Fellow drivers celebrate Bowyer's Martinsville win

Fellow drivers celebrate Bowyer's Martinsville win

Cup Series

Fellow drivers celebrate Bowyer's Martinsville win

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Popular wins don’t come often in NASCAR as far as the competition is concerned.

Each week only one driver leaves the racetrack happy, while 37 others are pissed off in some way, shape or form. But Monday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway there was a large contingent of the garage happy to see Clint Bowyer break a 190-race winless drought.

Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. called it “so cool to see” as Bowyer picked up the victory in the STP 500. It was Bowyer’s first win since Oct. 13, 2012, when both he and Truex drove for Michael Waltrip Racing.

“I know exactly what he feels right now. I don’t know that my streak was quite as long as his, but either way it’s so hard to win these races and come back from being in places that he was and I was with those teams that weren’t as competitive,” said Truex, who went six years between his first career win in 2007 to his second in 2013.

“Climbing back in and digging your way out of them holes is tough. Really happy to see him back in victory lane, it’s pretty cool to see.”

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Jimmie Johnson was one of the those who went to victory lane to congratulate Bowyer. After doing a celebratory burnout, Bowyer jumped up and down on the car’s roof, ran to his wife and children who were entering the track from Turn 4, and later went into the grandstands to spray champagne on the fans.

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“He’s well-liked within the race teams and the drivers and the fans and everything,” said Denny Hamlin. “It’s probably a great win for him and it’s been a very long time. Great job by his team.”

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“It’s been a long road for him and I’m really, really proud of him and Mike [Bugarewicz, crew chief] and everybody for sticking with it because you could see that they had potential and they could do things that were going to be good,” said teammate Kevin Harvick. “They just needed to get that [first] year under their belt and have it right.”

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