Bowyer Returns To Where It All Started

Clint Bowyer
ISM Raceway near Phoenix occupies a special place in Clint Bowyer’s heart and history. 

The 39-year-old Emporia, Kansas native made his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut on the mile oval in the Arizona desert on April 23, 2005, driving for Bill McAnally and Richard Childress. He started 25th and finished 22nd, one lap behind race-winner Kurt Busch

Busch, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson, and Kevin Harvick are the only drivers who were in the field for Bowyer’s debut in 2005 who will race at Phoenix again in Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500k

“There aren’t many guys left who were there when I started,” said Bowyer, who has gone on to post 10 victories in 472 Cup Series starts. “That’s a big turnover. Obviously, our sport has undergone a lot of change over the last 15 or so years.” 

One of the biggest changes besides the driver lineup since Bowyer started in the Cup Series is the amount of technology available to fans and competitors alike. 

Racecar drivers now rely on digital readouts instead of analog gauges on their dashboard. Crews can send huge amounts of digital information to and from the track. Fans at home have as much information as a crew chief on the pit box while fans in the stands can follow timing and scoring and browse the Web at tracks like Phoenix that offer free Wi-Fi throughout the facility. 

Fans and drivers alike are using the reseller options and are able to Tweet, Instagram, Snap and Skype every moment at racetracks across the country.   “Technology is a way of life, now,” said Bowyer, who notes the ease with which his 4-year-old son Cash took up technology. “He can navigate an iPad better than me. Everyone wants technology no matter where you are or how old you are these days.” 

It’s fitting that, this weekend in Arizona, Bowyer will drive the No. 14 ITsavvy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing. (SHR)ITsavvy (pronounced I-T-savvy)is a second-year primary sponsor in the Cup Series. The Addison, Illinois-based company is one of the fastest-growing resources for integrated IT products and technology solutions in the United States. ITsavvy has catapulted from a Midwest start-up to a national leader in IT products and solutions very rapidly. 

Founded in 2004 by Mike Theriault and Chris Kurpeikis, ITsavvy has been consistently recognized as one of the fastest-growing businesses of its type. ITsavvy is a single-source, end-to-end IT partner. The company combines a comprehensive, value-added reseller business of more than 1 million computer, hardware and software products with an industry-leading advanced solutions group. ITsavvy has access to $8 billion in daily inventory in 46 distribution centers around the country with the ability to ship in-stock items the same day they are ordered. 

ITsavvy will also serve as the primary sponsor on Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in October. 

“The ITsavvy car is probably the easiest car to spot on the track,” said Bowyer, who owns victories at Phoenix in an Xfinity Series race in 2007 and the Gander Mountain Truck Series in 2010. “It’s been fun bringing them into our racing world and we are learning a lot about their world. They help us at the shop and at the track with our IT challenges. Their success is our success.” 

Bowyer hopes more race fans will know the ITsavvy name after Sunday’s 500-kilometer race at Phoenix. It’s the fourth event of the 2019 season. Bowyer enters 13th in the points a week after finishing 14th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Phoenix marks the second of a three-race West-Coast trip for the Cup Series. 

While so much of the sport and the world is different since Bowyer’s Cup Series debut in 2005, one thing remains the same. 

“I don’t care if I raced in 1919 or 2019,” he said. “If you are a racer, that desire to win is always there. I want to win this Sunday in Phoenix as much as – heck, if not more than – I did that first race in Phoenix.”  

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

What challenges does Phoenix pose?
“There are a couple of tough things about Phoenix. Finding your stall in pit road is tricky, especially if you are pitted down around the corner. Second is figuring out the restarts now that we start in the dogleg. You have to figure out how to give room to the guy in front of you so you don’t get on the brakes and get hit from behind or screw up and let that guy make it three-wide and you lose a lot of spots. Finally, that sun is tough in Phoenix. You can miss the bottom (groove) the first lap or two because of the sun.”
 
What are your thoughts on technology in NASCAR and ITsavvy’s role with SHR?
Stewart Haas Racing (SHR) is a four-car team and we have tons of extremely talented folks, but I’m going to tell you the number-one guy we can’t do without on a race weekend or, especially at a test, is our IT guy. If he’s sick, we’re all sick and that racecar is going to be sick. It’s unbelievable how much we lean on that side of things, on the technology side. If you walk through our race shop and throughout the garage, you’ll see how our racecars and our entire industry rely on technology. From engine diagnostics to fuel-mileage calculations, our business is dependent on technology solutions. The senior-level introductions our sport can make will lead to new business opportunities for ITsavvy. Every company needs what ITsavvy provides, and we’re excited to facilitate those introductions.”  

No. 14 ITsavvy Ford Mustang Team ReportRound 4 of 36 – TicketGuardian 500k – PhoenixCar No.: 14 – 

ITsavvy Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing                    

At Track PR Contact:  Mike Arning with True Speed Communication (Mike.Arning@TrueSpeedCommunication.com) ​ 

No. 14 At-Track Crew Roster
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: Ryan Mulder
Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa 

Rear Tire Changer: Coleman Dollarhide
Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina 

Tire Carrier: Dwayne Moore
Hometown: Griffin, Georgia 

Gas Man: James “Ace” Keener
Hometown: Fortuna, California 

Jackman: Sean Cotten
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina 

Windshield: Chris Trickett
Hometown: Grafton, West Virginia

Road Crew: 

Truck Drivers: Dale Lackey and Christopher Hamilton
Hometown: Taylorsville, North Carolina and Muncie, Indiana, respectively

Engineers: Lee Deese and James Kimbrough
Hometown: Rockingham, North Carolina, and Pensacola, Florida, respectively  

Mechanics: Tony Silvestri and Robbie Fairweather
Hometown: Sylvania, Ohio

Tire Specialist: Russell Simpson
Hometown: Medford, New York 

Shock Specialist: Wayne Smith
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
Notes of Interest:

Bowyer owns career totals of 10 wins, two poles, 74 top-five finishes, 197 top-10s and 2,850 laps led in 472 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.

He also owns eight Xfinity Series victories.​His most recent Cup Series victory came at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (June 10, 2018).His most recent Cup Series pole came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 16, 2007).

Bowyer owns two top-fives and seven top-10s in 26 starts at Phoenix. He’s led 22 laps and has finished on the lead lap 14 times. Bowyer won the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Phoenix on April 20, 2007, when he took the checkered flag under caution just ahead of Matt Kenseth. He also won the Gander Mountain Truck Series race on Nov. 12, 2010, beating Kyle Busch by 1.038 seconds.

In last Sunday’s Cup Series race at Las Vegas, Bowyer finished 14th after qualifying 17th. The finish, combined with a fifth-place result at Atlanta and a 20th-place finish at Daytona, moved him to 13th in the points.

Bowyer at Phoenix in November 2018: Bowyer started 16th and climbed to seventh by the 100-lap mark. But, a cut tire on lap 133 sent the No. 14 into the wall, ending his race and leaving Bowyer with a 35th-place finish.

Bowyer at Phoenix in March 2018 Bowyer started 19th and moved to 11th in the opening stage of the race despite reporting his car was a little too loose. Contact with another car on lap 123 slowed his progress and he finished Stage 2 in 10th. Since he pitted in the closing laps of the previous stage, Bowyer remained on the track during the stage break and moved up to fourth for the start of the final stage. He held his position through the pit cycle and finished the race sixth. It was the first time SHR placed all four of its drivers in the top-10 in a single race.

The 2019 season marks the 11th season of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). The Kannapolis, North Carolina-based team is co-owned by Tony Stewart and Gene Haas and has recorded 51 points-paying victories and 45 poles since its inception in 2009. It also owns four non-points victories in the Cup Series and three Xfinity Series victories. Stewart won the 2011 NASCAR Cup Series title, and Kevin Harvick gave SHR its second title in 2014. Then-SHR-driver Kurt Busch won the 2017 Daytona 500. Harvick won eight times in 2018, while Bowyer won twice and Aric Almirola and Busch once each. All four SHR drivers advanced to the Round of 8 of the Cup Series playoffs.

At Phoenix, SHR owns six victories, 19 top-five finishes and 29 top-10s in 62 starts. The six victories are the most for SHR at any track.

Bowyer’s Top-Three Finishes at SHR (2017- Present):

WinsMichigan International Speedway (June 10, 2018)Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (March 26, 2018)

2nd place: 
Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 15,2018)
Dover (Del.) International Speedway (May 6, 2018)
Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (April 24, 2017)
Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (June 25, 2017)                         
Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (July 1, 2017)

3rd place: 
Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (Sept. 30, 2018)
Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (June 24, 2018)
Atlanta Motor Speedway (Feb. 25, 2018)
Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (Oct. 29, 2017)
Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California (March 26, 2017)​

Bowyer’s Stage Victories Pocono (Pa.) Raceway Stage 2 (July 30, 2017)Indianapolis Motor Speedway Stage 1 (Sept. 10, 2018)

Bowyer Cup Series Career Victories:
Michigan International Speedway (June 10, 2018)
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:
2018 12th
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:
2008Bowyer 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)

Crew Chief Mike Bugarewicz’s Top-3 Finishes at SHR (2016-Present):Wins:
Martinsville (Va.) Speedway  (Bowyer, March 27, 2018)
Michigan Intl. Speedway (Bowyer, June 10, 2018)
Sonoma (Calif.) Speedway (Stewart, June 26, 2016)

2nd place:             
Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 14, 2018)
Dover (Del) International Speedway (May 6, 2018)
Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (April 24, 2017)
Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (June 25, 2017)
Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (July 1, 2017)

3rd place
Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval (Sept. 30, 2018)
Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (June 24, 2018)
Atlanta Motor Speedway (Feb. 25, 2018)
Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (Oct. 29, 2017)
Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (March 26, 2017) 

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

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