WHAT A WEEK TO BE HOME
CORNELIUS, N.C. — To say Clint Bowyer has had an eventful start to his week would seem an understatement. In the span of six hours on Monday, he and new wife Lorra announced they are going to be parents. A few hours later the soon-to-be dad announced a multi-year contract extension with Michael Waltrip Racing, sponsor 5-hour ENERGY and crew chief Brian Pattie.
The week doesn’t get any less eventful as he spends the rest of the week in his hometown of Emporia, Kan., for various appearances and then heads to his home track of Kansas Speedway. The rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will join him for the track’s first race under the lights in Saturday’s 5-hour ENERGY 400.
Bowyer’s No. 15 Toyota will be specially painted for the event as well. In support of a new 5-hour ENERGY flavor, Bowyer pilots the No. 15Cherry 5-hour ENERGY benefiting Special Operations Warrior Foundation Toyota.
And if a newly designed car, becoming a father, a contract extension, a homecoming and your sponsor supporting the race wasn’t eventful enough, it’s also Bowyer’s 300th start in the Sprint Cup Series. A win Saturday night would be like adding a cherry on top of it all.
You are making your 300th start. Do you have any good memories?
“Yeah, man, start with the first one. You know, I never thought that day would ever happen in a million years, never. Your dream is racing dirt cars in the midwest. That wasn't in your head. You couldn't possibly dream that big. Your dreams would be over by then. But starting that first race and then racing against all your heroes that you grew up watching on television and hearing about, I mean, next thing you know you look over and Jeff Gordon's right beside me, Dale Jarrett was on the racetrack. It's just like holy cow, you know. That meant everything in the whole world. It was above and beyond anything you could ever dream. Then fast forward to your first win, the first time you rolled into Victory Lane. I'll never forget it. Both of my parents were there, my brothers were there, and it was just like surreal because here all these people were to help me get to where I was at, you know, and it immediately made you think back to how it all started. You almost get giddy and start laughing like how in the hell is this happening right now? So those are the best memories that I can remember.”
Talk about your contract extension:
“I mean, obviously, first and foremost, I wanted to stay right where I was at. I have a great team; I have a great sponsor; I have a great manufacturer; I've got a great organization that takes care of my sponsors that builds a great platform for all of them to be able to showcase a product and get their bang for the buck. That is so important. MWR and Michael have always gone above and beyond, not only for 5-hour, but for all of my sponsors and because of that is why we're signing back up together and all intact. We took care of business for our sponsors and they came back. That's a big, big thing in this sport and today's day and age is being able to re-sign these sponsors. The only reason you can re-sign these sponsors is if you do a good job for them and they see a return on their investment.”
· Two top-five and five top-10 finishes in 11 start
· Completed 2,741of 2,885 laps (95%) and led 48 laps
· Average start 15.4 and average finish 13.2
· Best finish of second came in April 2007