Clint Bowyer doesn’t see NASCAR tied to Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Bowyer made it clear Friday that he doesn’t believe NASCAR is the product of just one driver when he was asked about fan interaction changing in the wake of Junior’s retirement at the end of the season. Tuesday, Bowyer’s teammate Kevin Harvick said he felt NASCAR’s success had been “stunted” because its most popular driver hadn’t won a title.
“There is no ‘I’ in any of this. There’s no one person holding it up and if it is, then it’s a problem,” Bowyer said. “That’s a major problem if we’re all relying on one person. It’s the product on the race track. It’s the product and the environment of the weekend. This is an event. This isn’t one race. This is an event weekend that you’re asking people to come camp and spend their hard-earned money and enjoy our sport of NASCAR.”
Junior said Thursday that he found Harvick’s comments to be hurtful and said he still had great respect for Harvick as a champion. Harvick won the 2014 Cup Series title in his first season driving for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Bowyer could and should be one of NASCAR’s most marketable and popular drivers, but for whatever reason Stewart-Haas Racing has been piecing together sponsorship for him in 2017. Bowyer’s car has been sponsored by team co-owner Gene Haas’ company in 12 of 22 races this season.
Bowyer doesn’t have a win in 2017 and that puts him on the periphery of the playoffs. He’s currently fourth in points among drivers without a win. And with 13 drivers with official wins, just three spots remain for winless drivers with four races to go before the playoffs begin.
“I’m the hunter not the hunted, so it’s a lot of fun to go into this weekend knowing that you’ve got to go out there and chase that guy down or chase those guys down and hopefully pop off a win here and just put it all to bed,” Bowyer said.
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