookie crew chief to be part of last year’s Cup Series playoffs.
  • Bowyer Cup Series Career Victories:
    • 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:
    • 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  Stewart-Haas Racing
    • ​2016  HScott Motorsports
    • 2012-2015  Michael Waltrip Racing
    • 2006-2011 Richard Childress Racing
  • 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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