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NASCAR Driver of the Year vote: 3rd

You voted Clint Bowyer into 3rd place in Crash.net's NASCAR Driver of the Year poll!
Top 10 NASCAR Driver of the Year 2012:
3. Clint Bowyer

Birthdate: May 30, 1979
Hometown: Emporia, KS
Team: Michael Waltrip Racing
Crew chief: Brian Pattie
2012 starts: 36
Poles: 0
Wins: 3
Top 5: 10
Top 10: 23
Annual earnings: $5,546,080
Championship points: 2361
Championship position: 2nd
Crash.net NASCAR Driver of 2011 position: 16th

Things didn't look good for Clint Bowyer at the end of 2011: he'd just missed out on making the Chase, and more seriously he'd fallen out with long time boss Richard Childress which left him casting around for any port in a storm. When he finally took up an offer to join Michael Waltrip Racing, most pundits figured this was a major step down the pecking order for Bowyer.

How wrong we all were: Bowyer's been reborn in 2012, winning three races and pushing hard for the Sprint Cup title all the way to the finish. He might even have been involved in a shoot-out for the title itself at Homestead-Miami, if not for getting wrecked by Jeff Gordon in the previous race at Phoenix in an act of retaliation by Gordon on Bowyer for previous perceived wrongs.

Actually Bowyer was never really in with much of a chance for the title itself and second place was the best he could realistically hope for - and which he ultimately got, after a technical failure for Jimmie Johnson struck early in the season finale. But Crash.net voters have decided that actually third place is what he deserved after all - and we're not going to argue with your wise decision.

Top 10 NASCAR Driver of the Year 2012 results so far:
3. Clint Bowyer
4. Kasey Kahne
5. Mark Martin
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
7. Marcos Ambrose
8. Martin Truex Jr.
9. Jeff Gordon
10. Greg Biffle


Related Pictures

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Clint Bowyer  driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, talks with crew chief Brian Pattie on pit road after an incident with Jeff Gordon driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 11, 2012 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, left, driver of the #48 Lowe`s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, talks with Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 10, 2012, in Avondale, Ariz. (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-Hour Energy Benefiting Avon Foundation for Women Toyota, celebrates with team owner Michael Waltrip after Bowyer won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-Hour Energy Benefiting Avon Foundation for Women Toyota, and his team celebrtate on the finishline after Bowyer won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Clint Bowyer drives into the garage after turning the second-fastest speed in Friday`sNASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, trailing only Jimmie Johnson, on Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nev. [Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Jeff Gordon leads Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Fast Relief 500 a Martinsville Speedway on Sunday in Martinsville, Va. (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Michael Waltrip Racing`s Clint Bowyer (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finishes in sixth place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Wix Chevrolet SS, finishes in fifth place and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, leads the field in a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, has an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing) and David Ragan (Joe Gibbs Racing) spin out during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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