Who’s the most important member of a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team? Some will say the driver and others might argue the crew chief. Cases could be made for mechanics, pit crew and spotters, but No. 14 ITsavvy Ford driver Clint Bowyer suggests someone who probably wouldn’t make the list of most race fans – the Information Technology (IT) guy.
“Stewart Haas Racing (SHR) is a four-car team and we have tons of extremely talented folks, but I’m going to tell you the number-one guy that we can’t do without on a race weekend or, especially at a test, is our IT guy,” Bowyer said. “If he’s sick, we’re all sick and that racecar is going to be sick. It’s unbelievable how much we lean on that side of things, on the technology side.”
It’s fitting that, this weekend at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, Bowyer and SHR debut ITsavvy (pronounced I-T-savvy) as a new primary sponsor in the Cup Series. The Addison, Illinois-based company is one of the fastest-growing resources for integrated IT products and technology solutions in the United States. ITsavvy has catapulted from a Midwest start-up to a national leader in IT products and solutions, very rapidly.
Founded in 2004 by Mike Theriault and Chris Kurpeikis, ITsavvy has been consistently recognized as one of the fastest-growing businesses of its type. ITsavvy is a single-source, end-to-end IT partner. The company combines a comprehensive, value-added reseller business of more than a million computer, hardware and software products with an industry-leading advanced solutions group. ITsavvy has access to $8 billion in daily inventory in 46 distribution centers around the country with the ability to ship in-stock items the same day they are ordered.
ITsavvy will also serve as the primary sponsor on Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford at ISM Raceway near Phoenix later this season. Bowyer hopes the relationship will provide a competitive advantage to the No. 14 team and his SHR teammates.
“If you walk through our race shop and throughout the garage, you’ll see how our racecars and our entire industry rely on technology,” Bowyer said. “From engine diagnostics to fuel-mileage calculations, our business is dependent on technology solutions. The senior-level introductions our sport can make will lead to new business opportunities for ITsavvy. Every company needs what ITsavvy provides, and we’re excited to facilitate those introductions.”
ITsavvy appears on the No. 14 at a critical time in the 2018 season. Bowyer heads to Richmond 11th in points after finishing 23rd in the playoff-opening race Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. To advance to the second round of the playoffs that begin in two weeks, Bowyer must be in the top-12 among the 16 playoff drivers after the Richmond race and the new road course “roval” event at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Since the winner at each track automatically advances to the next playoff round, Bowyer has come up with a simple solution to any potential drama at Charlotte.
“You want to get your work done this weekend in Richmond,” Bowyer said. “You want a big enough cushion going into the roval at Charlotte because that’s going to be one of the biggest wildcards in the playoffs. We really wanted to finish well last weekend in Las Vegas and this weekend in Richmond because nobody knows what’s going to happen in Charlotte. Nobody wants to go there knowing they have to have a great finish to advance to the next round. We want to go win Richmond and then go to Charlotte and watch all the other guys sweat.”
Bowyer has won twice at Richmond and posted 13 top-10s in 25 start at the three-quarter-mile oval. In April, he led 45 laps and finished second in Stage 2 before finishing ninth in the race. There would be no better time than Saturday night in a playoff situation at Richmond to add a third win to his 2018 resume.
If he does visit victory lane, the Emporia, Kansas native will have a long list of corporate partners, crew members and supporters to thank – especially the IT guy.
CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 ITsavvy Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What are your thoughts on Richmond Raceway?
“It’s just a perfect racetrack. It’s always been that way. Ever since I started in the Xfinity Series with Richard (Childress), it’s always fit my driving style. It’s that short track and I’ve always said that I wish we had four or five of these all across the country. They certainly hit the mark when they were making Richmond. I have a lot of fun there – prerace and everything else. The fan base there has always been good. It’s a good vibe and a good feel for a racetrack being that it kind of reminds you of pulling into the old fairgrounds at a dirt track. There are houses across the street and this is what short-track racing is all about.”
Can you win the championship?
“I think we’ve got to go out and live up to our capabilities. If we do that, we’ll have a shot to go to Homestead. Everyone thinks they can win. I do. I really, truly do. It’s not smoke and mirrors. I believe I’ve seen enough out of our race team that I’m confident in our opportunity ahead. If we can go out and get those mistakes behind us, I’ve said over the last month and a half, we’re capable of winning. There is only one thing that makes you confident and that is success, and we’ve had that success to enable me to be confident.”