Clint Bowyer: Sunday Is One Heck Of A Full Race Day!

Clint Bowyer & Matt Kenseth

Clint Bowyer is as big of a racing fan as anyone sitting in the grandstands or watching on television. The Emporia, Kansas native races in NASCAR, runs his own Dirt Late Model team, and has his motorhome television dialed into racing most of the time.

He can’t wait for Sunday.

Like everyone else, he will tune in early Sunday morning when Formula One takes the green flag in Monaco, followed by the Indianapolis 500 at noon. A few hours later, he’ll leave the couch to put on his Haas Automation Ford uniform and climb in his Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) No. 14 Ford.

Bowyer and 39 other Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers will battle for 600 miles Sunday night in the  at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Sunday is just a hell of a day of racing,” Bowyer said with a laugh. “You have one of the coolest races in Formula One in Monte Carlo, and then it’s the Indianapolis 500 – it’s one of their coolest races. Actually, no, it is their coolest race. And then the 600’s one of ours. I mean, it’s just a – It’s a hell of a day of racing.”

Bowyer has a rooting interest Sunday morning in Monaco. Haas F1 Team is owned by SHR co-owner Gene Haas and fields cars for Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.

“I’ve always been a fan of F1 and admired what they do, but now that the boss has cars in it and is competing in it, you follow and pull for those guys even that much more,” Bowyer said.

After the Formula One race, Bowyer will watch the Indianapolis 500 in his motorcoach from the infield in Charlotte.

“Having the Indy 500 leading up to our 600 is awesome for a race fan and, hey, I’m a race fan,” he said. “Who’s not, right? I want to watch that race, and do. The last few years have been phenomenal.”

Normally, he’ll begin his sponsor and media obligations for the Cup Series race during the closing laps of the Indy 500, but he’ll keep a close eye on the ending.

“I remember I was with one of the sponsors, doing a hospitality deal already, and looking over peoples’ shoulders at the TV behind me, trying to focus on what I’m supposed to be talking about, and selling the 600, how we’re going to run there,” Bowyer said. “And, oh, by the way, trying to see who’s going to win the Indy 500.”

Bowyer is in his first season driving for SHR replacing three-time champion Tony Stewart, who retired from NASCAR at the end of the 2016 season. Stewart, who raced in five Indy 500s, plans to attend Indy on Sunday, then arrive in Charlotte before the start of the 600 race.

Make no mistake – by the time the green flag drops in Charlotte for NASCAR’s longest race of the season, Bowyer will be all business. He won at Charlotte in October 2012 and owns two top-five finishes and five top-10s and has led 119 laps. Last week in the NASCAR All-Star Race, Bowyer finished 13th after winning Stage 1 in the NASCAR Monster Energy Open. It marked the third time in four seasons Bowyer advanced from the Open to the All-Star Race.

Last week’s racing was about speed over a short distance. Sunday’s race is the longest the drivers will race all season. Bowyer said the strain of the extra distance is as much mental as physical.

“It just depends on how your ole’ hot rod is, how your night’s going,” he said.

“The Coca-Cola 600 can be one of those deals where you feel like you could’ve gone another three or four hours, or it’s one of those where it’s like, ‘My God, is this thing ever going to end?’ You hope it’s the way I was describing before. You hope it’s, ‘This is easy,’ and wish it’d lasted a couple more hours.”

CLINT BOWYER , Driver of the No. 14  Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
 

What are your thoughts on the 600?

“I think you saw from the All-Star Race that track position is going to be key. But we will have longer green-flag runs Sunday and handling will come into play. We had a really good car last week. If we could have gotten out front in the All-Star Race like we did in the Open, then we would have been tough to handle.”

 

Do you have any desire to compete in the Indianapolis 500?

“No. No, I don’t. Open wheels just doesn’t make much sense to me. No. They fly. I don’t like that. Flying’s just for – flying is for airplanes.”

 

Haas Automation Racing Team Report

Round 12 of 36 – Coca-Cola 600 – Charlotte

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:
  • The windshield header of Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford is usually reserved for his last name. Instead, the No 14 will honor Army Staff Sgt. Terry D. Wagoner, 28, of Pelzer, South Carolina, who along with two others, died in Baghdad, Iraq in 2007 from wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations. Wagoner was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Wagoner was in his second Iraq tour when he was killed. Wagoner ran track in high school and followed a tradition of five uncles serving in the military. Every car in Sunday’s race will honor a fallen member of the services. The special tribute is part of NASCAR Salutes, the industry’s collective expression of respect and gratitude for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present.
  • Bowyer owns career totals of eight wins, two poles, 60 top-five finishes, 172 top-10s and 2,351 laps led in 408 NASCAR Cup Series races. He also owns eight Xfinity Series victories. He is ninth in the Cup Series standings after nine races.
    • His most recent Cup Series victory came at Charlotte (Oct. 13, 2012).
    • His most recent Cup Series pole came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 16, 2007).
  • Bowyer will join the Fox Sports 1 broadcast booth as an analyst for Saturday’sXfinity Series race.
  • SHR has one points-paying win at Charlotte (Kevin Harvick in October 2014) and has two top-five finishes and five top-10s in 46 starts.
  • 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 (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. A penalty while running sixth two weekends ago at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway left Bowyer with a 15th-place finish. It marked his eighth consecutive top-15 finish. At Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, he led 10 laps but a late-race pit stop because of tire damage ended his bid for victory. At Kansas Speedway in Kansas City Bowyer finished ninth, his fifth top-10 finish of the season.
  • 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.
  • 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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