NASCAR: MWR talks to Bowyer

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 16, 2011

Associated Press
JOLIET, Ill. ó Michael Waltrip said Friday he’s had discussions with both Clint Bowyer and a potential sponsor for the driver.
Bowyer is in the final year of his contract with Richard Childress Racing, and talks on an extension deteriorated over the last month. It’s opened the door for Michael Waltrip Racing to make a play for Bowyer, who has the qualities Waltrip and co-owner Rob Kauffman are seeking for their organization.
“We have had very productive conversations with Clint and a quality sponsor,” Waltrip said. “However, we don’t have anything finalized and we’re not in a position to make any formal announcements. Our goal has never changed. Rob and I want to continue to improve the competitiveness of our team and be a consistent winner at NASCAR’s highest level.
“Pursuing Chase-proven personnel, including drivers, has been a priority. As soon as we have more information to share, we will.”
Bowyer has four career Sprint Cup victories and has made three appearances in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He’s not eligible for the Chase this season, his sixth with RCR. He’s said repeatedly he hoped for a long-term extension to stay with the organization, but it became clear they could not reach a deal.
Bowyer confirmed he’s been talking with Waltrip, and said MWR would be “a good home.”
“We’re working, we’re talking to Michael Waltrip Racing, but we don’t have anything done yet,” he said. “We’re just talking … it’s something I would be excited about.”
He likely would be added as a new third team since he’s believed to have at least partial sponsorship already secured with 5-Hour Energy. MWR currently fields cars for Martin Truex Jr. and David Reutimann, whom Bowyer coincidentally tangled with on track last weekend at Richmond.
Bowyer said Friday he has no issues with Reutimann and wouldn’t have a problem being his teammate.
“You can only be hit so many times before you eventually fight back, I think he knew it was coming,” Bowyer said of the Richmond incident. “It wasn’t a big deal.”