Clint Bowyer is back in the saddle, and it’s on a fast horse. The move to Stewart-Haas Racing looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Not only has SHR benefitted from the talents of Bowyer, but the fans are treated to a happiness that cannot be duplicated. There has been no win yet, but the positioning is there, the speed is there, we are all just waiting.
FAMILIAR SPARK RETURNS FOR BOWYER AT STEWART-HAAS
By Holly Cain at NASCAR.com
Clint Bowyer’s smiling again, making jokes and most importantly, repositioning himself back among NASCAR’s group of race favorites.
Since taking over the No. 14 Mobil 1 Ford for retired NASCAR champion Tony Stewart, Bowyer’s reeling off the best finishes he’s had in two years — including a season-best third-place finish at California’s Auto Club Speedway last week. Things are looking up for the 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series runner-up.
One of the brightest personalities in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage, Bowyer’s high wattage presence was noticeably dimmed a bit in 2016 driving for an under-funded, under-achieving team as he waited — under contract — for his seat in the 2011 championship-winning No. 14 upon his friend Stewart’s retirement.
With only three top 10s compared to 13 finishes of 25th or worse last year, Bowyer was clearly taking one for the team and doesn’t like to look back, only forward.
Other than maybe championship-winning Jimmie Johnson, there was no one more ready for the final checkered flag at Homestead. As far as Bowyer was concerned, legitimately high expectations were reset immediately. And that’s the mode of operation now.
“It’s been an OK start to the year,” Bowyer said last weekend before his top-three California finish. “Obviously, you always want to be better. It’s solid, but we’ve got to get into the top 10. This is a top-10 organization and race team, and anything less than that needs to improve.”
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