After over fifteen years of racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, Clint Bowyer is trading in his firesuit for a suit and tie. On Thursday evening, Bowyer announced he will step away from driving and join Fox NASCAR‘s coverage as a booth commentator.
“I will be joining the FOX booth on Sundays,” Bowyer wrote in a letter posted on social media. “Just like my driving career, I will be part of a great team and organization with great teammates. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. […]
“I want to thank every owner who has paid a bill on my behalf, every crew member who has turned a bolt on my cars and every media member who has covered my racing career. Thank you to every sponsor that has invested in me and thank you to every fan who has cheered me along the way!”
Bowyer began competing at NASCAR’s highest level in 2006 for Richard Childress Racing after débuting in 2005 with a twenty-second-place finish at Phoenix. The Kansas native would become one of the sport’s most colourful characters for his personality and (occasionally drunk) antics; in fact, his RCR tenure began on the wrong foot when he hung up on an interested Childress, assuming it was a prank call. Over the next fifteen seasons, he would also race for Michael Waltrip Racing, HScott Motorsports, and his current ride at Stewart-Haas Racing.
In 2020, his fourth year with SHR, Bowyer is currently eleventh in points entering the Round of 12 finale on Sunday at the Charlotte Roval with ten top tens, two top fives, and a best finish of second at the first Bristol race. In 536 career races, he has ten wins, 82 top fives, and 224 top tens, along with a runner-up championship finish in 2012. His most recent win was in 2018 at Michigan.
Although he has not won the Cup title, he has enjoyed a solid overall career, winning the 2008 championship in what is now the Xfinity Series and is one of thirty-four drivers to have won a race in each of NASCAR’s three national series (Cup, Xfinity, Truck).
“I am lucky to have the opportunity to be part of the NASCAR Family, the best racing series on the planet,” he wrote. “For me, the greatest part of it all is the drivers. We’ll beat each other up on the track, but will do whatever we can for each other off the track. I’ve had a lot of great teammates that have pushed me to be best that I can be.
“I’ve had the opportunity to share this dream with all my family every step of the way. The reality is, it was all of our dreams. Mom and Dad still roll in to most every race in their motorhome just like they did when it all started when we were racing on two wheels! My brother Casey handles most of the business, and my brother Andy is my number one fan! Having my wife Lorra, and my kids Cash and Presley at the track with me each week and sharing the sport I love means everything to me.
“Have I mentioned opportunity? As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized these opportunities are few and far between, and when they come around you must recognize them. Just like the days before I got the call from RC standing in that Ford body shop, I’ve been racing throughout this year wondering “what’s next?”
A successor in the #14 was not immediately named, but speculation points toward Xfinity points leader Chase Briscoe.
While drivers becoming commentators is not a new concept, Bowyer will already have experience in the booth entering 2021. He has served as a colour announcer for lower-series races on Fox, including working with former rival and future full-time colleague Jeff Gordon.