Where’s Clint Bowyer going?
Well, Clint Bowyer is making a move, announcing Oct. 8 that he’ll be moving to the FOX broadcast booth in 2021.
Bowyer’s choice to leave NASCAR Cup Series racing for broadcasting was a good decision. He isn’t completely lost out there, as evidenced by his playoff run this season. But he also is performing nowhere near the best driver on his team and really hasn’t been the same driver since the Michael Waltrip Racing cheating scandal in 2013.
If there was one word to describe Bowyer’s career in Cup racing, it would probably be OK. After 536 starts, the Kansas native has 10 wins, 82 top-five finishes and 224 top-10 finishes. His two best seasons came in 2007, where the sophomore driver had a dark-horse playoff run that ended with a win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and third in points.
In 2012, Bowyer had a stellar season in which he finished second in points and set career highs in most statistical categories. But after the MWR scandal, Bowyer spent a couple of fairly lifeless seasons at MWR before the team dissolved after 2015. Bowyer was given a golden ticket, handed the keys to Stewart Haas Racing’s No. 14. The only catch? He had to spend a lame-duck season with HScott Motorsports in 2016, and Bowyer struggled mightily.
After joining SHR, Bowyer has kind of just been there. His two highlights at SHR came in 2018, a win at Martinsville Speedway and a rain win at Michigan International Speedway. They were the first wins Bowyer had at the Cup level in six years.
Bowyer going into television full time is a smart move. He impressed this spring with FOX’s coverage of the Xfinity Series, where he and Jamie McMurray seemed to gel. These big network jobs don’t come around often, and once they’re filled, they’re filled for a very long time. If Bowyer had raced another couple of years, it’s doubtful that network job would still be open. Now he can still be a visible part of NASCAR for many years to come.
Who will drive the No. 14?
It’s pretty clear that Chase Briscoe is going to that ride.
Nothing is ever official until it’s official, of course, but look at his resume. Dirt track star, the kind team co-owner Tony Stewart loves. Would be a promotion from within SHR. And oh, yeah, he’s won eight races this season and is competing for an NXS championship.
Briscoe’s ascension to the seat would basically seal up Rookie of the Year, as it doesn’t seem there are going to be any other rookies in high profile seats next season (unless Hendrick Motorsports makes a surprise pick for the No. 88 Chevrolet).
Briscoe is ready for Cup. He’s got the experience on pavement now. He reminds me of a more reserved and slightly less aggressive Kyle Larson behind the wheel, which may actually be better than getting Larson from a pure driving standpoint; Larson’s high line style won him races but it also bit him in the ass a lot.
What will happen to Matt DiBenedetto after next season?
Matt DiBenedetto had a bittersweet morning.
For IMMEDIATE release. Release it far and wide. Wrote a poem about it. Here ‘hit goes:
Put on your shoes,
Put on your hat..
Take a big deep breath,
SURPRISE! We’re keeping MATThttps://t.co/A9GJ9LPoAm
— Wood Brothers Racing (@woodbrothers21) October 8, 2020