• 70°

Bowyer to retire, move to Fox NASCAR coverage in 2021

By JENNA FRYER

AP Auto Racing Writer

CHARLOTTE (AP) — Clint Bowyer will retire at the end of the NASCAR season and join the Fox Sports booth as an analyst.

Bowyer, in his 15th full season, heads into Sunday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway facing elimination from the playoffs. He’s ranked 11th in the 12-driver field that will be trimmed by four for the next round.

In a media availability earlier Thursday, the 41-year-old gave no indication he planned to announce his retirement hours later. But in a two-page letter later posted to Twitter, Bowyer said he’s moving full-time into television.

“Now I get to the point of what I want to tell you,” he wrote. “I have a new opportunity to do what’s next in my life. In 2021 my suit will no longer be fireproof. I will be joining the Fox booth on Sundays.”

Bowyer is a popular veteran who has won races for Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota during his career with Richard Childress Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and now Stewart-Haas Racing. He won the 2008 Xfinity title for RCR.

“The opportunity to have won races with all three manufacturers is something I’m proud of,” he wrote in his letter. “Chevrolet, Toyota and Ford all have great people and build great products and all share the same passion to be first on Sunday. It was truly an honor to represent all three.”

He replaced Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Ford at SHR when Stewart retired after the 2016 season. But his future with the organization has been in question because Chase Briscoe, a Ford development driver in the Xfinity Series for SHR, is looking for a Cup Series ride.

Briscoe has eight victories this season and is the Xfinity Series points leader.

Bowyer has 10 career Cup wins and finished a career-best second in the 2012 standings. He’s made the playoffs in each of the last three seasons.

Bowyer has also had an increased role in Fox’s coverage of NASCAR and at the start of the pandemic was an in-studio analyst at the same time he was participating in the televised iRacing events. Fox dropped to a two-person booth this year of Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon following the retirement of Darrell Waltrip.

NASCAR next week visits Kansas Speedway, Bowyer’s home track, and he was asked earlier Thursday how he assessed his career as he heads home for what will be his final race.

He deflected and instead discussed the difficulties of this pandemic-disrupted season.

“COVID sucks, 2020 hasn’t been much fun for anybody,” he said. “This season has been tough. It’s been tough in so many different ways, on the teams, on everybody. Literally our preparation for the races is Zoom meetings. I got in the simulator to prepare. I went down to Ford and spent some time in the simulator. I did the most I could, but you’re going to these tracks with a lot of guesswork on the table still.”

Comments

Crime

Spencer man charged with death by distribution after overdose death

Local

Salisbury Police Department receives grant to hire homeless advocate

Education

Livingstone paints mural to remind students to vote

News

Commissioners OK second phase of COVID-19 protection plan

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with drug possession after undercover drug deal

Coronavirus

County reports COVID-19 death from Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab

Education

School district transfers Woodleaf Elementary to county, talks Faith property

Crime

Rowan man sentenced to nearly eight years after federal drug conviction

Business

Eastern Fence selects Rowan County for new facility, will create 142 jobs, invest $17.5 million

Business

Planning board talks through new rules for solar farms

Crime

Concord man charged in other shootings pleads guilty to 2014 killing

Local

Faith family honors grandmother during Rowan-Cabarrus Alzheimer’s fundraiser

Local

Volunteers needed for Rowan County Christmas Bureau phone bank

Local

United Way’s suicide awareness walk will bring participants “Into the Light”

Local

Rowan County moving forward with Woodleaf community park

Nation/World

Barrett confirmed as Supreme Court justice in partisan vote

BREAKING NEWS

Faith, Enochville elementary schools will close at end of school year

Crime

Police: Mini excavator towed by Rockwell man killed Concord motorcyclist

Coronavirus

13% of county’s COVID-19 cases currently positive

Crime

Blotter: 911 call, foot chase produce charges for man found behind dumpster

Crime

Mother, son killed in weekend homicide

Ask Us

Ask Us: What are plans if hospitals reach COVID-19 capacity?

Elections

County tops 38,000 ballots cast during early, absentee voting

Elections

Political Notebook: Rowan Board of Elections receives more than 60,000 pens for voters