Fitness Carter

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Clint Bowyer, company man: Willing to stretch, in yoga or race car -

DOVER, Del. — If there was any question in Clint Bowyer[1] 's mind, he found out Friday that his sponsor will back him in 2014[2] .

If there was any question in 5-Hour Energy's mind of Bowyer's dedication, all it could see was how he embraced his sponsor appearance Saturday morning that had him doing yoga with fans.

If there's any question on whether Bowyer can handle the firestorm he's been in the past few weeks, he can only answer that with his performance and his mannerisms.

MORE: Race preview and picks | Three-man Chase race? Not so fast | Lineup[3] [4] [5]

"I don't want to sound naive or arrogant but I've been racing since I was 4 years old and I've seen bad things happen before," Bowyer said Saturday before Sprint Cup practice at Dover International Speedway. "I'm a racer. You don't dwell on the past. You look forward to the future.

"It's just the way we've lived our lives and the way we've trained ourselves. Of course I understand everything that happened, but the very next week you've got to race."

Refreshed from a hunting trip this past week, Bowyer was his typical self Saturday morning as he prepared for Sunday's AAA 400. Green flag is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. ET.

His sponsor, as part of its Nationwide Series race sponsorship of the "5-Hour Energy 200 benefiting Living Beyond Breast Cancer," required him to do yoga with fans.

Bowyer had fun with it, at one point joking "man card gone" and another time, during what was supposed to be a quiet moment stretching upward, screamed "I see the light!"

In a media session afterward, he continued the routine:

• In talking about yoga and the instructor: "You're going to be sore and out of breath because I think she used the word 'corpse' and I think they want you to calm your breath long enough that you literally die."

MORE: Starting lineup; Dale Earnhardt Jr. on pole | Standings[6] [7]

• In talking about his not doing yoga or any real stretching: "I know Jimmie (Johnson[8] ) does, the rich guys do. They have a paid position to come stretch you out before you get in the car and sit for 3-and-a-half hours. That makes all sorts of sense. We don't jog around the racetrack."

Bowyer, 34, then ran to a fan question-and-answer session, where he joked about his qualifying lap that has him starting 23rd Sunday, that "Just like that yoga session, I lost focused — my dancing partner rolled off of Turn 1 and she didn't want to dance. She wanted to dance a lot more than I wanted to."

And then about 10 minutes later, he seriously talked about the last few weeks since his spin with seven laps remaining Sept. 7 at Richmond that set off a NASCAR crisis and has resulted in Michael Waltrip Racing driver losing the NAPA sponsorship for Martin Truex Jr.[9]

"If we can shake this off and get back to where we're accustomed to running, we can still win a championship and win races," Bowyer said. "More importantly, right now, I need to get a race won for our sponsors and for me."

That's Bowyer. Trying to have fun, trying to move on and yet knowing the task at hand.

The fact that 5-Hour Energy announced Friday it was returning as his sponsor for 2014 was good to know. Its contract runs through 2014 for 24 races each year as part of a deal Bowyer helped bring to MWR after he had spent six Cup seasons at Richard Childress Racing.

But with MWR already seeing NAPA leave over the fallout of Bowyer's spin and NASCAR ruling MWR manipulated the finish, there wasn't anything left certain until the vote of confidence Friday from 5-Hour Energy.

"I'm happy that I have a sponsor that has always supported me from Day 1," Bowyer said. "They're the reason I'm at MWR and left RCR in the first place. It's been a great ride, always a great program, always coming up with new ways to interact with our fans.

"Look at that (big) hospitality trailer. You don't have that with a lot of sponsors. I'm very fortunate to have a sponsor that uses NASCAR as a marketing tool the way it's supposed to be used."

Bowyer has had two solid seasons at MWR, where he has made the Chase both seasons. He won three races in 2012 but has yet to win this year.

"This isn't easy, and this is without a doubt, the hardest thing I've ever done is compete at this level," Bowyer said. "It's such a humbling sport. We've been on such a roll and such a high for a year-and-a-half.

"It is a huge setback for us, but I'm focused on maintaining that level of performance."

Bowyer opened the Chase with a ninth-place finish at Chicago and then a 17th at new Hampshire. He is 10th in the standings, 48 points — a full races — out of the lead. He said that the he and his team have made some bad decisions.

"You're not racing just for yourself, you're racing for sponsors, you're racing for fans, you're racing for families," he said. "There's so many people that count on you to be good week-in and week-out, you've got to be able to perform."


  1. ^ Clint Bowyer (

  2. ^ his sponsor will back him in 2014 (

  3. ^ Race preview and picks (

  4. ^ Three-man Chase race? Not so fast (

  5. ^ Lineup (

  6. ^ Starting lineup; Dale Earnhardt Jr. on pole (

  7. ^ Standings (

  8. ^ Jimmie (Johnson (

  9. ^ Martin Truex Jr. (

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