Is The Future Of Clint Bowyer Brown?

With the biggest free agent of 2011 now off the market, the focus has shifted to what the future holds for Clint Bowyer.  Within the last day we’ve seen Reid Spencer speculate on a possible move by Bowyer to Joe Gibbs Racing, and SI’s Tim Tuttle suggest JGR, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Roush Fenway Racing as possible destinations for Bowyer.  And besides what’s already floating around, we’ve got some information of our own to share.

The 2011 season has been a bit of an off year for Bowyer and Co.  After winning two races last season and finishing tenth in the points, he is winless this year and his average finish is down 1.5 spots to 15.8.  He is right on the cusp of being in the Chase, but this lull in performance may be enough to drive him away from Richard Childress Racing.

What’s clear at this point is that Bowyer re-signing with Childress is not a foregone conclusion.  He is most certainly in play as a free agent.

First, let’s look at the JGR option.  In the Carl Edwards situation, many thought Edwards would take over the Home Depot #20 and Logano would either be out or moved to a fourth team.  This could certainly still happen, but with Bowyer instead of Edwards.  If Home Depot has actually soured on Logano, Bowyer is a proven winner that may satisfy them.  Signing Bowyer would allow JGR to start that fourth team with Logano as driver, and we know from JD Gibbs that NAPA has inquired about sponsorship.

Now, beyond what’s already floating around online, let’s get to what we know.

We’ve been hearing for a few weeks now that UPS has been working on a sponsorship deal for Bowyer.  The shipping giant was rumored to have pursued Bowyer back in 2008, but instead settled for David Ragan.  They may now be ready to make a deal with Bowyer a reality.  Supposedly UPS believes he fits the profile of a UPS delivery driver and would be well suited toward their brand.

Next, it appeared early on that this UPS deal for Bowyer would happen at RCR, but now that might not be the case.  We’ve been hearing very recently that Bowyer’s days at RCR are numbered and that a move is coming.

Now, word from our sources today is that a deal is in the works for Bowyer to move to a third car at RPM with UPS sponsorship.  Marcos Ambrose’s recent win at Watkins Glen shows RPM can compete, and the equipment alliance with RFR and Roush Yates is helping RPM’s case.  We’re hearing the official announcement may come as soon as the Atlanta race.  (Don’t forget that Atlanta is the home of UPS.)

Once the Edwards contract got done at RFR, the general feeling was that the rest of the free agents would just fall in line and re-sign.  Not exactly an exciting finish to what could have been a crazy Silly Season.  But Clint Bowyer may be about to change all that.  As always, we will keep you posted as we hear more.

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16 Responses to “Is The Future Of Clint Bowyer Brown?”

  1. Woogeroo says:

    Watson, the game, is afoot!

    -W

  2. DRLDeBoer says:

    For some reason I thought Clint had more than 4 Cup wins. Guess it’s no longer a matter of where he’d prefer to drive, it’s a matter of where he has money to drive. If RCR can’t do it, then he has to go to a team that can. I HATE this economy.

  3. Don says:

    I do not have the connections of the insiders, but a move to RPM for Bowyer seems like a step backwards. Much like Edwards to Gibbs would be. Ambrose winning a road course event is more his talent then evidence of RPM’s ability to win races. Harvick has proven that Childress cars can win as well.

    Now such a move may not be his choice, but rather forced by sponsorship but I still have my doubts. Not to mention UPS departing RFR to a satellite team might annoy Roush unless he has better sponsorship lined up.

    More likely to me would be Clint Bowyer to RFR with the best sponsorship RFR can line up (UPS?)and Ragan to RPM with the lesser sponsorship.

    If UPS is looking to move on from Ragan and or RFR I cannot see them wanting to downgrade to RPM no matter the driver. The only way I see UPS making a change to a lower team is to save money, but I would bet that they want to improve the chances of winning more to match or exceed what FedEx can do with Hamlin JGR. If you are willing to concede to your rival you would be better off leaving the sport.

    No matter how it turns out this sure is an interesting point in the season Edwards available or not.

  4. GEM says:

    Wow, Clint leave RCR? I can’t imagine he’d do that unless he was pushed. Why? Harvick and Menard wins this season, a great group of drivers and crew members…for what? RPM? Please. The Glen was Ambrose talent and still required a bit of luck – as most road course wins do. I think Clint is gold to a sponsor – seems like people just like him. I think he’s just had an off season so far. Hope he stays at RCR and I hope he wins some more races there.

  5. MS says:

    I could maybe see Bowyer/NAPA at JGR but there is no way that NAPA gives up what MWR brings to an ad campaign for what Logano brings, that would be a massive downgrade for NAPA. Even Bowyer would be a lateral move at best in terms of ad campaign for NAPA and they’d do it just because they felt what MWR brings to their ad campaign has run its course in the marketplace.

    Bowyer/UPS at somewhere makes a lot of sense if UPS is making a change. This would be a very solid upgrade (imo) in what they would have for their ad campaign. I’d think this one is most likely and the only question is where.

    Amazing how this sport is becoming more about “TV talent/drivers” than just “drivers”. Given this, I’d have to say as a sponsor I’d be licking my chops for a chance to land Brad K with a deal. I’m pretty impressed with how that kid is coming along both on track and in front of a camera. Recently he seems to understand just how important his camera time is for his career and some things he’s doing look to me like he’s getting good coaching for it.

  6. eddo says:

    Some of you are seeming to forget that one of Kasey Kahne’s most recent wins came with the #9 team at Sonoma in 2009. Ambrose is certainly a capable road course racer, but the team is there too.

    Now I agree that a RCR to RPM would be a step backwards for Bowyer. I also agree with moving the UPS sponsorship to RPM from Roush would be very unlikely to make Jack very happy. From what I have heard, he only has sponsorship lined up for one of his teams for next year. Pawning off UPS to a satellite team likely isn’t what he would like to do.

    I dunno if Bowyer is “gold to a sponsor” like GEM states. He’s just kinda there each week. Not a lot of press, not a lot of tv time. Just there. Don’t know that I have even ever seen a Clint Bowyer commercial on tv. Maybe that is is current sponsors fault for not utilizing him more, or maybe it is just the market I am in, but I don’t see him as a big draw- especially when his teammates are winning, and he isn’t.

  7. T.C. says:

    To those saying Jack Roush wouldn’t allow a sponsor to go across the street, let’s try and remember it’s not really up to Jack. UPS and RPM are going to do what they feel is necessary for their business. RPM does have a close relationship with RFR, but they are their own company.

  8. Tom says:

    I could see Bowyer going to the 6 , but there is no way Roush would let UPS go to RPM. They r not the same team, or owner, but they r partners. They sign contracts to protect all there sponsors. The contracts do not even let them talk to sponsors of anyone under their umbrella. But Roush can put a driver he has under contract in a car at RPM if they R willing.

  9. Eric says:

    Wait, wait, wait… youre telling me, Bowyer is struggling at RCR (the second, 3rd maybe fourth best team) but may get UPS to follow him

    I dont buy it. to RPM?????

    What the F is wrong here?????? One of the top sponsors is taking an average driver to an average (possibly below average) team?????

  10. Eric says:

    In regards to NAPA, ya, MWR is failing, I personally think Truex is the problem, regardless, why would NAPA make anything but a move up? A move to JGR, Hendrick, RFR or maybe RCR, teams that can get consistent wins, not just a lucky win here or there. I dont think NAPA needs Michael Waltrip, but he sure helps. I do think the only good move for them would be to a winning team.

  11. Lance says:

    I don’t buy it. There is an unwritten rule from my observations that you don’t take sponsors from partners unless it is mutually beneficial and agreed upon. Several years ago when Dale Jarrett left Yates, Roush did not pursue UPS for Greg Biffle when they were a clear front runner because they did not want to take away from Yates and thus Ford. I believe that the reason you won’t see Napa go to JGR is because it would undercut Toyota’s efforts in the Cup series and JGR will not do that. Unless there is a better sponsor coming down the pike for the 6, you will not see UPS at a third RPM team. I cannot see Bowyer leaving RCR with a car that is locked into the top 35 for a car at RPM, which is a step down, to drive for a team that is outside the top 35 in owner’s standings. Doesn’t make sense for any of the parties involved. Roush would lose a much needed sponsor, and Bowyer and UPS would step into a much less competitive situation than they are currently in. If anything happens, Bowyer will in the the #6 UPS car for next year or potentially a 4th JGR car w/ 5 Hour Energy. I think Bowyer could still end up at RCR because I don’t see RPM or Roush throwing a bunch of money at him, thought if UPS wants him bad enough, they might sweeten the pot to get him.

  12. Jon says:

    ya why are you guys saying RPM’s equipment is now “proven?” ambrose could’ve won that race driving a truck IMO. no matter what you put him in i’m sure he’d find a way to the front at a road course.

  13. TangoAlphaLima says:

    It’s funny that there are more Bowyer rumors flying around now that Edwards signed. He was supposed to be the potential falling domino that started everything in motion. Now, it almost seems like Bowyer wants out of RCR.

    The only moves that make any sense at all are to Roush or Gibbs. Anything else would mean taking a step back from what Bowyer already has at RCR. I don’t think Roush makes sense either, because he’s already got two talented young drivers ready to take Ragan’s spot if necessary. That leaves Gibbs. I wonder if Edwards got the wheels in motion for a 4th team at Gibbs, and now Bowyer is Gibbs’ consolation prize?

  14. Lance says:

    Tango Alpha- Roush makes sense if that’s who UPS wants….the sponsor holds the cards these days.

  15. Clint fan says:

    Eddo, so you’ve not seen the commercials that they air at least twice during the races that has the guy talking to Clint on the radio wanting Clint to not pit because of his fantasy league. Or the Hamburger Helper one where Lefty the hand is feeding him Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper while out on the track and Clint wants to high 5 him?????? Okay, the HH commercial was last year. But Clint has been in quite a few commercials. The Young Guns commercials last year, several Nascar commercials. Etc.

    I don’t know what is going to happen with Clint and a contract. Where he is going or who the sponsor will be. All I know is that I want Clint to be happy whereever he is. Whether it be staying at RCR or going else where. I don’t really like JGR due to the other drivers that are there and I don’t think Clint is anything like them. But also don’t want him to step down to a lower team either. Only time will tell and I’ll just hide and watch until the offical announcement to come out.

  16. TangoAlphaLima says:

    Lance, good point. If UPS is willing to stay with Roush provided he can land Bowyer, then that makes sense. It would just seem a little counter-intuitive, since Roush has two young, promising drivers waiting in the wings, and no open seat other than the #6 for the foreseeable future.

    I would actually love for Bowyer to land at Roush. Roush has always been my favorite team, and I’ve got strong loyalty to both Bowyer and Edwards for being from my region of the country.

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