DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – On Tuesday in the Daytona International Speedway infield, avid outdoorsman Clint Bowyer demonstrated his archery expertise. He also talked about hoping his aim is really true on Saturday night, July 1, when he runs in the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.
Bowyer, in his first year driving for Stewart-Haas Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, is winless but showing signs of the form that nearly produced a series championship in 2012 when he finished second behind Brad Keselowski. Bowyer is 10th in the series standings, driving the No. 14 Ford Fusion.
In search of a breakthrough victory with his new team, what better place than the “World Center of Racing?” Bowyer has yet to win a Monster Energy Series race at DIS; his sole DIS victory came in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition – the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250, July 2009 when he won from the pole.
“To win at Daytona is ultra-special,” Bowyer said. “The sense of accomplishment at restrictor-plate tracks is so genuine because so many things have to go right. It’s not only you, but your spotter, your teammates, your manufacturer teammates.”
Bowyer was joined in the archery exhibition – held in the speedway’s garage area – by media members and the staff from Bass Pro Shops. Bowyer started things off looking a bit like an expert himself, with two near-bullseyes.
He likewise has had a strong start to this season, riding a wave of organizational momentum that started with his teammate Kurt Busch winning the DAYTONA 500 in February.
“It’s been an awesome year,” Bowyer said. “It’s been super cool to show up at Stewart-Haas Racing and start off with a bang, firing on all eight cylinders.”
In addition to the archery exhibition with the media, Bowyer also surprised a Daytona International Speedway tour in Gatorade Victory Lane and then visited with the ticket office staff, even pitching in by taking a few calls.
The Coke Zero 400 weekend is packed with storylines, starting with Dale Earnhardt Jr’s final Monster Energy Series start at DIS and the celebration of seven-time DAYTONA 500 champion Richard Petty’s 80th birthday. The annual red, white and blue celebration also will feature country music star Tyler Farr performing a pre-race concert, the traditional honoring of Medal of Honor recipients and one of the largest fireworks displays in the Southeast.
“You talk about fireworks, man, fireworks always seem to big here on and off the race track,” Bowyer said. “Just an unbelievable race track. This is the ‘big daddy’ of them all. There’s nothing like it.”