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Bowyer needs strong Michigan finish

Clint Bowyer was wearing the logo of a breakfast cereal on his uniform following the July 4th weekend Sprint Cup race at Daytona, but he must have felt more like toast.

Getting caught up in one of those “big one” restrictor-plate-bred wrecks had not only destroyed his chances of a good finish — perhaps a victory — in the Coke Zero 400, but also blew a nasty old hole in his hopes of making his third consecutive Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

The thing about holes, however, is that many can be patched or filled.

Armed with new cars, new crew members and a warehouse full of want-to, Bowyer and the #33 Richard Childress Racing team will be attacking their hole in Sunday's Carfax 400 at Michigan International Speedway with the kind of gusto that comes with confidence.

“I've always run well at Michigan,” said Bowyer, 15th in the Cup standings, 99 points out of twelfth, the final Chase-eligible spot. “I've just had terrible luck there. The engine blew up while I was running second with two laps to go one year, so to finally get a top-ten finish in the spring was good for us.”

Bowyer's luck and fortunes have yo-yo'd after his tenth-place finish at Michigan in mid-June. The following week, he posted a second-straight top ten, finishing eighth at Infineon Raceway.

But then came a 20th at New Hampshire and the “big one” at Daytona that resulted in a 29th-place finish and his Chase hopes were taking on big water. He dropped to 16th in the standings, 135 points behind twelfth-place Kasey Kahne with eight races to go before the start of the Chase.

He simply could not afford any more disasters if he was going keep his Chase streak alive. He finished ninth at Chicagoland, slipped a bit the next race when he was 18th at the Brickyard but recovered to finish third at Pocono the following week.

Last week, he headed to Watkins Glen with nerves twitching as he has never been viewed as a terrific road racer in spite of the top-ten at Infineon.

“Road courses were not part of my past,” Bowyer said. “I've had to learn a lot. Especially at Watkins Glen. I've struggled with the speed there.”



Tagged as: Clint Bowyer , Michigan

Related Pictures

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Clint Bowyer at Daytona [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Clint Bowyer speaks with the media as Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, looks on during a press conference announcing the retirement of Stewart on September 30, 2015 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Stewart has decided his 18th year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be his last. The three-time series champion will retire following the 2016 season, whereupon Clint Bowyer will take the wheel of the No. 14 machine beginning in 2017. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Stewart-Haas Racing via Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 PEAK Antifreeze & Coolant Toyota, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series myAFibRisk.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 18, 2015 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 12, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 12, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
(Back row L-R) Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 ARRIS Toyota, Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Libman/Menards Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, (front row L-R) Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Cessna Chevrolet, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy/American Heritage Chocolate Toyota, Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, pose for a photo after making the Chase for the Sprint Cup. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 Buddy Baker Tribute Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 6, 2015 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Regan Smith, driver of the #7 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15, 2015 in Lexington, Ohio. (Picture Credit: Jonathan Moore/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, lead the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to an eighth place finish Sunday, August 16, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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