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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]
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Grainger Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finished in 26th position and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS finished in 13th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Gordon, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Michael Waltrip, driver of the #66 MyAFibStory.com Toyota, poses for a photo during a press conference before practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 Pink Lemonade 5Hr Energy benefiting LBBC Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Team co-owner Michael Waltrip, photographed during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Media Tour on January 30, 2014. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Morton Buildings Chevrolet, lead the field at the start during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on October 4, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying first for the NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, smiles at Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose in the Richard Petty Motorsport garage at Sonoma Raceway on June 20, 2014 (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Cessna Chevrolet, races Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, and Joe Nemechek, driver of the #66 Friedman Law Firm Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, looks on from the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 5, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet SS, finished ninth and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Great Stuff Chevrolet SS, finished 28th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 STP Ford, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell wreck at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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