Clint Bowyer Gains Experience During ARCA Testing At Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Dec. 20, 2003) - Clint Bowyer says his opportunity to drive for Richard Childress Racing in the Busch Series in 2004 "is a dream come true."
On Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, Bowyer accomplished another dream - to turn laps at the historic "World Center of Racing."
Bowyer is participating in this weekend's ARCA RE/MAX Series test session at Daytona International Speedway with Bobby Gerhart Racing. His test session will give him clearance to race in the Aaron's 312 Busch Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, April 24.
In order to gain even more Superspeedway experience, Bowyer is also looking to compete in the Feb. 7 Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race with Bobby Gerhart Racing.
"That's the plan right now to run with these guys," Bowyer said. "Nothing is set in stone but that's the plan."
One thing that is set in stone for Bowyer is a driving job with Richard Childress Racing. Bowyer and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick will share the driving duties on the No. 21 Reese's Chevrolet. Bowyer is scheduled to compete in 14 Busch Series races.
"(Richard Childress) and Earnhardt started it all as far as I'm concerned," said Bowyer, referring to Childress' six NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championships that he won with Dale Earnhardt. "To be able to drive for a guy like that is unbelievable. It's a dream come true. He's a neat guy. He takes care of his people. I'm looking forward to next year."
Bowyer's racing credentials include winning the 2002 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Midwest Region and finishing second in his ARCA debut at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway in August, 2003 driving for Bobby Gerhart Racing.
Bowyer met Childress for the first time a few years ago at Kansas Speedway. In October, 2003, he ran into him again while competing in another ARCA RE/MAX Series race for Gerhart Racing in Concord, N.C.
"I talked to him (Childress) and he said he had his eye on me. I didn't think anymore of it," Bowyer said. "Actually, I was trying to get a hold of him to purchase an ARCA car for this year to run a limited schedule. Then the next thing I know he calls me about this 21 deal.
"The resources, the people you can learn from, you can't ask for a better ride."
Gerhart, who has two victories in the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 at Daytona, enjoys tutoring Bowyer.
"His attitude is the biggest thing," Gerhart said. "If you have the right attitude, you can get a lot out of everybody. There's nothing in this deal for me other than helping him move forward. I'm glad to do that and glad to be a part of it."
Bowyer was eighth fastest on Saturday with a lap of 180.723 mph. The fastest driver on Saturday was A.J. Henriksen at 182.823 followed by Ron Cox (182.275) and Dan Shaver (182.094).
ARCA RE/MAX Series testing concludes on Sunday. Testing is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.
Tickets for all Speedweeks 2004 events are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.
<pre> Day 2 ARCA RE/MAX Series test speeds (Top 10) 1. A.J. Henriksen 182.823 mph 2. Ron Cox 182.275 3. Dan Shaver 182.094 4. Kyle Busch 181.844 5. Keith Murt 181.818 6. Christi Passmore 181.309 7. Paul Menard 181.083 8. Clint Bowyer 180.723 9. Brent Sherman 180.621 10. Chad McCumbee 180.451