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Monday, October 10, 2011

Don't expect much from Clint Bowyer next year at Michael Waltrip Racing

The big news earlier this week was the not-so-secret announcement that Clint Bowyer will move to Michael Waltrip Racing next year, running the #15 car sponsored by 5-Hour Energy.

A few observations on the matter.
1. What I find most curious is that Bowyer first presented the 5-Hour Energy sponsorship to his current RCR team, but a deal couldn't be worked out. I'm curious what went wrong there, as teams rarely push away sponsorship. Sounds like there was some ill will between the two parties, if you ask Bowyer at least.

When asked what made him leave RCR, he said: "I'd say that day came when we went and talked to them about the 5-Hour Energy deal and they still couldn't put a deal
together, so I said, 'Well, alright we'll go somewhere else.'

2. In my view, the move is also partly about Bowyer wanting to be the big dog on his team. At RCR, Kevin Harvick is the man, and the guy who will get the best equipment. The best he can do there is be second fiddle ahead of Menard and Burton. At MWR, he can be THE man. Neither Martin Truex Jr. or David Reutimann have set the racing world on fire, so if he shows up there and starts to compete, he'll be top dog.

3. Don't expect that to happen though, at least not right away. Despite an occasional good run from Truex and Reutimann, most weeks they are far from competitive, falling far behind the competition. I don't see how a third team with Bowyer will make their cars that much better. Time will tell, but I say don't expect miracles from any MWR team in 2012.

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