Kansas native Bowyer looks for success at "home" DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 27, 2005) -- If you happen to be an acquaintance of Clint Bowyer (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet), forgive him if he seems a little preoccupied this week. Bowyer is from ...
Kansas native Bowyer looks for success at "home"
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 27, 2005) -- If you happen to be an acquaintance of Clint Bowyer (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet), forgive him if he seems a little preoccupied this week.
Bowyer is from Emporia, Kan., just 90 miles from Kansas Speedway. He is also just 26 points from first place in the NASCAR Busch Series championship standings.
Bower has made up 204 points on defending series champion and current points leader Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) over the last five races. The 26-year-old is the closest to Truex any driver has been since Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge) was seven points down following Milwaukee, where Truex took his first lead of the season.
"I can't let the distractions of being close to home get in my way, but it sure would be nice to leave [Kansas] in the lead and give all the fans something extra to cheer about," Bowyer said of Saturday's race.
That he is worried about being distracted is almost a pleasant problem to have. Bowyer started in motocross at age 4, and struggled to decide whether to turn pro at 16. But a visit to a quarter-mile dirt track in Humbolt, Kan., with his grandfather, made his career destination clearer.
"It looked like so much fun out there, sliding those cars around the corner and racing so close," he said. His switch to race cars began with Modifieds and by 2002, had won NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series championships at two different tracks -- Lakeside and Heartland.
In 2003, Bowyer was racing in an ARCA event in Nashville. That same day, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series was in the midst of a rain delay. Although Bowyer didn't finish the race, Richard Childress caught the event on TV during the weather postponement, and believed Bowyer would be a good fit with his organization.
Following the race, Bowyer returned to Kansas and his job as a fabricator at a Ford dealership. A phone call came for him at work; he was told Childress was on the line. Certain that a joke was being played on him, Bowyer refused the call.
Finally, he did answer, and to his surprise, was invited by Childress to fly to his shop to discuss driving for RCR.
Bowyer shared time in the No. 21 Reese's Chevrolet with 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Champion Kevin Harvick last season, compiling four top fives, seven top 10s and a pole in 17 starts. He was rewarded with a fulltime ride in the No. 2 Chevrolet this year, and has 10 top fives, 18 top 10s and two poles. He also captured his first NASCAR Busch Series win at Nashville -- where he was discovered -- last June.
"Consistency is going to play out in the end, but we need to win a few more races," he said. "I need to win a couple more to be satisfied. We had expectations of being in this position from the beginning of the season, and now we are here. We've put ourselves in a position to be here and have proved we belong."