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Bowyer confirms 2012 move to Waltrip Racing

Clint Bowyer has finally confirmed weeks of speculation that he is heading to Michael Waltrip Racing for the next three years of NASCAR Sprint Cup competition.
Clint Bowyer announced on Friday that his move from Richard Childress Racing to Michael Waltrip Racing was official, and that he would be joining MWR from the start of the 2012 season in a three-year deal.

Bowyer wil be driving the MWR #15 Toyota-powered car, after energy drink brand 5-Hour Energy signed on to back him as the primary sponsor for 24 of the 36 Cup races.

“This has been a very long summer, but I think for everyone involved, the best decision was made to be at Michael Waltrip Racing,” said Bowyer. "I am a big fan of 5-hour Emergy so I was really happy when they approached me about putting a deal together. We were diligent in working through our options and finally found the right fit."

32-year-old Bowyer has been with RCR since he began his Cup career six years ago, and has collected four wins, two poles, 30 top-fives and 90 top-tens, and he admits that leaving the organisation will be a big wrench.

“I've been with one organization for my entire Sprint Cup career and leaving there was the hardest part of the decision," he said, adding that "it became clear that MWR provided us the best opportunity to win races ... Now I'm ready to start the next chapter in my racing career.”

“This is a watershed moment for our young organization,” said MWR co-owner Michael Waltrip. “Clint is a proven winner and consistent Chase participant. He had a lot of options and it makes me proud that Clint and 5-hour Energy chose to race with us ... We looked forward to this announcement becoming public knowledge, so that we could begin the pursuit to put some more folks on the car with Clint."

MWR has never had a driver qualify for the post-season championship Chase shoot-out. Bowyer himself missed out on a spot in the Chase this year, which may have contributed to an unbridgeable difference in contract negotiating positons between Bowyer and his current team boss Richard Childress, that persisted even when Bowyer brought in 5-Hour Energy as an additional prospective sponsor for RCR to bankroll the ongoing partnership.

“We went and talked to them about the 5-Hour deal and they still couldn't put a deal together, so I said, 'Well, all right, we'll go somewhere else,'” explained Bowyer, who agreed that he was nonetheless taking a cut in salary through this deal.

Bowyer will now be expected to take a leading role in developing and growing MWR to the next level, as he himself acknowledged at the official announcement. “I feel like this is an opportunity for a young company like MWR to catch up to some of these bigger companies that are more established,” he said.




Related Pictures

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Richard Childress with Clint Bowyer at the Budweiser Shootout. [Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Clint Bowyer, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. [Picture credit: Geoff Burke, Getty Images for NASCAR]
Team owner Michael Waltrip and driver Clint Bowyer pose for a photo with the #15 5-Hour Energy Toyota at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 7 in Kansas City, Kan. Waltrip announced that Clint Bowyer will join Michael Waltrip Racing for the 2012 Season. [Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Brian Vickers, driver of the Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, answers questions from media during a press conference before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. Vickers was forced to withdraw from competition due to blood clots. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 14, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates with a burn-out after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates with a burn-out after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, leads Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo Credit: rew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet, spins out after an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer drives the #15 5-Hour Energy Toyota during a testing session at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 26, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, race three-wide during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem/Gemaire Chevrolet, and Travis Kvapil, driver of the #94 Chargebacks 911 Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Reed Sorenson, driver of the #44 Golden Coral Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, Bobby Labonte, driver of the #32 C&J Energy Services Ford, and JJ Yeley, driver of the #23 MAXIM Fantasy App/Dr. Pepper Toyota, are involved in an on track incident during qualifying for the 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Fastenal Ford, and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 DOW Chevrolet, spin out in an on track incident during the 3rd Annual Sprint Unlimited at Daytona at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Michael McDowell at Daytona during practice for the Daytona 500 - 17 February 2014 (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)

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