157_Anthem Annual 2017 February Edition.p1

2017 Anthem Annual February

Beginnings Clint Bowyer Takes Over the No. 14 for Stewart-Haas Racing On the same day in September 2015 that Tony Stewart announced plans to retire from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’s at the end of the next season, the three-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion also revealed his handpicked successor. That driver, Clint Bowyer, spent 2016 in NASCAR purgatory of sorts at now-defunct HScott Motorsports where he sputtered through the most frustrating year of his career. The only consolation for Bowyer throughout his dismal lone season at HScott? Knowing a big promotion awaited. Now, promotion day has finally arrived for Bowyer, who takes over the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing car piloted since 2009 by one of the sport’s all-time best drivers and most colorful personalities. “What this world is all about is opportunities, and certainly with that opportunity, the unfortunate thing is you lose one of the boys, one of the guys that I’ve always had a lot of fun with and enjoyed,” Bowyer said of Stewart. “Whether it was racing alongside of him or beating him, banging on him and bickering about it New afterwards, I always enjoyed the fact that Tony Stewart’s character was on the racetrack. That being said, damn, I’m glad that he decided to retire and open this seat up for me.” With Bowyer’s new 2017 digs is a combination of both relief and added pressure. By Jared Turner The relief comes in knowing that for the first time in several years he’ll be in top-notch equipment capable of competing for wins and even perhaps a championship. The pressure comes in knowing that he’s replacing Stewart, a legendary driver and accomplished Gene Haas (left) and Tony Stewart (right) formed Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009. The 2017 season will be the first at SHR for Clint Bowyer as he replaces Stewart in the organization’s No. 14 Ford. Jared C. Tilton/Stewart-Haas Racing via Getty Images ANTHEM MOTORSPORTS ANNUAL 157


2017 Anthem Annual February
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