New Stewart-Haas Racing driver Clint Bowyer will take over the No. 14 for team owner Tony Stewart.
Looking to forget about the struggles of last season, here are five keys Bowyer will need to have a successful 2017 Monster Energy Cup Series season:
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Get acclimated quickly
New car. New team. New organization. New manufacturer.
Everything is fresh for Bowyer this season.
And on top of that, there’s a new race format and points system all the drivers and teams will be trying to figure out.
It’ll be extra important for Bowyer to fire on all cylinders with his team early, because every point matters with NASCAR’s enhancements, so there will be no time to mess around once the season starts.
Channel old-school racer mentality
Bowyer joins a big group of racers at SHR that only focus on one thing: Winning.
He also has the advantage of working previously with Kevin Harvick during their Richard Childress Racing days.
“Clint and I are really good friends, and he is cut from that same Stewart-Haas racer mold that everybody there is pretty much cut by,” Harvick said. “I think Clint coming on board is going to be a positive by knowing him and being friends with him.”
The Harvick/Bowyer reunion is a perfect scenario for SHR, as both drivers are cut from the same old racer fabric – a good old boy, tell it like it is mentality the sport was built upon and their fans adore.
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Get the mojo back
Bowyer needs to remember that last season was an unusual circumstance. He’s a talented racecar driver with years of success still left in him.
He’s shown us in the past that he can dominant, finishing second in the points in 2012 with Michael Waltrip Racing, earning three wins, 10 top five and 23 top-10 finishes.
Bowyer has all the potential to do that again with SHR.
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Forgot about last season
You can throw Bowyer’s 2016 stats out the window.
No top fives, three top-10 finishes and only three laps led offers no indication for how he’ll perform in 2017.
Last year’s struggles with HScott Motorsports was just a mean to an end. Bowyer is now with a top-notch organization and much better equipment, so now it’s up to him to hone his talents and live up to the expectations.
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Stay cool, calm and collected
As stated before, it’s a fresh start for Bowyer. While it’s a welcome second wind for his NASCAR Cup Series career, it won’t come without a few obstacles along the way.
While Bowyer gets accustomed to a new car and team, it’ll be important for him to be patient and work through the kinks as efficiently as possible.