160_Anthem Annual 2017 February Edition.p1

2017 Anthem Annual February

even if he leaves The World Center of Racing empty-handed. At SHR, an organization with two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships in only eight years of existence, Bowyer will have access to all the tools necessary to run up front and challenge for victories on a regular basis. The added pressure that comes with replacing Stewart is a small price to pay for the stability that Bowyer will enjoy for the first time since 2012 — the year he scored a career-high three wins as a newcomer to Michael Waltrip Racing. Three years later, MWR shuttered its doors, setting the stage for Bowyer to be hired by Stewart-Haas Racing but needing to find a temporary ride elsewhere during Stewart’s 2016 farewell tour. “Everybody always questions what last year was and everything else,” said Bowyer, who finished a career-worst 27th in points in his lone season at HScott Motorsports. “I signed that deal with SHR prepared to sit on the couch and do nothing, so anything was better than that.” Stewart believed he had to act swiftly to secure the services of Bowyer, an eight-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race winner who finished a career-best runnerup in points in 2012 and became one of the sport’s most coveted free agents when it was announced that MWR would close. “You know, everything in racing is timing, and the opportunity to get somebody like Clint Bowyer, I mean, that’s when you know you seize the opportunity,” said Stewart, who co-owns SHR with billionaire businessman Gene Haas. “It’s the right time, it’s the right opportunity, and when somebody in a scenario like Clint’s came about, you jump on those opportunities, and you know that timing is everything.” Bowyer joined NASCAR’s top series fulltime in 2006. After six up and down seasons with Richard Childress Racing, he left the Chevrolet organization for the Toyota camp of MWR in 2012. Now with SHR, he’ll be in a Ford for the first time, as the company makes the switch from Chevrolet. This will be Bowyer’s fourth ride in seven years. “I didn’t have a very good year in 2011,” Bowyer said. “Looking back that was probably one of my worst years at RCR. And then I was just ready for a change, I was ready for new. I was kind of at a stale place Clint Bowyer (No.15), flanked by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17), finished a dismal 27th in last year’s standings in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. in my life, I guess. Not even my career, just I was kind of down and dejected and I was lost a little bit. And a new opportunity brought new life, brought a new attitude, brought new energy and that all equated to one of the best years that I’d ever had. “I walked into a new sponsorship, a new manufacturer, and there wasn’t a face on my team that I had known in the past. It was just all new. And that’s what I’m looking forward to the most about this opportunity ahead at Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images Stewart-Haas is, again, a new manufacturer, new sponsors, new people, new faces.” For Bowyer, the change in scenery means a whole new attitude. “You get me a car capable of winning, I’ll win in it,” he said. “I’ve always done that. “I’m ready to get things back pointed in the right direction. I know Stewart-Haas, replacing Tony Stewart, getting my butt in that seat, I’m capable of getting the job done.” Clint Bowyer joined Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2006 with Richard Childress Racing, where he competed through the 2011 season. HHP/Harold Hinson 160 ANTHEM MOTORSPORTS ANNUAL


2017 Anthem Annual February
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