• 54°

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

Education

RSS talks first steps for new federal relief totaling $66 million

China Grove

Gary’s Barbecue staff, customers look back at 50 years

News

Salisbury Lions Club names Person of the Year, Lion of the Year at 78th annual banquet

Education

Student COVID-19 numbers show first decline since plan A

High School

High school golf: Fowler competes in state tournament

News

Amazon announces new distribution center for North Carolina

News

House passes bill to bar Cooper from mandating COVID shot

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees death 302 from COVID-19; Health Department to host final mass vaccine clinic

Ask Us

Ask Us: What happened to work on South Fulton Street home?

Crime

Blotter: Woman says she was shot in hand on Lincolnton Road

Crime

Rowan Sheriff’s Office charges Salisbury man with operating illegal gambling business

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges

Local

Rep. Amber Baker discusses legislative session during Rowan Democrats breakfast meeting

Local

Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest

News

N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs