Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bowyer Making Best of Tough Situation; Veteran Driver Is Trying to Be Competitive during Transition Year

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bowyer Making Best of Tough Situation; Veteran Driver Is Trying to Be Competitive during Transition Year

Article excerpt

Byline: Don Coble

Clint Bowyer knows he's going to be driving a car next year that's capable of winning races and a championship. Until then, he has to patiently finish a season with a team that measures success by a far less-demanding standard.

A driver whose emotions and right foot are always in full gear has had to temper his enthusiasm during a transition year with HScott Motorsports. Even with a technical alliance with Hendrick Motorsports, there were no grand illusions of winning a bunch of races or competing for a championship.

The payoff will come next year when he replaces Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing. It's a team that's won two championships in its 14-year existence - Stewart in 2011 and Kevin Harvick in 2014.

For Bowyer, who lost his job when Michael Waltrip Racing shut down at the end of 2015, that still seems an eternity away. Eleven races into a 36-race season, Bowyer has been forced to accept the inevitable.

"I felt like being able to compete in and around that top 15 to top 20 range consistently is going to put Harry [Scott, car owner] in a position that he can be appealing to sponsors, to drivers and things like that," Bowyer said.

Even with a little help from Hendrick, Scott basically is trying to survive on his own in the Sprint Cup Series. Bowyer was able to bring sponsorship from 5-Hour Energy to the team, but it's not nearly enough to run up front.

"It's pretty hard to set goals to winning races and things like that because, let's face it: You've got to crawl before you can walk in life," Bowyer said. "I feel like [Scott] realizes that. You've got to create some goals to where you can get to where you want to be. A lot of time, it's hard to maintain that and keep that when you see teams come in and spend gobs of money and have the success they can't hold on to it. His approach to all this of easing into it and earning his way is the right way. …

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