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October 20, 2017

Clint Bowyer addresses confrontation with crew chief, team’s future

Sarah Crabill
Getty Images

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — After last weekend’s disagreement with crew chief Mike Bugarewicz, Stewart-Haas Racing driver Clint Bowyer faced questions about the relationship with his pit boss Friday at Kansas Speedway.

Specifically, if a change needs to be made.

“I don’t know. It’s not time to, you know, start … it’s time to start thinking about that, but at the end of the day, it’s about depth in our organization and building and organization,” the Stewart-Haas Racing driver said. ” … Who knows? There could be a lot of different things that happen in the offseason for Stewart-Haas. You don’t know. I don’t know that. And you don’t know that or anybody else. I think time will tell and paint a lot clearer picture.”

After exiting his wrecked No. 14 Ford in last Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race, Bowyer and Bugarewicz could be seen jawing at each other before the veteran driver headed to the garage area.

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The eight-time winner and 2012 championship runner-up chalked it up to “confusion,” but emotions have occasionally flared in Bowyer’s first season in the No. 14 car, which previously was driven by three-time champion and owner Tony Stewart.

Bowyer’s first season with SHR, while enjoying a significant increase in results and performance over his 2016 campaign with now-defunct HScott Motorsports, has seen its share of ups and downs. The No. 14 team has accumulated 12 top-10 finishes through 31 races, but Bowyer remains winless since 2012.