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Notes: Bowyer job hunting, Menard denies team orders

Clint Bowyer needs a ride after losing an offer from RPM; Paul Menard denies spinning out on purpose at Richmond on team orders; and Kurt Busch apologises after Richmond flare-up.
Clint Bowyer is having to look around for a new NASCAR Sprint Cup seat for 2012 as his options dramatically narrowed this week.

Last week it seemed clear that negotiations between Bowyer and his current team Richard Childress Racing had all but ground to a half, with a big gap in financial terms thought to be at the heart of the problem.

Richard Petty Motorsports had earlier made public that it had made an offer for Bowyer's services, but on Tuesday this offer was suddenly pulled by RPM when team owner Andrew Murstein confirmed that the team had decided to go in another direction. He said that they were no longer in discussions with Bowyer and wanted to stick with current driver line-up Marcos Ambrose and AJ Allmendinger.

"We just feel that RPM is in a great place today, especially how far we have come since last year. Both Marcos and AJ are not only having career years, but they are both moving in the right directions and improving," Murstein told FOXSports.com. "Marcos has won his first Sprint Cup race and followed it up with another win in Nationwide. AJ's numbers speak for themselves ... He is actually ahead of Clint in the standings."

Roush Fenway Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing had also been thought to be interested in Bowyer, but the Roush option seemed to close once Carl Edwards re-signed in the #99 and JGR's president JD Gibbs said that while Bowyer would be a great addition to the JGR team, finding sponsorship for an extra car would be problematic.

Bowyer was seen touring the facilities of Michael Waltrip Racing on Thursday, which might indicate the team is considering a third car alongside existing drivers David Reutimann and Martin Truex Jr.

"I can confirm we have had very productive conversations with Clint and a quality sponsor," said Watrip in a team statement. "Today, however, we don't have anything finalized and we're not in a position to make any formal announcements ... As soon as we have more information to share, we will."

Menard denies team orders

Speculation has surrounded the late-race spin by Paul Menard at Richmond last Saturday, which ended up helping his Richard Childress Racing team mate Kevin Harvick take the lead after the ensuing pit stops, and ultimately the win over Jeff Gordon, who had been leading before the yellows.

"I thought it was interesting when I saw a Childress car sitting down this in the grass," Gordon had commented on the night, after the caution on lap 384 thwarted his attempt to build up a lead in the final minutes of the race.




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Kurt Busch in the cockpit of the #22 [Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images]
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 NIBCO/Menards Chevrolet, celebrates on the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31 in Indianapolis, Ind. [Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images]
Clint Bowyer, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. [Picture credit: Geoff Burke, Getty Images for NASCAR]
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates capturing the pole position Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The was Gordon`s second pole position this season. He set a new track record in the final round of qualifying with a lap of 206.558 mph. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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