By AMANDA VINCENT
Ending speculation and making things official, HScott Motorsports announced on Friday that Clint Bowyer would join the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team for 2016 with a one-year deal before moving on to Stewart-Haas Racing to drive the No. 14 vacated by Tony Stewart upon his retirement from driving Sprint Cup cars in 2017.
Bowyer will finish out the 2015 season behind the wheel of the No. 15 Toyota at Michael Waltrip Racing. MWR will shut its doors at the end of the current season as team majority owner Rob Kauffman moves on to become a minority owner at Chip Ganassi Racing.
Bowyer will take his current sponsor, 5-Hour Energy with him to HScott Motorsports, along with a technical alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing. HScott already has a technical alliance with Hendrick Motorsports, which also has an alliance with SHR. The alliance with HMS will continue.
“I am very thankful for the continued support and commitment from 5-Hour Energy and for Harry Scott Jr. (owner, HScott Motorsports) for putting this deal together,” Bowyer said. “My relationship with everyone at 5-Hour Energy is something I hold with great value. There have been some real unknowns for my career in the past couple of months, but I’m happy that my future is secured and full speed ahead.”
Bowyer has driven for Richard Childress Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing in his Cup-career. He’s amassed eight wins, 58 top-fives and 163 top-10 finishes. He’s one of the 16 drivers competing in the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup, heading into Sunday’s scheduled race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, but he’s 16th in the standings after a penalty to his team that included the loss of 25 championship points and the three-race suspension of his crew chief. The bottom four in the standings among the current 16 Chasers will be eliminated from championship contention after the Dover race.
“This is a really important step for HScott Motorsports and one I felt our team needed to take to elevate to the next level of NASCAR Sprint Cup competition,” HScott Motorsports team owner Harry Scott Jr. said. “Clint is a proven winner and Chase participant. For us to compete at a higher level, we needed all of the right elements to come together. I believe those elements came together with the driver in Clint, sponsorship from 5-Hour Energy and the extended relationship with Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas. This opportunity has brought an unprecedented level of excitement to our entire organization.”
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