Bowyer: Phoenix Is Always Fun

Clint Bowyer

In observance of National Pet Cancer Awareness month, Clint Bowyer will carry the pictures of two special dogs on the side of his No. 14 Ford Mustang Sunday when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series holds its penultimate race of the 2019 season at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.

“If carrying pictures of two of the 1,500 dogs One Cure treats on the side of our car doesn’t make us a fan favorite in Phoenix this weekend, then I don’t know what will,” said Bowyer, who owns two dogs of his own. “I hope this gives some attention to National Pet Cancer Awareness, as well as the good work One Cure is doing for pets and humans. I think just about everybody has a pet and everybody has been touched by cancer in their lives.”

Bowyer’s green-and-white car will carry the picture of Merlin on the driver’s-side door. The 8-year-old Golden Retriever was diagnosed with lymphoma earlier this year. Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in dogs and is similar to lymphoma in humans. While there’s currently no cure for lymphoma, Merlin feels great, even while going through treatment and enjoying two long walks each day with his family.

On the passenger-side door of Bowyer’s racecar will be a picture of Neva, a 9-year-old mixed breed, diagnosed with bone cancer in her left-front leg. This cancer is very similar to bone cancer in humans, which is most often diagnosed in children. After amputation surgery to remove the tumor, Neva entered a clinical trial designed to personalize her chemotherapy treatment. Three years later, Neva is doing great.

Both dogs, as well as hundreds of others, are part of a One Cure project led by the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University. The One Cure program is founded on the principle that cancer affects all creatures and that treatment breakthroughs come through collaboration between scientists and doctors working with people and animals. This approach is known as comparative oncology and it is the guiding concept of One Cure and the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State. The center works to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets, and teams with the human medical field to translate research findings that will help people with cancer.

The center, located in Colorado State’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, sees more than 1,500 new animal cancer patients every year, with approximately 130 patients enrolling in carefully monitored clinical trials specific to their cancer type. The canine and feline patients are helping pioneer cancer research, moving cutting-edge treatments out of the laboratory and into clinical practice, ultimately providing hope for the next generation of animal and human cancer patients.

One Cure has been one of Bowyer’s partners at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) since he climbed into the No. 14 racecar in 2018. The program’s goal is to direct fans to www.OneCure.com, where they can learn about the research and to offer financial support. Bowyer said it could mean life or death for humans and pets.

“The bottom line I learned through One Cure is this: There isn’t much difference between dogs and humans when it comes to cancer,” Bowyer said. “What they get, we get. We’re both in the same environment, drink the same water and react the same way. So, One Cure is researching cancer in dogs and other pets not only to treat them, but to apply that research in the hopes it will lead to curing cancer in humans, as well.”

Bowyer hopes he can give One Cure even more attention with a good run Sunday in the desert. He enters the race 11th in points after finishing 11th Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in a race that saw him finish second in Stage 1 after leading 36 laps. Bowyer arrives just 22 points behind William Byron in the battle for 10th place in the standings and just 40 points behind Brad Keselowski, who holds ninth place. This weekend in Phoenix, then next Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, are the only races remaining on the 2019 schedule.

“These final two races are important to us,” Bowyer said. “We can get to 10th and ninth. That would be an achievement for us and we are going to try like heck this weekend and next weekend to make it happen.”

He’ll have two canine friends on the side of his car in Phoenix this weekend to make sure he does, as well as to call attention to a worthy cause and organization.

Clint Bowyer, Driver of the No. 14 One Cure Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

What are your thoughts on Phoenix?

“It’s always fun to go to Phoenix. It’s a cool racetrack, one of my favorites. It was my first racetrack where I made a start in the NASCAR Cup Series. I started with Richard Childress Racing and Bill McAnally, so it is always special to go back there.”

What are Phoenix’s greatest challenges?

“There are a couple of tough things about Phoenix. Finding your stall on 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.”

No. 14 One Cure Team Report

Round 35 of 36 – Bluegreen Vacations 500 – Phoenix

Car No.: 14 –One Cure Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

At Track PR Contact: Drew Brown with True Speed Communication (Drew.Brown@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 and Aurora, Colorado respectively

Tire Specialist: Russell Simpson

Hometown: Medford, New York

Shock Specialist: Wayne Smith

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

Notes of Interest:

B​owyer owns career totals of 10 wins, three poles, 80 top-five finishes, 212 top-10s and 2,988 laps led in 503 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races. He also owns eight NASCAR 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 Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Sept. 14, 2019
All-Time Victory List: With 10 career victories, Bowyer is in a 59th-place tie on the all-time wins list with Donnie Allison and Sterling Marlin.

Last week at Texas: Bowyer started 24th but used a fast Mustang and good pit strategy to finish second in the first stage. He fell back in the field after pitting during the break before finishing 12th in Stage 2. As the temperatures cooled, Bowyer’s car fell behind the leaders. That combined with an untimely caution that forced him to take the wave-around to return to the lead lap after pitting left him with an 11th-place finish.

Phoenix occupies a special place in Clint Bowyer’s heart and history. The 40-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, his brother Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson, and Kevin Harvick are the only current drivers who were in the field for Bowyer’s debut in 2005 who will race at Phoenix again Sunday.

Bowyer’s career at Phoenix: Bowyer owns two top-fives and seven top-10s in 28 starts at Phoenix. He’s led 22 laps and has finished on the lead lap 15 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.

Bowyer at Phoenix in March: Bowyer started 26th but raced into the top-10 by lap 55. Some pit strategy and good driving vaulted him to a second-place finish in Stage 2. After a flurry of pit stops during cautions, Bowyer dropped to the back of the field in the final stage, but traffic hindered his return to the front and he finished 11th.

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.

SHR At Phoenix: SHR owns six victories, 20 top-five finishes and 31 top-10s in 66 starts. The six victories are the most for SHR at any track.

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

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