Clint Bowyer has come close in the past, but in Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 250, the 32-year-old notched his long-awaited first win at Kansas Speedway, the facility he considers his home track. In doing so, the Emporia native becomes the first Kansan to visit Gatorade Victory Lane at the track.
“It’s really special to race and compete in the manner we did today,” said Bowyer. “We’ve had good runs here, we’ve been close here, but to finally seal the deal and do a burnout on the front straightaway in front of that crowd is big. This track means a lot to me, I watched this place being built and dreamed of being able to race here in anything, so to be able to roll into victory lane is pretty cool.”
Rounding out the top five was 2010 winner Johnny Sauter, 2005 winner Todd Bodine, James Beuscher and rookie of the year contender Joey Coulter, respectively.
As a result of Sauter’s strong run, he has regained the series point lead over rookie Cole Whitt by 12 markers as the series heads for Texas.
Bowyer now turns his attention to Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. Driving his No. 33 Chevrolet on Sunday, Bowyer has a chance at becoming only the second competitor to sweep a weekend at Kansas Speedway. The only other driver to accomplish the feat was Joe Nemechek in 2004, claiming wins in both NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series actions.
“Tomorrow (Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series event) is going to be a handful, it’s going to be a bear,” said Bowyer. “I want to win a Cup race here bad.”
In order to get that coveted win, Bowyer has some work to do as he rolls off inside row 14 on Sunday.
Tickets for the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway are still available and may be purchased at the ticket gate. As always, parking is free and fans may bring a 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler into the grandstands filled with their favorite food and beverages.