DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — In big-time NASCAR racing, there are, of course, Victory Lane celebrations for a competition winner.
And afterwards there are CLINT BOWYER Victory Lane celebrations or rather, as we schooled Monday … Victory Lane, grandstands, array road, front stretch, lane garage, motorist motorhome lot, Stewart-Haas Racing emporium and, of course, behind home in Kansas celebrations.
Parties, soirees, clicking-of-the-heels. High toasts, robust handshakes, pats on a back. Smiles all around. There was copiousness of hooting and hollering too — and that was usually from Bowyer, himself.
It’s all a outcome of one of a many renouned victories in new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series story — Bowyer’s 1.146-second win over Kyle Busch in Monday’s snow-delayed STP 500 during a princely Martinsville Speedway.
The big, certain vibes weren’t given a 37-year-old Bowyer bested this season’s three-time runner-up Busch — though given Bowyer simply “bested.”
It’s been scarcely 6 years given a renouned maestro won a Cup race. He’s had 24 top-fives, including 6 runner-up finishes given his final win — during Charlotte Motor Speedway in October, 2012, his best full deteriorate when he finished runner-up to Brad Keselowski for a championship.
It’s been 190 races and 5 full seasons given Bowyer final carried a Cup prize and he’s driven for dual other teams given he final celebrated. But as Monday so dramatically demonstrated, Bowyer has found his honeyed mark during Stewart-Haas Racing, where he is parsimonious with his 3 other co-drivers in Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch and is generally lustful of his group owners, including Tony Stewart — who final gathering a same No. 14 to a Victory Lane dual years ago.
“I’m not fibbing when we texted Tony Stewart, this is good times,” Bowyer said. “This is fun to be in this equipment. It’s fun to be alongside a teammates. we conclude this event some-more than … it’s tough to say, know what we mean?
“Everybody that knows me, knows that we have fun and run my mouth and I’m nonsensical and all else, though we do conclude this event and conclude a army of people that make this probable for all of us.
“Speaking of relationships, we pledge we that’s a neatest thing about motorsports and everything, partial of it, is when we get to that phone it’ll be people from Richard Childress that gave me this opportunity, to (former group owner) Michael Waltrip, who gave me an event in 2012, to quick brazen to Tony Stewart, a people that are giving me this event today, and these guys that I’ll be means to share this theatre with.
“Those are a cold things that you’ll remember forever.”
And this feat will positively tumble in that difficulty — for a timing, business and a immediate, heart-warming event to share with his immature family. Monday was a initial time Bowyer was means to applaud a Cup win with his dual children — two-and-a-half-year-old son Cash and 15-month-old daughter Presley — in Victory Lane alongside him.
There is a sketch — expected to be loving perpetually by Bowyer and his mother Lorra — that shows a smiling Cash excitedly using down a lane immediately after a competition to accommodate his dad; Lorra holding Presley, entrance usually behind.
PHOTOS: Special day for Bowyer clan
On television, Bowyer picked adult his son, gave him a mottled dwindle he’d usually collected for a feat and did his live inhabitant radio talk with Cash in his arms.
The environment was telling, and visually demonstrative of how poignant Sunday’s win was for Bowyer — both privately and professionally.
“I started to put all these things together, and we was starting to simulate on this, and a one thing that’s always blank is a design with him (Cash), we know, and that’s where it changes your suspicion routine and indeed your logic for racing,” Bowyer said.
“A lot of people wish to consider about these kids as being a distraction,” Bowyer said, dismissing that idea.
“You start to consider about what unequivocally matters in life, and a one thing that we didn’t wish him to go by life is not to know what this was all about.
“So to be means to have him in Victory Lane and have his No. 1 in Victory Lane, that was flattering cool, wasn’t it?”
And, Bowyer jokingly added, he was going to put a grandfather clock, traditionally awarded to Martinsville winners, on a roof of his wife’s SUV for a expostulate behind to their Charlotte, North Carolina home.
“It meant a lot to me to be means to put it all together during this lane given it’s one that we feel like I’ve mislaid approach some-more than I’ve ever gained here, and we wanted that damn clock,” Bowyer said, adding as a room erupted in laughter, “How are we going to get it home? What do we do?
“I’m going to ratchet tag it to my wife’s SUV. We’re going to be a Clampetts with a prize ratchet strapped to a roof of a SUV, though it’s entrance home.”
It will paint so much. Before withdrawal a lane to take questions from reporters in a infield, Bowyer was approached by associate competitors. In further to his SHR teammates, other drivers from seven-time Cup champ Jimmie Johnson to Kyle Larson to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. walked by for a handshake, pat on a behind or to give Cash a thumbs-up.
Even his group owners Gene Haas’ Formula One group offering congratulations from Australia around Twitter.
“.@StewartHaasRcng is on fire,” Haas F1 motorist Romain Grosjean tweeted. “Well finished to everybody in a group and to @ClintBowyer for another victory.”
Bowyer’s success — a fourth win for a group (Harvick has 3 others) in 2018 — was not usually a confidant matter for SHR that now boasts 4 drivers ranked among a top-11 in a points standings; though a confidant matter that he is “back” and prepared to be reckoned with.
Perhaps his win — usually before to a singular NASCAR off-weekend — came during a ideal time. Bowyer will have time to scrupulously applaud and to scrupulously retrieve his slit as a array heads to Texas Motor Speedway for a O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Apr 8.
And this weekend’s feat — a career restoration, of sorts — might not be a final for Bowyer in 2018. It is a start.
“I haven’t won as many races as we indispensable to, though I’ve always been consistent, and that was always putting myself in position to have a shot during winning a championship during a finish of a year,” Bowyer said. “I finished second, had a lot of success in this sport, and being means to gleam during a finish of a year when a time is right for everybody involved, and over a final few years, we haven’t been means to put all that together.
“This is a year that’s starting to figure adult to where we feel like I’m accustomed to, approach behind when, when we was assured that we were going to go to a finish of a year and we were going to contest for a championship.”
And now he is behind in position to do so.