Clint Bowyer admitted he was close to being ready to get out of the car when the opportunity to join Fox Sports became a reality.
“The picture just became so much more clear as the weeks went by of what to do for me,” said Bowyer on a Zoom call with reporters Tuesday afternoon. “Were we working on what’s next? Yes. Were we working on what’s next as far as being in a race car? Absolutely.
“But once that opportunity came to the table, it was pretty clear that’s what I needed to do. It was an opportunity of a lifetime to stay a big part of the sport for a long time.”
Had the opportunity not happened, Bowyer said he would be in a car, somewhere, in 2021. He was not ready to quit and walk entirely away from NASCAR.
“Because I like this sport, and I wanted to find my way and a future within,” he said. “Luckily, this happened.”
Bowyer said the final decision was made last week as everything with television came together. Thursday night, he released a lengthy letter on his social media channels announcing his decision to join Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon in the Fox Sports booth for NASCAR Cup Series races.
Bowyer gives Fox a three-person booth once more. Fox had used just Joy and Gordon following Darrell Waltrip’s retirement last year. In contrast, Bowyer has slowly made his way into broadcasting with appearances in the booth for Xfinity Series races. He was prominently featured while on the Fox studios simulator during the broadcasts in the spring when iRacing took center stage during NASCAR’s shutdown.
The strange year that is 2020 also played into making the decision easier for Bowyer. COVID-19 has kept him away from his family on the weekends as they aren’t at the racetrack with him. Being able to remain in the sport while not driving every week was another.
A former Xfinity Series champion, Bowyer has won multiple races in all three national series. Bowyer will retire with over 500 starts in the Cup Series on his resume, and as of now, 10 career wins.
The closest Bowyer came to seriously contending for the championship was 2012 when he was the runner-up. Although what many will remember most from that season is his tangle with Jeff Gordon in the penultimate race at Phoenix Raceway, which resulted in Bowyer running through the garage trying to confront the four-time champion, and now his broadcast teammate.
Six times in the 14 previous seasons, Bowyer finished inside the top 10 in points. Bowyer made the playoffs nine times. While he didn’t have the flashiest career with wins in the biggest races, Bowyer appears content with his accomplishments.
“I don’t think anybody is ever satisfied with anything,” said Bowyer. “If you win, you leave (with) ‘Damn, I wish I’d have hit that restart a little better,’ or ‘I didn’t lead every lap,’ or ‘I had a bad pit stop.’ That’s if you win. There are certainly things about that that you’ll always be not satisfied about. But, I’m very satisfied with being able to be a part of the sport for a long time, having a lot of friends in the sport, making a lot of friends because of the sport, representing so many different organizations, and just powerhouses in corporate America.
“No, I don’t regret anything. I can promise you this: I’ve probably had more fun than about anybody out there in these last 16 years. Probably too much fun sometimes, but would I take anything back or change anything? Absolutely not.
“We got close once, finished second and fifth, and stuff like that. Had good runs in the playoffs. Did I win as many races as I would have liked? No, but I had wonderful opportunities to and raced for a lot of good organizations; I won races for all three manufacturers. That’s something that was super cool. I’ve done a lot. I’m proud of what I’ve done, and I’m satisfied for sure, there’s no question about it.”