Bowyer gains more Cup backing

The recent success of Michael Waltrip Racing is paying immediate dividends.

On Friday, MWR and 5-Hour Energy announced the additional sponsorship for the 2012 season to include 35 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup points races for the No. 15 Toyota and driver Clint Bowyer. The company also backed Bowyer in the non-points Budweiser Shootout and will again in the All-Star Race, giving it 37 races for the year. Originally, 5-Hour energy signed up for 25 races over a three-year deal. The 36th points race will be an Aaron’s supported car in conjunction with the Talladega Superspeedway race.

Bowyer is currently 10th in the Cup driver points standings. He finished a season-high fourth at Bristol Motor Speedway last month and has three top-10 finishes.

The 31-year-old Emporia, Kan., native is in his first season at MWR with crew chief Brian Pattie. Currently, all three MWR teams are among the top 11 in owners points.