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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)
Brian Scott, driver of the #2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet, leads Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, drive driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinios.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet, wins the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Cars race after a restart lead by Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet (L), Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet (R) during the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 AutoTrader.com Ford, and Morgan Shepherd, driver of the #33 Little Joe`s Autos Chevrolet, crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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