Is A Win Next For Bowyer?
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on May 6, 2014 | 3:39 P.M. EST
Clint Bowyer's third-place finish last weekend at Talladega was his first top-five finish of the year. (Photo: Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer jokes that “never anything seems to go really smooth sailing or according to plan for me.’’ So it is with that in mind that he laughs about the birth of his first child due in late September - during the Chase.
Bowyer, who finished third at Talladega, revealed this week that his wife Lorra is pregnant. A day later, Michael Waltrip Racing announced that it had signed multi-year contract extensions with Bowyer, crew chief Brian Pattie and sponsor 5-hour Energy. And this week Bowyer is racing at his home track at Kansas Speedway, where he’s finished in the top 10 in two of the last three races there.
Bowyer, who will make his 300th career Sprint Cup start this weekend, is 18th in the points. That likely won’t be good enough to get him in the Chase without a victory. Should he make the Chase, the baby watch could get interesting with the first elimination race Sept. 28 at Dover.
That might not be as challenging for Bowyer, who turns 35 later this month, as when the baby arrives.
How might be adjust to a crying baby in the middle of the night?
“Terrible,’’ he said laughing.
Bowyer won’t have to adjust to a new home, though, since he’s staying at MWR. This marks his third season there. He’s made the Chase each of the past two years there, finishing second in 2012.
“The key to success in this sport is people and being able to keep those people together,’’ Bowyer said. “So really happy about keeping Pattie and the whole group intact. To get all that behind you, I'm telling you, going through these contracts and stuff like that, it's just hard on everybody. No different last time I went to the shop before we did it. I bet I had six or seven people stopped me in the shop and asked, ‘Hey, are you going to re‑sign? Are you going to re‑sign? What's going on?’ Because they're wanting to know about their future, too, and trying to figure out what that holds.
“So it weighs in on everybody all across the board. It's not just me. So to get that behind us, to get a good run in Talladega and get some momentum back in our direction is something that was definitely needed. Now all we have to do is focus on winning one of these races, getting ourselves in the Chase, and more importantly, getting back to our consistency.’’
Last weekend’s race was the first time Bowyer had finished in the top five this season. It was only his third top-five finish in his last 23 races, dating back to last August’s night race at Bristol.
“I truly do believe there are still going to be guys that race their way into this Chase,’‘ Bowyer said, referring to drivers making it via points instead of wins. “I think if you're a top-10 driver, you're going to be in that Chase anyway. So that being said, I really am focused on getting back to our consistent ways that we've been known for. If we can do that, I think we'll be in this Chase no matter what.’’