News After "zero consistency" in 2017, Bowyer now sees potential at SHR

23:30  12 june  2018
23:30  12 june  2018 Source:   msn.com

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After solid start with SHR , Bowyer looks to heat up in the summer. His fourth place finish in the 2014 Coke Zero 400 tied a high mark for Bowyer at Daytona. RELATED: See Bowyer ’s results for the 2017 season.

The 2017 season marks a time of change for both the iconic desert racetrack and No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Fusion driver Clint Bowyer . He represented SHR at the Phoenix test in February, so hopefully with what he learned all of us will be good when we go back there this weekend.”

There were big shoes Clint Bowyer was asked to fill at Stewart-Haas Racing and for a while it didn’t seem like that fit just right.

That was then, this is now.

Bowyer’s first season stepping in for the retiring NASCAR star Tony Stewart didn’t go quite as he planned in 2017 – he failed to win a race or a pole, finished 18th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings and led just 22 laps of competition.

But much of SHR was hit-or-miss on performance last season and although frustrated, Bowyer remained convinced he was in the right place.

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I now have that bond, that connection to this kind of equipment." Bringing Bowyer , an eight-time winner in NASCAR's premier series, on board even for only one year was seen as a RELATED CONTENT. Stewart-Haas Racing to switch to Ford in 2017 . Analysis: Major implications in SHR move to Ford.

“As good as (Kevin Harvick) was running, things like that, you could see the ingredients, you could see the potential. We just couldn't reach it,” Bowyer said at Michigan International Speedway after his second win of the 2018 season.

“I mean, it was so apparent that potential was there, within (Mike Bugarewicz, crew chief), all the guys on our No. 14 team, they’re such a tight-knit group. That was instilled through Tony. Those were his boys. A great race team.

“We just didn’t unload fast. You know what I mean? We could. We’d be hit, miss, miss, miss, miss, hit, hit, miss. We had zero consistency.”

Coming back stronger

Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Haas 30 Years of the VF1 wins © Rusty Jarrett / NKP / LAT Images Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Haas 30 Years of the VF1 wins

That seemed to turn the corner with the start of the new season.

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Kenny Bruce NASCAR.com June 25, 2017 at 8:42 pm. Just 22 laps into the event, the No. 14 SHR Ford was sliding off the track and already banged up. It was the result of stage racing, according to Bowyer , with teams weighing potential points versus track position and risks versus rewards.

Bowyer was ninth in the series standings entering the race at Martinsville, Va., where he led 215 laps on his way to his first win of the season and snapping a 190-race winless streak in the series.

“I think that’s what gets you through those tough times, is when you see the potential. Not only see it, you feel it,” Bowyer said. “You can lie to yourself. You can lie to anybody else. 

“But success is the only thing that brings that potential to the forefront and bleeds over across the board to everybody in the race team.”

The consistency seemed to develop after that with only two finishes outside the Top 15 in the next eight races before he returned to Victory Lane last weekend at Michigan.

“Once that started to happen this year, it’s been so much fun across the board. That’s not just on the No. 14 car, it’s on Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch,” Bowyer said. 

“We’re all collecting stage points, doing the things that it takes to be there and compete for a championship at the end. The No. 4 car (Harvick) is knocking it out of the park.”

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But maybe just as important as the SHR 1-2-3 finish showing the strength of its teams and Fords, it showed that the organization did the right thing in keeping Bugarewicz and Bowyer together after a sometimes-testy initial year in 2017 .

This feature is not available right now . Please try again later. Published on Jan 19, 2017 . Clint Bowyer and his new team owner Tony Stewart talk about their expectations for the No. 14 Ford in 2017 . SHR Drivers Respond to NASCAR Race Format Changes - Duration: 2:20.

Bowyer, 39, has had a relative amount of success in his Cup series career. In each of his two prolonged stops – at Richard Childress Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing – Bowyer had championship-contending seasons.

Sustained success, however, has been hard to come by.

That possibility may be what makes Bowyer’s tenure at SHR potentially his most rewarding.

“To be able to compete at that level, that level is a championship-caliber team, you have to be able to unload week-in, week-out with cars capable of getting the job done,” Bowyer said. “Part of that is that most of the work that’s put in before the week even starts. 

“It's months ahead preparing that car for any given weekend. Then it’s the communication leading into the race. Then it’s communication through Friday, through qualifying, through Saturday’s practice sessions, and collectively putting that all together for Sunday.

“We’re starting to do that. We’re starting that notebook that we all talk about. It’s finally starting to resonate to where you can look at it like I can go back and look at last year. We have to learn from (any) mistake, so on and so forth.

“Those are the things we’re starting to pick up on.”

Kevin Harvick: Clint Bowyer's tire gamble "paid off pretty good" .
Kevin Harvick can’t control the weather or untimely cautions caused by fellow competitors. Clint Bowyer was the only driver to take two new tires during the break between Stages 2 and 3 of Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Raceway, with Harvick – with four new tires – lining up alongside him when the final stage went green on Lap 126.Rain had been threatening for most of the day and it seemed like the race – now official after the completion after Stage 2 – could end at any time.

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