For Emporia, Kansas native Clint Bowyer, coming back to race at his hometown track of Kansas Speedway has always been pretty special. He has done it a total of 32 times throughout his 17–year career, including 24 in the NASCAR Cup Series, six in the Xfinity Series and twice in the Gander Truck Series.
Having recently announced that this will be his final year as a driver before heading to the FOX-TV broadcast booth in 2021, Bowyer will now have something else to get excited about in his return to the Jayhawk State this weekend. Bowyer will serve as the virtual Grand Marshal for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300. The race starts at 6:00 pm CT and will be televised on NBCSN. This honor will come one day before making his final ride at Kansas Speedway, in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400.
“This is an honor,” Bowyer said. “I’ve been to every city there is in this country and Kansas City is the best! You couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to call a place home than Kansas City. When we roll back in here this weekend it’s always been the go-to destination track for a fan, and for the people in the industry. The Xfinity race will be a great show for the fans, and a good ramp up to Sunday.”
“Clint Bowyer embodies everything that is great about our sport,” said Kansas Speedway President Pat Warren. “Clint has had an extremely successful career and has been a terrific ambassador for NASCAR, especially here in the Kansas City Metropolitan area. He has been a great friend of the track, and we appreciate everything he has done for us throughout his career. His infectious personality has made him a fan-favorite, and I know we will all enjoy seeing that on a regular basis as he transitions to the FOX broadcast booth. On behalf of everyone at Kansas Speedway, we salute our hometown hero.”
Since Bowyer’s first season in NASCAR in 2004, he has always thrived in the presence of fans. That has been the one disappointing part about his final season as a driver.
“The fans, the event of a race weekend is something that you just can’t do without,” Bowyer said. “The fans in the infield, that’s what you feed off of. That’s the environment in which you want to go out there and do whatever you can to beat those guys on any given Sunday because of that fuel for the fire that’s burning at those events on any given Sunday. You can’t replace that and we’ve got to get that back as soon as possible.”
As the race weekend at Kansas Speedway draws closer, Bowyer will begin to reflect more often on all of his past experiences at Kansas Speedway, even those from the time before he was behind the wheel.
“Kansas has a lot of great memories,” Bowyer said. “My first memory was 2001 sitting on top of a motorhome with a beer in my hand watching Jeff Gordon win the first race. Now I’m gonna be lining up next to him in the booth next year. It’s all kind of coming full circle. It really is weird how life works and it’s still working for me. Those opportunities are still there.”
— Kansas Speedway —