Definitely First: NASCAR Star Clint Bowyer Claims Victory at Talladega

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Talladega

You know the line. “If you’re not first, you’re last.”

This year at Talladega, Clint Bowyer was definitely not last.

Oakley’s head-to-toe speedster claimed his first victory of the season in killer fashion, bumping out Jeff Burton on the last lap of the race with the checkered flag in sight – powering his way for the win for a flat out drag race finish.

“You hate that it comes down to that; it is what it is,” Clint said, rocking his Oakley eyewear, fire suit, racing gloves, racing boots and base layer. “You owe it to your team, to your sponsors to go out and win the race. Unfortunately, it came down to that situation.”

Despite some dramatic strategy unfolding and collapsing between teams and car makes behind the leaders, Clint was focused on the task at hand: the win. Especially after Team Owner Richard Childress giving his drivers the go-ahead to charge hard for victory.

It was even sweeter for Clint – as he lost his last race (Spring) on the same track when Dale Earnhardt Jr. pushed Jimmy Johnson past the Clint Bowyer-Jeff Burton pair – handing Clint second. All followed by a disappointing New Hampshire race last month when he ran out of gas in the closing laps – handing Tony Stewart a win.

The center of a series of grumblings from drivers across the board, the two-car tandem drafting patterns have largely impacted results. And Clint definitely saw his share of the losing end.

It was a bit of redemption – in more ways than one. And Burton was clearly on the same page.
“We just were really good together,” Clint continued. “We thought about it, we talked about it a lot before the race and things really did play out just how we planned. “It was a pretty calm day, to be honest, kind of methodical. We wanted to stay up front. I told him we needed to stay up front, that way when the time comes, we’re ready for it and we can race the way we should race. I was trying to figure out where to pass him, and said ’I’m at least going to give a shot at it.’ And I knew it was going to be a drag race.”

Congratulations to Clint for the dazzling victory at Talladega!