From Dent Repair to NASCAR Driver, Clint Bowyer Goes Full Circle En Route to Fontana

Clint Bowyer

Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Clint Bowyer is going full circle as he heads to Fontana to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway. Bowyer has started at ACS thirteen times with pretty good results. He’s also returning to his roots in the auto business where he used to work as a dent specialist and detailer.

Over the last twelve starts at Fontana, Bowyer has racked up two top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He has started from the third spot three times and has a handful of lead laps turns around the low banked speedway.

This time Bowyer is taking a brand new Michael Waltrip Racing chassis as his primary. Chassis No. 758 is the first new 2013 Gen6 specific chassis to be raced by MWR. Bowyer’s backup chassis, which is No. 724, raced to top-five finishes at Bristol and then at Dover in June. It also finished seventh at Bristol in August, tested at Charlotte in January 2013 and served as backup in Las Vegas.

ACS will be a perfect place to for Bowyer to put everything together for his first win in chassis No. 758. The speedway’s two-mile, low-banked, D-shaped oval will allow Bowyer’s crew the opportunity to try and dial in the car on a track other than the high banks of Daytona or Bristol. Races at ACS often come down to nailing a cars setup and setting the driver up for the duration of the 400 mile contest.

This year the trip to Fontana is a special one for Boywer. He stopped over in his hometown of of Emporia, Kansas for the opening the new Clint Bowyer Autoplex. Yes, there are many drivers and owners involved in the car dealer business. This time it’s a little bit different.

Long before being a Sprint Cup driver Bowyer spent many workdays at the dealerhip that he now owns. Back then the name of the dealership was Emporia Motors and Bowyer worked there as paint-less dent repair specialist and detailer.

“This is really a dream come true for me in so many ways,” Bowyer said. “I used to work at that dealership before I ever got to the Sprint Cup Series. I was the young guy running around doing anything and everything that needed to be done.”

Don’t worry, Bowyer will leave most of the day to day operations to his partners, the Davis-Moore Auto Group, so that he can concentrate on his job as a driver. But he does say that it’s nice to be part of a business that supports his home town and the community where his parents still live.

“I’m in a position to partner with the Davis-Moore Auto Group to buy the dealership and continue giving back to the community that I grew up in,” Bowyer said. “This is where I’m from. It’s where my parents still live. I couldn’t be any prouder or happier to be in this position and to continue to support my hometown community.”

Visitors to Emporia will instantly be able to tell that the community appreciates their home-town driver. This appreciation started long before Bowyer became a car dealership owner which employees local residents. Why do I know this? Because the Clint Bowyer Autoplex is located on 2815 U.S. Highway 50… which is right across the street from the Clint Bowyer Community Building.

Whitaker is a member of NASCAR media, covers NASCAR and the NFL, author and culinary writer. Follow him @thekentwhitaker on twitter or online.