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Clint Bowyer

NASCAR driver

Clint Bowyer

Clint Bowyer was born in Emporia, Kansas, on May 30, 1979. He began racing motocross at age 5, and racked up over 200 wins in nine years. He made the move to four wheels in 2000, racing street stocks at Thunderhill Speedway in Mayetta, KS; he won the modified championship at the track that year. In 2001 he won the Modified Championship at both Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, KS, and Heartland Park in Topeka by posting 18 wins and 32 top-5 finishes in 40 starts. In 2002 he won two NASCAR Dodge Weekly track titles (Lakeside and I-70 Speedway in Odessa, MO) and the NASCAR Weekly Series Midwest Region Championship, and finished second in the national standings, after posting 12 wins, 32 top-5 finishes and 9 poles.

Bowyer spent most of 2003 driving in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division Midwest Series, but it was a second place finish at Nashville (TN) Superspeedway in an ARCA car that caught the attention of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress. Bowyer was working at a fabrication shop in Emporia when he was told that Richard Childress was on the phone asking for him. Thinking someone was playing a prank on him, Bowyer actually hung up on Childress, but when Childress called back Bowyer realized it wasn't a joke. Childress offered him a job, and Bowyer said yes, after apologizing for hanging up on him.


Bowyer began the 2004 season by finishing 8th in the ARCA race at Daytona International Speedway. He went on to share the #21 Reese's car with Kevin Harvick in 17 NASCAR Busch Series races, earning 4 top-5 and 7 top-10 finishes along the way; he earned his first Busch Series pole at Talladega Superspeedway on April 24th, in his third career start. He also made one start for Andy Petree Racing and two for Kevin Harvick, Inc., as well as two starts in the NASCAR West Series.


Bowyer replaced Ron Hornaday in the #2 AC/Delco car for his first full season in the Busch Series. His first win came at Nashville on June 11th, and his second at Memphis Motorsports Park on October 22nd. Those 2 wins, along with a total of 12 top-5's and 22 top-10's, propelled him to a 2nd place finish in the drivers' championship behind repeat champion Martin Truex, Jr. He made his NASCAR Nextel Cup debut in the #33 Sylvania car at Phoenix International Raceway on April 23rd, and finished 22nd as the first car one lap down. On October 15th, Richard Childress announced that Bowyer would drive the #07 Jack Daniels car full time in the Nextel Cup Series in 2006.


Bowyer's rookie Cup season began with 3 top-15 finishes, and he ended the year with 4 top-5's and 11 top-10's to finish 2nd behind Denny Hamlin for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. He also continued to drive the #2 in the Busch Series full time, earning a win at Dover International Speedway on September 23rd and a total of 12 top-5's and 17 top-10's to finish 3rd in the championship. As if running two series full-time wasn't enough, Bowyer also ran three Craftsman Truck Races, with a win at Texas Motor Speedway on November 3rd.


After starting 2007 with a last-lap crash at Daytona that left him upside down and on fire, Bowyer came back to earn his first Cup Pole at Darlington Raceway on May 11th and his first Cup win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 16th. He ended the season 3rd in points with a total of 1 win, 5 top-5's, and 29 top-10's. Bowyer only ran a partial Busch Series schedule in the #2 BB&T/Camping World car, but still garnered 2 wins. He also ran a few Craftsman Truck races for Kevin Harvick, but did not win any of them.

[The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series became the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series between the 2007 and 2008 seasons.]

In 2008, Bowyer decided to again run in both the Cup and Busch Series full time. He earned his second Cup win at Richmond International Speedway on May 3rd, and ended the season with 1 win, 7 top-5's, and 16 top-10's for 5th place in the championship. He ended the Busch season with 1 win, 14 top-5's, and 29 top-10's; although he finished 5th in the final race of the year, at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he still beat Carl Edwards by 21 points to win the last Busch Series Championship.

[The NASCAR Busch Series became the NASCAR Nationwide Series between the 2008 and 2009 seasons.]

Bowyer focused on the Sprint Cup Series in 2009 and piloted the #33 General Mills/BB&T/The Hartford car to 4 top-5's and 16 top-10's to finish 15th in the championship standings. He only ran twelve Nationwide races, but won 2 of them and notched 5 top-6's and 8 top-10's.


The 2010 season saw Bowyer drive the #33 car to 2 wins, 7 top-5's, and 18 top-10's to earn him 10th place in the final championship standings.


Bowyer started the 2011 season by co-dominating the second Gatorade Duel with teammate Jeff Burton and qualifying 5th for the Daytona 500. After helping numerous drivers get to the front during the Daytona 500, he got caught up in an accident with 4 laps to go and ended up finishing in 17th place. Highlights from the rest of the season included a 2nd-place finish in the first Talladega race and a last-minute pass of teammate Burton to win the second Talladega race. He ended the 2011 season with 1 win, 4 top-5's, and 16 top-10's.


Between the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Bowyer moved from Richard Childress Racing to Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR), in the #15 Five-Hour Energy car. Although the season began with his qualifying time for the Daytona 500 being disallowed due to a rules infraction involving his car, the rest of the season would prove to be the best of his career to date. Wins at Sonoma (his first ever road course win) and Richmond put him in 6th place at the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, and a win at Charlotte during the Chase made him a true contender for the Championship. Coming into the next-to-last race of the season (at Phoenix), Bowyer was one of three drivers who still had a mathematical shot at the Championship, but a couple of in-race incidents with Jeff Gordon took him out of contention and he ended the season 2nd in the standings. In addition to his 3 wins for the year, he also racked up 10 top-5's and 23 top-10's.


Despite having no wins in 2013, Bowyer's 10 top-5 and 19 top-10 finishes were good enough to get him in the Chase. He ended the season 7th in points.


Bowyer began the 2014 season with a last lap wreck during the second Budweiser Duels race that sent him airborne and into a barrel roll. Although he ended the season with 5 top-5's and 15 top-10's, he missed the Chase by 3 points.


Bowyer started the season with a top-10 finish at Daytona, but finished with just 12 top-10's. He made the Chase on points, but was eliminated in the first round and finished 16th in the standings. On August 19 it was announced that MWR would not be fielding a full-time team in 2016. Bowyer's future was assured, however, when, on September 30, it was announced that Tony Stewart would retire at the end of the 2016 season and that Bowyer would be taking over the Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) #14.


While waiting for his SHR ride, Bowyer drove the #15 5-Hour Energy car for HScott Motorsports. He ended the season with only 3 top-10's.


Personal Life

Clint Bowyer married Lorra Podsiadlo in April of 2014. The couple, who had their first child (a daughter) in October of 2014, currently live in Clemmons, North Carolina. Remembering his roots, he fields a full-time dirt late model team under the Clint Bowyer Racing banner.

Clint's official website is

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The Robinson Library >> Recreation >> Automobile Travel and Racing

This page was last updated on January 13, 2018.