The Backstretch Blog: A Change Could do you Good

For the first time since joining a new team in the off season, Kansas native Clint Boywer found his way to victory lane. It has only been a little less than a year since Bowyer's last victory. Yet, there is no doubt moving to Michael Waltrip Racing was a risk for the Emporia native, and one he probably would rather not have taken.

"Basically kind of lost my ride at RCR, walked into a new program with a lot of unknowns," said Bowyer after his win at Sonoma on Sunday. "I still had confidence in myself."

Still having a good sponsor and a good ride, brings with it no guarantees. Michael Waltrip racing had just two wins in it's short NASCAR history. It was still a young team, that struggled at times to find direction. But Bowyer and his team came out of gate strong, and have found themselves in the top 10 in points, pretty much the entire season.

"I'm proud of everybody at MWR for making this happen.  What a wonderful opportunity at this stage in my career to make this jump and make it work.  I'm proud of everybody," said Bowyer.

For owner Michael Waltrip, the victory shows just how far his organization has come.

"This place just reminds me on how mightily Michael Waltrip Racing struggled when we started back in 2007.  We came here and put Terry Labonte in my car just so we could be sure of making the race," said Waltrip. "We probably appreciate this more than anybody ever could, because we know how close we were to just not being around any more, just six months out of our start."

It als shows just how far Bowyer has come. At RCR, he was always the B or C driver, at MWR, he seems poised to be their leader. It also speaks volumes about his talent, considering road course racing, was never a part of Bowyer's background.

"To have this dirt boy from Kansas in victory lane at this road course is big, trust me," said Bowyer. "And you know, I've always been comfortable here.  I've always enjoyed it and that's what you have to be at any racetrack.  You know, any given weekend, to be able to compete for a win.  But man, never have I had a car like this."

More importantly for Bowyer, he knows his new team can win, and he can reach his ultimate goal, making the chase and competing for a Sprint Cup Championship.

Said Bowyer, "I missed it (the Chase) last year and it sucked to sit at home and watch.  I did get to deer hunt a little bit but I would much rather be partying.  Vegas is pretty fun.  That's a pretty good week that you miss when you don't make the Chase."

The biggest thing is that change, even when you are not looking for it can be a good thing. And for Bowyer, it could be the beginning of something big.

"Michael, Rob Kaufmann, everybody involved with MWR, paired me with Brian Pattie and paired me with a lot of good people and that's what it takes to be successful in any good business and NASCAR racing is no exception," said Bowyer.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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