Clint Bowyer has voyaged from motocross to a full-fledged career racing among NASCAR’s elite over the course of his career. In the process, he’s snared a Nationwide Series championship, a pair of top-five overall Cup seasons and wins in all three of NASCAR’s major touring series. And it all started with a little phone call from team owner Richard Childress, a call that would embark Bowyer on a career that has been both consistent and a showcase for his talent. Now in his seventh full season of NASCAR Sprint Cup competition, Bowyer has already made a mark on the sport. Rea White takes a look at his top-10 racing accomplishments:
Getty Images for Michael WaltripJerry Markland
Double the fun
Bowyer continues to keep an interest in a variety of forms of racing. He competes in the annual dirt race at Eldora Speedway and has often run a limited schedule in the Nationwide ranks.
Back to his roots
Bowyer has quietly embraced his Emporia, Kansas, roots, participating in a variety of charity projects that have benefitted various aspects of his hometown. Those included a fundraising golf tournament held there.
More than just a driver
Bowyer both keeps in touch with his racing roots and has a chance to enjoy racing outside of NASCAR through his ownership of the Clint Bowyer Racing Lucas Oil Late Model Series team. His role there has extended to building cars for other Cup drivers. He was the winning team owner of the Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway in 2010 after providing the car for winner Jimmie Johnson.
Bowyer brought a strong resume of success to his NASCAR career. After racing in motocross, he transitioned to racing of the four wheel variety and began racking up local titles. In 2002, he won a pair of NASCAR Dodge Weekly track titles as well as the NASCAR Weekly Series Midwest Region championship.
Climbing through the ranks
Bowyer has slowly started working his way through the ranks of career NASCAR winners. Since debuting with a limited schedule in the Nationwide Series in 2005, he has 19 career victories to his credit. Eight of those have come in the Nationwide ranks, with eight in Cup and three in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Bowyer has been a challenger for the Chase for most of his Cup racing career. After his 2006 rookie season, he gained strength and became a contender for the title. He finished 17th that season – the worst position he earned in his six full seasons of Cup competition. He finished third in the 2007 standings, fifth in the 2008 Chase and 10th in 2010. In 2012, he's fourth in the standings.
Bowyer began his racing career at an early age. He began racing at the age of 5 and would race motocross successfully for years. He competed there for nine years, winning more than 200 events, before beginning his transition toward the Cup series.
In 2003, Bowyer made a pair of starts in the Automobile Racing Club of America, finishing second in his debut race in the series, which came at Nashville Superspeedway. That caught the eye of team owner Richard Childress, who phoned Bowyer to talk about the career he went on to start with Richard Childress Racing. Bowyer was just trying to make his way in racing at the time. “All of a sudden your cell phone rings standing in the middle of a body shop at three o'clock in the afternoon and it's Richard Childress on the phone," he said. "That phone call doesn't happen in any sport really, let alone what your dream was of trying to get to the next level. That conversation and being to be able to go down to your parents and tell them you're never going to believe who just called me, and by the way, I've got to leave at 6:30 in the morning, so I'll be gone. It was a pretty cool situation."
In 2008, Bowyer pulled a full season of double duty. He not only continued to run full time in the Cup series, but did so in the Nationwide ranks as well. It worked out well for Bowyer, who won the Nationwide title and finished fifth in the Cup series. On the Nationwide side, he earned one series win – at Bristol Motor Speedway – and tallied 29 top-10 finishes, 14 of them top fives, in his 35 starts. He posted an average finish of 8.3 to win the title by 21 points over Carl Edwards.
In 2007, his second full season of Cup competition, Bowyer found his groove – and earned his career-best points finish of third. He won the season’s second race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which was also the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Overall, in 36 starts that season, Bowyer posted 17 top-10 finishes, five of them top fives, en route to his title chase. He posted an average finish of 13.8.