Clint Bowyer has a strategy for both of the major events in his life this week.
Before he drives the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Ford in the Monster Energy Cup Series 500-mile race Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, he and wife Lorra will make sure son Cash, 4, and daughter Presley, 1, enjoy Halloween Wednesday night near their Mocksville, North Carolina home.
“It’s a big week at our house,” Bowyer said with a laugh. “Halloween is all about having fun with your kids and trying to get more candy than the next guy. It is about the competition. Leave it to a racer to make Halloween a competition, too.”
After the sugar high wears off, it’s off to Texas for the second of three Round of 8 playoff races, where the stakes couldn’t be much higher. He’ll need to finish well among the eight playoff drivers at Texas Sunday in order to stay in the hunt for one of the four transfer positions to be determined next weekend at ISM Raceway near Phoenix. The top four in points will advance to the winner-take-all season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Bowyer arrives at the 1.5-mile Texas track after qualifying second and finishing 21st at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway last Sunday. The finish left Bowyer seventh in the standings, 42 points outside the fourth and final transfer position. Now he turns his attention to Texas, where he qualified third and ran as high as fourth in the April race before a late-race incident left him with a ninth-place finish. In 25 career races at Texas, he owns three top-five finishes and 11 top-10s.
“We know what we have to do in Texas,” Bowyer said. “We dug ourselves a hole at Martinsville and we’ll have to climb out of it. Texas is a tough, tough track. The racetrack, since the repave, is not so much fun but it is a challenge. Within those challenges, you have to be open-minded and excited about that challenge and ready to attack it. You definitely have to attack it. It is a track that the grip level is through the roof until it’s not. It is very tricky to get ahold of.”
Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford will carry the Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Delvac paint scheme this weekend in Texas.
Rush Truck Centers has been the primary partner on the No. 14 team since Bowyer arrived at SHR in 2017 and has been with the organization since 2010. The San Antonio, Texas-based company has used Bowyer and the team to appeal to NASCAR fans as one way to recruit the technicians it needs to operate the largest network of commercial truck and bus dealerships in the country, with locations in 22 states. According to Rush Truck Centers, the trucking industry is expected to need 200,000 diesel technicians over the next 10 years to keep up with maintenance demands.
Mobil 1 plays an integral role in SHR’s success. Mobil 1’s lubricant technology helps to reduce frictional loss in his Ford engines to maximize fuel mileage, increase horsepower and turn more rpm, providing an advantage over his competitors. Mobil 1 also helps reduce friction in suspension components, providing maximum tire grip as well as helping to reduce steering compliance to give its teams an edge behind the wheel. Not only does Mobil 1 help improve the on-track efficiency of SHR, but the on-track testing helps lead to new lubricant technology developments such as Mobil 1 Annual Protection, which allows drivers to travel up to 20,000 miles, or one full year, between oil changes. In its 16th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of teams throughout NASCAR’s top three series. Trusted by many of the world’s leading heavy-duty original equipment manufacturers, Mobil Delvac commercial vehicle lubricants are used across a broad range of industries
Bowyer is part of a four-Ford SHR contingent that put all four of its drivers in the Round of 8 – the only team to do so in 2018. SHR owns 11 victories and each of its four drivers has visited victory lane in 2018. Bowyer hopes he can add to those numbers Sunday at Texas.
A victory in the Lone Star state will be the best Trick or Treat week ever in the Bowyer household.
CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Delvac Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What is it like to be part of all four SHR cars in the Round of 8?
“A total team effort across the board is the reason you have all four cars in the Round of 8. We have half of the battle. I think that, because of the willingness to cooperate with one another from a driver standpoint and the willingness to work with one another from the crew chiefs, engineering and everything involved, the teamwork is what makes the dream work. I think that is a quote somewhere. The manufacturer at Ford, everything, it is the total package right now. It is a ton of fun to be on a team like that, an organization like that, with teammates like I have. You come every week and we have just as good a shot as anybody. Our cars are capable of getting the job done every single weekend no matter the conditions or what track we are at or anything in-between. I am very proud of that. You roll into the shop on Tuesday and the first thing I do, the goofball I am, is grab the receptionist intercom and thank everybody and tell them what a good job they are doing and how much fun it is to drive their cars. It really is an honor to be able to drive for an organization like this with the effort that is going on.”
What do you think of Texas?
“I always like going to Texas. It is a lot of fun. Hardest thing there is balancing a little fun and your job. Everything is more fun in Texas.”