158_Anthem Annual 2017 February Edition.p1

2017 Anthem Annual February

team owner who, as co-owner of SHR, is now Bowyer’s boss. Bowyer has enormous shoes to fill as the one tasked with replacing Stewart, a winner of 49 races since joining NASCAR’s top division in 1999. “It is a big deal,” Bowyer said. “You have a 20-year career like that and a multi-time champion, a huge character in this sport, it creates a big void in our sport. That’s going to be the toughest thing about filling that seat is you know that that driver and person is missing from our lineup, and that’s a big void for any of our drivers to fill — let alone the one that’s actually getting behind the wheel of that car.” At least Bowyer has a theory on how he can quickly relieve some of the pressure that is associated with being Stewart’s successor. “I think if I was to get in that car and win the only race that he never did, that might be the only way to win all of his fans over,” Bowyer said, referring to NASCAR’s premier event, the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. “So, damn. A lot of pressure in the Daytona 500 in 2017.” As thrilling as it would be for Bowyer to come out of the gate with Stewart-Haas by winning the sport’s biggest race for the first time, Bowyer has reason for optimism Clint Bowyer’s most recent victory came in the fall of 2012 at Charlotte Motor Speedway while competing for Michael Waltrip Racing. Tyler Barrick/NASCAR via Getty Images 158 ANTHEM MOTORSPORTS ANNUAL


2017 Anthem Annual February
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