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Truck Preview: Bowyer seeks fourth consecutive win for KHI

September 02, 2011, Sporting News Wire Service, NASCAR.com

Harvick's streak of wins ends as a driver, but may continue at Atlanta as an owner

It should come as no surprise that few tears will be shed over Kevin Harvick's scheduled absence from Friday's Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Harvick, a Sprint Cup regular and Truck Series interloper, is fresh off a rare trifecta of victories beginning with the Series' visit to Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7. Checkered flags followed at Michigan International Speedway and last Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.

But for the Atlanta 200, Harvick will hand over the wheel of the No. 2 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet to Cup Series teammate Clint Bowyer.

"You're sideways, you're balancing. Everything you do on dirt you have to do at Atlanta and do it well. "

--CLINT BOWYER

And thus a new face will assuredly surface in Victory Lane for the first time in four events. Well, at least one new face.

Even though Kevin Harvick the driver will see his winning streak end at three, Kevin Harvick the team owner might yet wind up in the winner's circle.

Bowyer, it turns out, isn't a half-bad trucker, either.

A full-time Cup driver along with Harvick at Richard Childress Racing, Bowyer brings a successful -- albeit thin -- Truck Series resume to Atlanta.

In 11 starts, the Emporia, Kan., native has three wins -- including two in KHI Chevrolets.

The most recent came in Bowyer's last Truck Series appearance back in June at Kansas Speedway. Driving in his home state, the 32-year-old led 124 of 167 laps en route to victory.

Bowyer's other two Truck outings of 2011 -- at Phoenix and Charlotte -- both came with KHI and produced second-place finishes.

Bowyer won in his only Truck start of 2010 after leading 97 of 150 laps for KHI in last November's race at Phoenix.

No wonder the soft-spoken Kansas wheelman has only high praise for the organization co-owned by Harvick and Harvick's wife, DeLana.

"I only made one start in the Truck Series last season and I went right to Victory Lane," Bowyer said. "Kevin and DeLana have proven to be so successful in that series and it's really fun for me to be able to drive one of their trucks."

Bowyer finished fifth at Atlanta in his KHI debut back in March 2007, and also has five top-10s in 10 Sprint Cup starts at the fast 1.54-mile tri-oval.

"There is nothing like racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway," Bowyer said. "Racing in Atlanta is definitely dirt tracking on a fast 1.5-mile asphalt race track. You're sideways, you're balancing. Everything you do on dirt you have to do at Atlanta and do it well.

"If you don't do it well, you're going to be in the wall. The track is so fast and so slick that racing there is a feeling like no other."

Eight drivers have raced a truck at Atlanta for KHI over the past seven seasons. In 18 starts at the Georgia facility, KHI has collected three wins, three poles, nine top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes. Along the way, the organization's drivers have led 465 laps.

The competition figures to be extra intense this time as Bowyer will be part of a field that includes fellow Cup standouts Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman.

* Newman honors life of friend at Atlanta | By the Numbers

But lots of eyes will be on the No. 2 truck, which could very feasibly wind up in a familiar place -- Victory lane -- with a different driver.

Clint Bowyer

Career Truck Statistics
YearStartsWinsTop-fiveTop-10Avg. StartAvg. Finish
201011113.01.0
2007401115.522.7
200631123.011.0

"Atlanta is a lot of fun and very challenging, and I can't wait to get back there," Bowyer said.