News & Media


MWR making a play for free-agent Bowyer

September 16, 2011, David Caraviello, NASCAR.com

JOLIET, Ill. -- Clint Bowyer could be bound for a new home at Michael Waltrip Racing, which is making a play for the four-time race winner who is in the final year of his contract at Richard Childress Racing.

Waltrip confirmed Friday that he was in discussions with Bowyer, who also has an offer on the table from Richard Petty Motorsports. The 32-year-old Kansas native has made the Chase three times, but he and Childress have been unable to agree on contract extension terms. Bowyer missed the Chase this year, and is currently 14th in Sprint Cup points.

"I can confirm we have had very productive conversations with Clint and a quality sponsor," Waltrip said in a statement. "However, we don't have anything finalized and we're not in a position to make any formal announcements. Our goal has never changed. [Team co-owner] Rob [Kauffman] and I want to continue to improve the competitiveness of our team and be a consistent winner at NASCAR's highest level. Pursuing Chase-proven personnel, including drivers, has been a priority. As soon as we have more information to share, we will."

At MWR, Bowyer would be part of a three-car lineup that also includes current drivers Martin Truex Jr. and David Reutimann. Bowyer would be a big addition to a team that has won two races -- including the event last summer here at Chicagoland Speedway -- but has yet to field an entry in the Chase.

Bowyer also confirmed the negotiations. "Yes, we're talking to Michael Waltrip Racing. No, we don't have anything done yet," he said prior to Sprint Cup practice Friday. "We're still just talking. But it would be a good home, and something that I would be excited about."

Childress could not immediately be reached for comment, but last week he sounded as if he and Bowyer were nearing the end of their time together. Childress discovered Bowyer in an ARCA race and has employed the driver since his first Sprint Cup start in 2005.

"Clint's got a couple of really good opportunities there facing him. We just, for us, it just didn't seem that we could get everything worked out," Childress told satellite radio prior to last weekend's event in Richmond. "Clint's still a good friend. I feel like we've done a lot together and I hope that if we can't put him in a car next year that he gets in a ride that he's really good and happy with."