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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]
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Freightliner-Miller Welders Chevrolet, and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet, lead the field through the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer (L), driver of the #15 Charter Toyota, Josh Wise, driver of the #98 dodecoin-reddit.com Chevrolet, and AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Freightliner-Miller Welders Chevrolet, celebrate in victory lane after the NASCAR Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer (L), driver of the #15 Charter Toyota, Josh Wise, driver of the #98 dodecoin-reddit.com Chevrolet, and AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Freightliner-Miller Welders Chevrolet, celebrate in victory lane after the NASCAR Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 Charter Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, David Ragan, driver of the #34 KFC Go Cup Ford, and Michael McDowell, driver of the #95 Jordan Truck Sales Ford, crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron`s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 4, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 AAA Insurance Toyota, heads to the pits after catching fire during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford tangle during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 VF-Jiffy Lube Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 VF-Jiffy Lube Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #3 Cheerios Chevrolet SS qualified 4th March 7, 2014 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dillion is 16th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Gregg Ellman for Chevrolet)
Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Ford, Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford, drive off pit road during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series The Profit on CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on February 28, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Daytona 500 Honorary Starter, actor Gary Sinise, waves the green flag to start the Daytona 500 as Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 DOW Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers Chevrolet, spins into Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Kahne was issued a penalty for too fast on pit row. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, and David Ragan, driver of the #34 CSX - Play It Safe Ford, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel 2 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: odd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald`s Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, are involved in an incident on the last lap of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel 2 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

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