Clint Bowyer is one of the most engaging drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Normally, the 38-year-old Kansan sports a smile and offers a quick laugh or joke for all the friends and fans he meets and greets at the track, but there’s also a serious side to Bowyer that may become evident this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Sure, he’ll likely cut up and smile as usual, but when he discusses his No. 14 Ford’s Las Vegas sponsor One Cure, he’ll turn serious knowing the gravity of the cancer research One Cure is performing and the potential payoff.
“I’ve always heard of One Cure since I came to Stewart-Haas Racing, but we met with them in Daytona and I was amazed at what they are doing for people and pets,” Bowyer said. “The bottom line I learned is this: There isn’t much difference between dogs and humans when it comes to cancer. What they get we get. We’re both in the same environment, drink the same water and react the same way. So, One Cure is researching cancer in dogs and other pets not only to treat them, but to apply that research in the hopes it will lead to curing cancer in humans, as well.”
Bowyer said racing is fun and cool. But this is a whole other level.
“Everyone knows somebody who has been touched by cancer,” the father of two said. “I like to have fun in life, but racing is my job and I take it very seriously and, even as seriously as I take racing, I’d like to think there are few things more important to all of us than finding a cure for cancer.”
One Cure is a project led by the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University. The One Cure program is founded on the principle that cancer affects all creatures and that treatment breakthroughs come through collaboration between scientists and doctors working with people and animals. This approach is known as comparative oncology and it is the guiding concept of One Cure and the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State. The center works to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets, and teams with the human medical field to translate research findings that will help people with cancer.
The center, located in Colorado State’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, sees more than 1,500 new animal cancer patients every year, with approximately 130 patients enrolling in carefully monitored clinical trials specific to their cancer type. The canine and feline patients are helping pioneer cancer research, moving cutting-edge treatments out of the laboratory and into clinical practice, ultimately providing hope to the next generation of animal and human cancer patients.
SHR first featured the One Cure initiative on its No. 10 Ford in 2017. This year, it will appear on Bowyer’s No. 14 in several races with the goal of engaging race fans in the program by visiting www.OneCure.com, where they can learn about the research and to offer financial support, as well as to check out the No. 14 team merchandise.
“This is a real honor to carry the One Cure paint scheme and spread the word on all the good work Colorado State’s Flint Animal Cancer Center is doing,” Bowyer said. “Anyone who knows me or hangs around me knows how much I love animals, whether it’s our dogs or farm animals. So, helping animals is important to me but, when you can take what you know from animals and translate it to us humans, that’s just amazing and important for all of us.”
Bowyer hopes he can create even more attention for One Cure Sunday at the fast 1.5-mile Las Vegas oval. It marks his 13th start at Las Vegas, where he earned a second-place finish in 2009, plus three other top-10 finishes. Last year, Bowyer made his 400th Cup Series start there and earned a 10th-place finish, gaining seven spots in the race’s final stage.
He’s riding momentum into Las Vegas after finishing third Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. That finish, combined with Bowyer’s 15th-place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500, put him fifth place in the standings after two races.
“It’s been a lot of fun to run so well early in the season,” Bowyer said. “Let’s keep it that way in Las Vegas.”
CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 One Cure Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Do you enjoy Las Vegas?
“Who wouldn’t? And I don’t just mean the track. There’s so much to do there. If you aren’t a gambler, there are good restaurants and good shows and concerts to go to. I think it’s a great place to catch a race if you are a fan.”
Is success important at Las Vegas?
“This is racing. Success is always important. Vegas might mean more because it’s a 1.5-mile track and, if you are going to do well in this sport, you have to do well at those tracks. Plus, we are running two races at Las Vegas this year. When we come back, we’ll be kicking off the playoffs so you better have the right setup there.”