Clint Bowyer didn’t have much luck the past two seasons. But this year, the NASCAR driver has struck gold.
And his 3-year-old son, Cash, finally gets to see Dad in Victory Lane.
Bowyer, the Monster Energy Cup Series driver from Emporia, Kan., began to worry that Cash would never see him win a race. His concern only heightened when Cash actually began asking his father, "When will you win?"
When Bowyer won the STP 500 on March 26 at Martinsville, it snapped a heart-wrenching 190-race winless drought. And he followed that up a couple of months later with a victory in the Firekeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Ranked sixth in the drivers' standings heading into the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona Saturday night, Bowyer has a renewed confidence.
And he should. Just nine races remain before the start of the Chase, and he's in prime position to make more noise in his No. 14 Ford.
“This year has been good because the crew was fast and moving,” Bowyer said. “The last two years weren’t as good, but this year we’ve been clicking and communicating a lot better.”
It's becoming more apparent each week that Bowyer, 39, has a legitimate shot to win it all this year.
That realization is not lost on Bowyer.
“Right now, this is probably my best chance to punch through and get my ring,” Bowyer said. “My biggest concern is not wrecking here (in Daytona) … My confidence is high. I know the car is fast; now the concern is taking care of it and getting it to the end.”
Other drivers have taken notice of Bowyer's rejuvenation.
“He’s been pretty strong, he’s won twice this season,” fellow racer Alex Bowman said.
“You’ve got to be on game from the time the cars leave the pit,” Bowyer said. “I've just got to be consistent, because that’s what it takes to win a championship. Yes, you are racing for that ring. That’s what I always loved about motorsports: you’re always chasing something else.”
No matter how this season finishes up, Bowyer is relieved to finally have a family photo with Cash, and his wife, Lorra, hoisting a trophy.
Now, Cash will always know that, on his best days, Dad had what it took.
“I wanted to have a family photo in Victory Lane,” Bowyer said. “This year, I got to do that.”