Clint Bowyer will bridge his move to Stewart-Haas Racing by spending the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season driving for HScott Motorsports, the team announced Friday.
Bowyer, who is parting ways with Michael Waltrip Racing after this season, will take over Stewart-Haas’ No. 14 Chevy after Tony Stewart retires from Cup driving in 2016.
But for next season, Bowyer will go with HScott Motorsports, a two-team Chevrolet operation based in Spartanburg that for now employs drivers Michael Annett and Justin Algaier. HScott Motorsports receives technical support from Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing.
Team owner Harry Scott said no decision had been made on the team’s makeup – aside from Bowyer – for the 2016 season.
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“We haven’t ruled out anything for 2016 and beyond,” Scott said.
Bowyer, 36, has 10 career Cup victories and is 16th in the Chase standings heading into Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.
“Having Clint with us will help us set the bar higher for our team as we move forward,” Scott said.
Bowyer isn’t concerned about spending just one season with HScott before moving on to SHR.
“There’s no downside to this,” Bowyer said. “I don’t want to leave Harry with nothing at the end of this. I want to help build a great program and, when I leave, having established a winning team where he can go for broke like he did with us.”
▪ Elliott Sadler will drive for JR Motorsports’ Xfinity Series team in 2016. Sadler, sixth in this season’s Xfinity points standings driving for Roush Fenway Racing, will bring sponsor One Main Financial with him. Sadler drove four Xfinity races for JR Motorsports in 2010.
▪ Steady rain washed out all track activities at Dover on Friday, including qualifying for Sunday’s Cup race. That means points leader Matt Kenseth starts on the pole for the AAA 400, with second-place Denny Hamlin also on the front row.
The rain is predicted to continue Saturday, jeopardizing the Hisense 200 Xfinity race, which is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. Saturday’s qualifying was called off, so points-leader Chris Buescher will be on the pole, alongside Ty Dillon.
Two Cup practices are scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. A NASCAR K&N race, originally scheduled for Friday, has been reset for approximately 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
▪ Jimmie Johnson will make his 500th career start Sunday. That spans a 15-year Cup career that includes 74 victories and six championships.
“The people made the success of (our) team, all of us together, the team,” said Johnson, 41. “To be on that team is just something that I dreamed of. But I still couldn’t have dreamed this big and have this much take place for us.”