Michael Waltrip Racing will close their doors at the end of the 2015 season.
Clint Bowyer heads into the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup ready to make a statement, knowing it will be the last chance Michael Waltrip Racing will ever have at the title.
"It's all blue sky from here (and) I don't mean that as in we're going to be the first ones out," said Bowyer. "I don't believe that. I think I can outrun a few of these guys. This is new hope, a rejuvenation for everybody at MWR."
Winning isn't everything
The Kansas native is the 16th and final seed in the Chase and is currently riding a winless streak that dates back to October, 2012. A win at Chicago means automatic advancement into the second round, but going for the 'W' could prove catastrophic for overzealous drivers, Bowyer believes.
"Obviously, you want to win, but this isn't one race. Every year, I see people treat it as if it's just one race like I gotta win this race or I'm not going to win the championship. Every single year, somebody that should be there and go rounds and be a part of this, falters right off the bat.
"You got to be solid, you got to be consistent."
How can you possibly build your resume any better than performing at the absolute, most pressure that you could ever have
Clint Bowyer on racing for the title in the midst of MWR shutdown
Bowyer's average finish this year is 16.7, the lowest of any Chase driver. Despite this, he's confident that the No. 15 team can escape elimination in the opening round.
"If I look at the first three races, the one that concerns me the most is this one. We haven't been fast on the 1.5 milers - we're down on aero and I know that, but I think we can be solid enough to get a top ten. If we can do that, that would be monumental in going to the next round because the next two races are in my wheel house."
Beating the odds
The odds are stacked against MWR, but that's nothing new. From the get-go, the team entered their maiden season with negative points due to an illegal fuel additive found prior to the Daytona 500. Since then, they struggled to make races, but eventually rose to be a title contender in 2012, coming one position short of the crown.
"I didn't think I was going to be in this," admitted Bowyer. "I really didn't. At the beginning of the summer, I didn't think we had a legitimate shot of even backing into the Chase. We were 15th (in points), we weren't even the last car!"
After all the adversity they've faced and overcome in the past, they now find themselves as a team that will attempt to fight their way up the points table against the best this sport has to offer while in the process of shutting down their operations.
This is their final shot - the 11th hour and their lone bullet in the gun is going to push as far into these ten weeks as he possibly can.
"How can you possibly build your resume any better than performing at the absolute, most pressure that you could ever have?" Said the driver of the No. 15. "That's a strong attribute for all of us if we can accomplish this and go rounds and have success in this Chase."