DOVER, Del. — Story by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman — HScott Motorsports photo —
After weeks of speculation and rumors that swirled around the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage area, Clint Bowyer and team owner Harry Scott Jr. announced on Friday afternoon that Bowyer and longtime sponsor 5-Hour Energy will join the organization on a one-year contract in 2016.
Bowyer will drive Chevrolets prepared out of the HScott stable in a technical alliance with Stewart Haas Racing (SHR) and Hendrick Motorsports.
The move completes Bowyer’s path to SHR, where Bowyer drive starting with the 2017 season, and gives him a solid footing for the future leaving the soon-to-be defunct Michael Waltrip Racing organization.
“I am very thankful for the continued support and commitment from 5-hour ENERGY, and for Harry Scott Jr. for putting this opportunity together,” said Bowyer. “My relationship with everyone at 5-hour ENERGY is something I hold with great value. There have been some real unknowns for my career in the past couple of months, but I’m happy that my future is secured and full speed ahead.”
“What a whirlwind year though, to say the least. With the announcement Wednesday of going to be in Tony Stewart’s ride in 2017, it was ‘Alright, now what are we going to do next year, and how are we going to make next year the biggest splash possible for not only myself, but for 5-hour ENERGY?’ Harry Scott was the lead candidate in all of our searching for that answer. There’s always, in situations like this, that door that opens up the easiest and Harry Scott was definitely that. Looking forward, the marriage that his team has with Hendrick, with Stewart Haas; that’s something that I’m looking forward to building on and I just think that’s where we’re going to have our success.”
“Harry’s a young, aggressive team owner that we need in this sport and to tie my name to HScott Motorsports is something I’m looking forward to. Hopefully this is the start of getting back to my winning ways in the Sprint Cup Series.”
Scott’s anticipation for the upcoming season was visible during the press conference, saying that Bowyer’s signing was a “watershed moment” for his organization, which has competed full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since since the beginning of 2014 and this season has fielded Chevrolets for drivers Michael Annett and Justin Allgaier.
“Clint is a 10-year [NASCAR] veteran that brings leadership, experience and winning ways to our organization. Clint’s personality and enthusiasm for racing is going to be something we’re going to welcome to our organization. Although he’ll be with us for only a year, we plan to make the most of it on and off the track. Our goal next year will be to win races, to make the Chase and contend for a championship.”
“On the sponsor side, Clint and 5-Hour Energy have formed a very special relationship and partnership over the past four years and the two have become synonymous in the garage and among millions of race fans. We’re glad to have them on-board with HScott Motorsports and look forward to sharing success with them in 2016.”
The partnership will keep Bowyer and 5-hour ENERGY together for the fifth consecutive season as sponsor and driver in 2016. During their current tenure, Bowyer has scored three victories in a 5-hour ENERGY-sponsored car and finished a career-best second in the Sprint Cup Series championship standings in 2012.
“Clint has been a big part of our marketing program the past four seasons and has been incredible with our retailers and customers,” said Manoj Bhargava, founder of Living Essentials, the parent company of 5-hour ENERGY. “Anytime there is change there is opportunity to make the program even stronger, and that is our intent with our new partnerships.”
“5-Hour is very excited about this, in part because we get to keep our brand ambassador in Clint Bowyer, who we have greatly enjoyed our business relationship with over the past four seasons,” added Rise Meguiar, vice president of sales and marketing for 5-hour ENERGY. “We were disappointed when the announcement was made [that] MWR would not be returning next year, because we did build a lot of solid relationships over there, but we are excited to be in this new situation with Clint and Harry going into 2016.”
Scott was not afraid to express that he is setting big goals for the team in 2016, adding that he feels all of the puzzle pieces are in place for a breakout campaign next season at the Sprint Cup level.
“When I started this team two years ago, I did so with the goal of organically building this team into one that would one day contend for wins and championships in the Sprint Cup Series. Now, with Clint as our driver, sponsorship from 5-Hour Energy, our relationship with Chevrolet, with Mr. Hendrick and his organization and with Stewart Haas Racing, I feel that we have all the ingredients necessary to achieve that goal.”
“It’s a very big day for our organization.”
Scott, however, did not confirm exactly how many cars his organization would be fielding at the Cup level in 2016 — leaving Allgaier’s future with the burgeoning team in question. Scott confirmed in a statement on Sept. 6 that Annett will return to drive for the team next season.
“We really haven’t ruled out any scenario for 2016 or beyond,” Scott admitted in regards to his team’s complete driver lineup for 2016. “I’m not prepared to give an answer on that because I simply don’t know [what’s going to happen] at this point.
Earlier this week, Stewart-Haas Racing announced that Bowyer will drive SHR’s No. 14 Chevrolet in 2017, replacing Tony Stewart who’ll retire at the end of the 2016 season. Michael Waltrip Racing, Bowyer’s team for the past four seasons, announced in August that it would not field full time Cup teams in 2017.
For more information on HScott Motorsports, visit www.hscottmotorsports.com.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 21-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
Email Jacob at: email@example.com
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