If there was ever a stop on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule where vehicle repair coverage would be quite popular, then Sunday’s 500-mile race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway might be at the top of the list.
Race fan have viewed for years the many highlights, or maybe lowlights, of multicar accidents wiping out nearly half the field on the 2.66-mile Alabama track. Stewart-Haas Racing’s (SHR) Clint Bowyer certainly hopes his No. 14 Ford Mustang isn’t victim to the carnage Sunday as he finds a way to notch his third career victory on the sport’s longest oval.
While his crew won’t enjoy any repair protection for its racecar, Bowyer suggests race fans take notice of his team’s new partner Toco Warranty at Talladega this weekend and look into how their easy and affordable coverage plans help keep cars running longer.
“I think Toco Warranty could sell a lot of race teams vehicle repair coverage for Talladega,” Bowyer said with a laugh. “We put in all these man hours refining these cars so they can slip through the air at Talladega and then, all of a sudden, they’re wrecked in an instant. We’re mad, but we can go back to the shop and build another. That’s what we do. Our fans don’t have that luxury. When their car isn’t running, they are in big trouble. That’s why we want them to connect with Toco Warranty and avoid something like that happening to them.”
Toco Warranty offers affordable monthly payments and an easy online experience via its website,www.TocoWarranty.com. It is where customers can review their vehicle service contract, manage online payments and access dedicated customer concierge services.
Toco Warranty debuts with Bowyer and SHR this weekend and appears again at the NASCAR All-Star Race May 18 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, again June 30 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, and Sept. 15 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Toco Warranty will be an associate sponsor at all other NASCAR races. It will also be the co-primary sponsor of Tony Stewart Racing’s 10-time and reigning World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz and an associate sponsor of Stewart, who is slated to compete in more than 90 Winged Sprint car races this year.
Bowyer hopes he can give Toco Warranty a trip to victory lane at the end of its first race. He arrives at Talladega after finishing third April 13 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. It marked the fourth consecutive top-10 for Bowyer and moved him to eighth in the standings. He’ll certainly be one of the favorites this weekend. The 39-year-old Kansas native owns two victories, seven top-five finishes and 13 top-10s in 26 Talladega races. He’s earned top-10 finishes in three consecutive races on the Alabama oval.
Bowyer is also part of an SHR team that dominated in the October Talladega race. SHR drivers Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola and Kevin Harvick led 155 of the 193 laps during the race, often running all four Fords nose to tail in their own lead pack. Almirola, and Bowyer swept the top-two spots. Almirola’s victory ensured all four SHR cars earned trips to victory lane in 2018. It was one of the most dominating races by a four-car team in the sport’s history, so the natural question is, can SHR put on a repeat performance?
“Gosh, I hope we can do it again,” Bowyer said. “We had the speed in October. Doug Yates and all of his team at Roush-Yates Engines gave us great power. Our chassis shop and the aero department were amazing because those Fords stuck to the track like glue. As the tires started wearing out, people started falling off. We didn’t. We were able to hold it wide open and stay in a line, and stay in that wake of the car in front of you, and we drove off from the field. It was cool to look in the mirror and see that train of Fords behind you.”
Bowyer certainly hopes to see a lot of cars in his rear view mirror at Talladega and not even think about damaged vehicles after the race – unless of course it’s race fans visiting his Toco Warranty’s website for their own vehicle repair coverage.
CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 Toco Warranty Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
How important was the October Talladega race for SHR?
“That day completed our organization, you know what I mean? Aric’s (Almirola) victory put all four cars in victory lane for the year and set a precedent for SHR that ‘We’re here.’ That was big for our organization. Heck, that would have been big for any organization. And for us to do that in SHR’s 10th anniversary year made it special.”
Is it difficult to hold back at Talladega?
“You get a little bit excited and antsy to get up into the pack and, even with 50, 60 laps to go, you’re like, ‘How am I going to get up there?’ They get three-wide and there’s just literally no place to go. At Talladega, you can go four-wide, and I’ve seen when it goes five-wide you get into a wreck. We see that quite a bit there – somebody attempting it – and that’s when it gets this place exciting. Looking forward to hopefully getting to the end and, more importantly, getting a win.”
What is the key to success?
“Attitude is a big part of this, but it goes toward being a student while you’re out there, learning as much as you can. That’s the tricky thing about these situations at these racetracks.”