Season of Change for Bowyer

Clint Bowyer

Jonathan Davenport will drive the No. 15 Georgia Boot car for Clint Bowyer. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)

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The move from Richard Childress Racing to Michael Waltrip Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wasn't the only big change for Clint Bowyer in the offseason.

The changes extend to Bowyer's dirt late model program that includes new cars, engines, race shop and a driver.

This season, Jonathan Davenport moves to Clint Bowyer Racing to join last year's rookie of the year Jared Landers to compete in the Lucas Oil Late Model Series driving new Barry Wright-built cars. Davenport replaces Dale McDowell, who moves to Team Dillon Racing, after winning one race en route to an 11th-place finish in the 2011 standings.

"I guess if you are going to change, you might as well change it all," Bowyer said. "The dirt cars were no different than my Cup side. The new racecars, moving to Barry Wright is something that Jonathan knew. I think we are going to gain the knowledge and experience that he's learned from Barry Wright. Driving the house car for the last few years, I think, is going to carry over and help Jared as he progresses.

"Jared did a great job last year in his first year. I have watched Jonathan, I have known him for the last couple years and watched him progress. I'm really excited about his potential and his future in this sport is going to be big. I've got a good group and I'm looking forward to it."

Bowyer also made a change to the numbers and manufacturer decals on his dirt cars to coincide with his new 5-Hour Energy Toyota at MWR.

"Dale was always 17 and we went to 15," Bowyer said. "I talked Jared (who raced the No. 777) into going to the five."

Davenport, who will follow the Lucas Oil tour for the first time in his career, spent this past Monday with his owner and teammate at a photo shoot for his new sponsor on his No. 17 late model - Georgia Boot.

Clint Bowyer"It's cool to be able to drive for Clint," said Davenport, who scored 16 wins in 2011. "I'm really excited about my opportunity this year with Georgia Boot and Jared Landers as my teammate. We have all new cars this year and a new engine program with Roush Yates.

"We are going to run for the championship and the rookie title this year. Jared won it last year so I would like to back up what he did and win one for myself. I really don't try to put too much pressure on myself."

Landers, who finished fifth in the final Lucas Oil standings in 2011, now sets his sights on working with his new teammate and learning about the new cars.

"I'm looking forward to working with Jonathan and my new crew guys," Landers said. "We've got a good team going here. I'll try to get a feel for this racecar. It's all new to me, hopefully it's good for me."

Bowyer is just one of many NASCAR stars that are involved in dirt racing either as a car or track owner. Events like Tony Stewart's annual Prelude to the Dream race at Eldora Speedway help gain exposure for the growing late model series.

"My fans obviously see it through the Prelude that we all participate in and I finally won last year," Bowyer said. "The Lucas Oil Late Model Series just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It just shows you another prime example of what we are doing here with the photo shoot and having Georgia Boot on this racecar speaks volumes about the sport itself and the popularity it’s gaining. It's no different than Cup racing, it's so competitive. These cars are really fast and put on a good show for the fans."

The revamped Clint Bowyer Racing will kick off the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 13.

"Hopefully I've have spent the right money in the right places for these guys to go out and have fun and have a lot of success," Bowyer said.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Clint Bowyer

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