Dropping the Hammer with Clint Bowyer

Most importantly, Bowyer enjoys his career renaissance with son Cash and wife Lorra. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Thompson/The Podium Finish)

Bowyer enjoys his career renaissance with son Cash and wife Lorra. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Thompson/The Podium Finish)

One of the highlights of this season to date has been the renaissance of Clint Bowyer’s career.  By and large, the Emporia, KS native has shaken off the tribulations from the past few years with a strong start to 2017.

For this reason, Bowyer has thrived on the track with the No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Fusion team. Undoubtedly, he has enjoyed his early season success with Stewart-Haas Racing.

Moreover, Bowyer has enjoyed his reunion with teammate Kevin Harvick.  For this reason, it seems like there’s a renewed sense of optimism and energy with this popular driver.

Presently, Bowyer ranks 10th in the points standings as the Cup season hits the halfway mark at Kentucky Speedway. All things considered, this cagey veteran wants to return to Victory Lane. After all, it may take at least a win or two to make this year’s playoff field.

At any rate, it’s safe to say that the swagger has returned for Bowyer. In fact, early morning rain prior to the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan could not dampen his spirits.

Be that as it may, Bowyer shared his thoughts with ease and confidence on a variety of topics.  In any case, it’s only a matter of time before he makes his much anticipated return to Victory Lane with his wife Lorra and son Cash.

No doubt, it would be something to hear Bowyer sing at a racetrack one day.  However, he’s making his presence known as a frontrunner in NASCAR.  As a matter of fact, let’s start “Dropping the Hammer with Clint Bowyer!”

Rob Tiongson : It’s been a solid start for you in 2017 with Stewart Haas Racing. First, how excited are you with the way things have gone so far? Do you feel your team is on the verge of scoring wins to advance into the playoff field?

Bowyer expressed optimism with his season to date. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Thompson/The Podium Finish)

Bowyer expressed optimism with his season to date. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Thompson/The Podium Finish)

Clint Bowyer :  Well, I think it’s all about chances.  I feel like I have a chance to win every weekend that we show up.  We’ve got a great team and great organization with Stewart-Haas Racing.  Our 14 team, in particular, Mike Bugarewicz, and all the guys are just spot on week in and week out.  My cars are unloading off the truck good.  It’s fun.  It’s fun to be back in good equipment and running up front where you are expected and expect to run.

That being said, it doesn’t come easy.  The last couple of weeks, we’ve been a solid car but we’ve had bad luck.  The oil tank broke at Dover.  At Pocono, we crashed.

We’ve just got to put it all together.  I really think all the pieces of the puzzle are there.  We just need to get a win under our belts.  With all of these new drivers winning, it’s going to make the playoffs difficult.  You’re probably going to have to win to get in.

RT :  At this point, do you suppose that this is a situation where we may see more than 16 winners during the regular season? Furthermore, does this necessitate a situation where drivers need multiple wins to make the playoffs?

CB :  Yea, I think so.  It’s sure looking like it!  Take nothing from the teams that have won, but they flat weren’t in my radar.  They went out, whether it was strategy or flat out took care of business, they got their win and their playoff spot.

RT : You took part in the Drivers’ Only telecast at Pocono for FOX NASCAR. Would you be open to doing something like that in the future? Moreover, do you think that the networks should collaborate with the drivers to bring more of that on track experience to the fans at home?

Bowyer made his presence known as an analyst in a few of FOX NASCAR's Xfinity Series telecasts.

Bowyer made his presence known as an analyst in a few of FOX NASCAR’s Xfinity Series telecasts.

CB :  I think it was cool.  It was a lot of fun.  The hardest part about that was making sure you took care of business.  I mean, there was a lot going on in that race.

Holy cow!  Those stages and the length of them in the Xfinity Series really lends itself to a lot of strategies and things like that.  We probably saw more at that track and in that race in particular at Pocono than we’ve seen all year.  Yea, I’d like to do it again.  It was fun.

RT : You mentioned on Instagram that your cars have been black and red growing up in the heartland. Is the new paint scheme for your car an homage to your past and a superstition thing?

CB :  I don’t know if it was a superstition.  I just always thought racecars ought to be black and red.  Like I said on Instagram, my first car and all of my dirt cars that my father owned were black and red.

My first asphalt car was black and red and always fast.  I hopped into a red and black car, qualified third at Michigan, and things are looking good!  Hopefully, we’ll stick with it! (laughter)

RT : Going somewhat off track, you and Blake Shelton are very good friends. How did you both meet and ever considered “auditioning” for The Voice?

CB : (much laughter) That’s actually really funny because he knows that I have the worst voice known to mankind.  He wouldn’t even allow me to sign up for it.  We just met through mutual friends and we just share so much in common.

The weirdest thing is that we share the love of NASCAR and car racing.  The dude loves the sport and follows along and has friends within it.  That’s always cool to see in any other kind of professional person.  He’s just a neat guy that’s a ton of fun to be around.

RT :  I can bet on that!  My dad is a huge fan of Blake.  He’s like, make sure to ask Clint about Blake!

CB :  But there’s no chance at The Voice! (laughs) I’d say judging from possibly having a couple of beers with him and possibly bellering out a song, he’s always quick to shut me down and telling me that I probably ought to stick it out with driving. (chuckles)

RT :  Just tell him to not sing that NBC theme song so many times for us! (laughter)

CB :  Exactly! (laughs)

RT :  Let’s put you in Tony Stewart’s shoes for a quick moment…

CB :  Oh my! (laughs)

RT :  (laughs) If you could be a driver and team owner and had the ability to select any racers of any era to be your teammates, which one would you pick because you liked them, wanted them around toward the end of your career, and would still want on board, even if they were annoying?

CB :  I really like being Kevin Harvick’s teammate.  He’s extremely good and pushes you to be better.  But for the dream team, Jimmie Johnson would have to be on that.  Jeff Gordon would have to be on that.  Dale Earnhardt would have to be on that.

I would think that would be a heckuva team because you have all of the facets there.  You have the talent for sure, but you’ve got the attitude, you’ve got the intimidation. I mean, all of it would be covered.  All of the bases would be covered.

RT : What would you consider to be your “Welcome to NASCAR” moment that made you feel accepted by your competitors and peers in the sport?

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CB :  Probably winning my first Cup race.  I mean, it’s a win…in the profession that you do, it solidifies you.  When I won that race at New Hampshire, it was just a while.  It took me a while.

I guess you realize the respect that you have by how many people going into Victory Lane and congratulate you and are genuinely happy for you.  That’s probably the neatest “welcome to NASCAR” moment if there is one.

Author’s Notes :  Special thanks to Clint Bowyer and Stewart-Haas Racing for this amazing opportunity at Michigan.  Furthermore, if you’d like to learn more about Clint and his No. 14 team, “Follow” them on Twitter, “Like” their Facebook page, and “Visit” their official website!

Rob Tiongson

30-something motorsports journalist who enjoys sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field, and hockey. Born and raised in the Boston, MA area, racing was the first sport that caught my eye. From interviews to retrospective articles, if it’s about anything with an engine and four wheels, you’ll likely see an article on The Podium Finish by either myself or one of my talented columnists who absolutely have the motorsports passion.

Currently seeking a sports writing, public relations, or sports marketing career, particularly in motorsports. I enjoy editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography.

Graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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