Wine Country: NASCAR Star Clint Bowyer Claims Sonoma Victory


Clint Bowyer’s roots are in Motocross. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that Oakley’s NASCAR Star owned a road course more reminiscent of an MX race than the typical oval.

But the Kansas native still didn’t feel right being in front of the pack en route to a grand victory at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 in Sonoma this past weekend.

“You know you’re close on fuel, you’ve got two champions behind you, and you know you have no business leading,” Clint said, rocking his Oakley eyewear, racing fire suit, gloves, boots and base layer. “But we had a really good car.”

Holding the lead for 71 of 112 laps, Clint utterly dominated the day – challenged only by a pesky Kyle Busch late in the race.

Busch’s dinged up his unsponsored Chevrolet with eight laps left in the race – coasting through the final caution and preparing to pounce on Clint’s Toyota.

When the green hit for the two-lap overtime sprint, Clint charged side-by-side with Busch. But Oakley’s humble speed demon pulled away and capped off an already dominating performance with the victory and the Sonoma wine-filled Champion’s Goblet.

“It was definitely nerve-wracking,” he continued. “The two guys behind me are champions of this sport. To hold them off meant a lot to me today. … To have this dirt boy from Kansas in Victory Lane at this road course is big, trust me.”

The triumph had Clint become the sixth consecutive first-time road race winner at the Sonoma Raceway and the eighth straight different driver to capture a win at the Northern California stop.

“This has been one of the most exciting races we go to,” Clint concluded. “A track like this can really shake things up.”

The glory was highlighted even more with the fact that this is his first victory with his new team, Michael Waltrip Racing. It was also his sixth overall career Cup win.


Andrew De Lara


June 25, 2012

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