Bowyer confident, ready to go for season sweep at Michigan

8/11/2018 12:58:41 AM EST

A few days removed from an excursion to the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Festival in South Dakota, Clint Bowyer showed up at Michigan International Speedway invigorated and ready to repeat his work from earlier this summer at the fastest two miles in NASCAR -- ready to win again.

He arrives for Sunday's Consumers Energy 400 (2:30 ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) as one of only four drivers with multiple Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins this season (Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick have six wins each and Martin Truex Jr. has four).

Bowyer, 39, collected his second trophy of the season June 10 at Michigan -- a rain-shortened win attributable to both the speed of his No. 14 Stewart Haas Racing Ford and the quick thinking of his crew chief Mike Bugarewicz. Bowyer won for the first time since October 2012 at Martinsville in March.

In the last six months, Bowyer has revitalized his career and established a strong presence in the 2018 Cup championship race with the third multi-win season of his career. It is reminiscent of his 2012 title-contending season, where he finished runner-up to Brad Keselowski.

With only four races remaining to set the 16-driver playoff field and make a run at the title, Bowyer is currently fourth in the playoff standings. But he is also mindful that that his team must raise its game to be a part of that elite conversation.

What will it take? Simple, he says.

More wins.

"You have to elevate your game and rise to their capabilities and expectations," Bowyer told the media at Michigan on Friday morning. "Those guys, not only do they have the wins, they are dominant cars that have led a lot of laps when they get those wins and all the stage points and all that stuff. You have to be able to do that more consistently.

"On our team, that is what we have to do. We have touched on that and made some mistakes and know we have to get those mistakes behind us to capitalize on every possible situation. Every stage. Every lap. That is what we have to do better. We have to smooth out the highs and lows. You have to stay on top of the mountain. You can't fall off the damn mountain. That's what it boils down to."

With the playoff push really starting to be felt, Bowyer's wins give his team the opportunity to begin sizing up the 10 tracks and races that will ultimately decide the championship. A fast, big track, Michigan is a reasonable reference point for some of the other venues the series visits -- both before and during the Chase.

"We were obviously really fast here last time and finished 1-2-3 with our Stewart-Haas camp,'' Bowyer allowed. "Kevin was the class of the field and I think we ran third for most of the race. We were right there. All of our cars were really, really fast. That is the last race. That is so last week. You think about racing and whoever won last week it doesn't mean anything. Everybody gets better each week.

"You don't go back after a win and sit on your hands and not do anything and talk about how good you were. You go to work on trying to get better. Doesn't matter if you dominated the race and destroyed the field, you go back and go to work on getting better.

"That being said, everybody has had time to get better here and I know they will. I also know we have too. It is always exciting to go to any race track for the second time, especially when you have had some success to see how you will stack up when you unload again."

Bowyer's performance in June at Michigan was certainly a welcome deviation from his recent results here. Prior to that win, he hadn't had a top 20 at the track since 2015 -- a 10th-place run that was the cap to a nine-race top-10 streak.

His Stewart-Haas team, however, has been the class of the field more often than not. They swept the podium at Michigan in June -- a first for the organization. It's been a similar showing in recent weeks.

The team had all four cars among the top eight at Sonoma Raceway. It had two in the top five at Chicago, three in the top eight at Kentucky, three among the top 10 at New Hampshire Speedway, and three in the top 11 at both Pocono and last week at Watkins Glen.

That momentum, and keeping his eye on the 2018 prize, is what Bowyer insists are most vital at the moment.

This week, his Ford team helped roll out the new Mustang that will compete in 2019. And as impressed as he is with the prospects, Bowyer would sure like to hoist a trophy driving this season's Ford Fusion.

"I am looking forward to next year with the Mustang but I am looking forward to capitalizing on the program we have with the Fusion this year and getting the most out of that,'' he explained. "Slowly but surely here the window is opening.

"The playoffs are fixin' to start and it is time to unleash the beast."

--By Holly Cain, NASCAR Wire Service. Special to Field Level Media.

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NHL Stories

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Sat, 04 Aug 2018 16:07:12 EST Golden Knights star Karlsson avoids arbitration, signs one-year deal
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Mon, 30 Jul 2018 23:09:16 EST Wild sign ex-Flyers F Read to two-way contract

WTA Stories

Mon, 13 Aug 2018 23:46:14 EST Serena sizzles in first-round win at Cincinnati
Sun, 12 Aug 2018 19:07:00 EST Halep defeats Stephens for second Rogers Cup win
Sat, 11 Aug 2018 21:59:58 EST Halep, Stephens set for rematch at Rogers Cup final
Fri, 10 Aug 2018 22:52:28 EST Stephens, Halep cruise to semis at Rogers Cup
Thu, 09 Aug 2018 16:40:27 EST Halep cruises past Venus at Rogers Cup
Wed, 08 Aug 2018 22:44:42 EST Cornet, Bertens notch second-round upsets at Rogers Cup
Tue, 07 Aug 2018 22:21:09 EST Sharapova completes suspended-match blowout in Montreal
Mon, 06 Aug 2018 23:27:01 EST Venus starts slow, rolls in Rogers Cup opener
Mon, 06 Aug 2018 20:54:47 EST Serena opens up about struggles with postpartum depression
Sun, 05 Aug 2018 20:58:33 EST WTA roundup: Buzarnescu wins first title, breaks into top 20
Sat, 04 Aug 2018 11:59:13 EST Serena Williams withdraws from Rogers Cup
Sat, 04 Aug 2018 01:34:04 EST WTA roundup: Sakkari knocks out Venus Williams in San Jose
Fri, 03 Aug 2018 00:57:59 EST WTA roundup: Keys joins San Jose exodus
Thu, 02 Aug 2018 00:09:59 EST WTA roundup: Muguruza withdraws from San Jose event
Wed, 01 Aug 2018 01:46:34 EST WTA roundup: Serena Williams loses 6-1, 6-0
Tue, 31 Jul 2018 03:18:34 EST WTA roundup: Boulter earns upset win at Citi Open
Sun, 29 Jul 2018 12:12:16 EST WTA roundup: Danilovic wins all-teen clash in Moscow final
Sat, 28 Jul 2018 11:22:50 EST WTA roundup: Serbian teen stuns Georges in Moscow
Thu, 26 Jul 2018 16:00:57 EST WTA roundup: Zidansek stuns Kasatkina for biggest win of career
Wed, 25 Jul 2018 19:00:06 EST WTA roundup: Goerges advances to Moscow quarterfinals

LPGA Stories

Sun, 05 Aug 2018 16:23:27 EST Rookie Hall becomes rare Englishwoman to win British Open
Sat, 04 Aug 2018 15:11:32 EST Phatlum shoots 69 to maintain 1-stroke lead at Women's British Open
Fri, 03 Aug 2018 15:54:16 EST Phatlum remains bogey-free to lead Women's British Open
Thu, 02 Aug 2018 16:19:03 EST Australian Lee captures first-round lead at Women's British Open
Thu, 02 Aug 2018 12:56:04 EST Wie withdraws from British Open with hand injury
Tue, 31 Jul 2018 19:14:46 EST Lincicome on another PGA event: 'Never say never'
Sun, 29 Jul 2018 14:38:16 EST Jutanugarn wins Scottish Ladies Open, will move to No. 1
Sat, 28 Jul 2018 15:50:50 EST Jutanugarn, Yang tied for 54-hold lead at Scottish Open
Fri, 27 Jul 2018 17:34:47 EST Joh keeps three-stroke lead at Ladies Scottish Open
Thu, 26 Jul 2018 18:28:25 EST Joh posts career-best round to lead Ladies Scottish Open
Wed, 25 Jul 2018 23:51:56 EST Lexi Thompson withdraws from British Open
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 13:23:37 EST Inbee Park stuns with withdrawal from UL International Crown
Sun, 15 Jul 2018 18:51:52 EST Suwannapura tops Lincicome in playoff to win Marathon Classic
Sat, 14 Jul 2018 18:09:24 EST Henderson leads by a stroke after Round 3 of Marathon Classic
Fri, 13 Jul 2018 19:36:18 EST Henderson, Hedwall share 36-hole lead at Marathon Classic
Thu, 12 Jul 2018 21:00:14 EST Suwannapura takes 1-shot lead in Marathon Classic
Sun, 08 Jul 2018 22:09:18 EST Kim breaks LPGA scoring record at Thornberry
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 21:46:07 EST Kim ties 54-hole record, leads by 8 at Thornberry
Fri, 06 Jul 2018 21:33:49 EST Sei Young Kim seizes four-stroke lead at Thornberry
Thu, 05 Jul 2018 20:37:10 EST Defending champ Kirk fires 62 for early Thornberry lead

WNCAAB Stories

Sun, 22 Jul 2018 18:12:39 EST Portland, longtime Penn State women's hoops coach, dies at 65
Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:42:54 EST Former Tennessee great Charles-Furlow dead at 49
Fri, 06 Apr 2018 23:51:39 EST South Carolina's Wilson earns Wooden Award
Mon, 02 Apr 2018 15:50:53 EST UConn's Stevens skipping final season, entering WNBA draft
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 21:15:27 EST Easter stunner: Irish win title on last-second 3-pointer
Sat, 31 Mar 2018 18:07:32 EST South Carolina's Wilson wins Naismith player of year
Sat, 31 Mar 2018 00:26:56 EST Ogunbowale's shot lifts Notre Dame over UConn in OT thriller
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 21:46:41 EST Mississippi State outlasts Louisville in OT to advance to national championship
Mon, 26 Mar 2018 23:16:06 EST Notre Dame downs Oregon to charge into Final Four
Mon, 26 Mar 2018 23:01:32 EST UConn routs defending champion South Carolina to reach Final Four
Sun, 25 Mar 2018 21:57:47 EST McCowan, Mississippi State outmuscle UCLA to reach Final Four
Sun, 25 Mar 2018 22:04:33 EST Durr scores 18 as Louisville romps into Final Four
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 20:46:48 EST Oregon cruises past Central Michigan to advance to Elite Eight
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 21:11:38 EST Notre Dame edges Texas A&M to make Elite Eight
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 20:52:26 EST Collier paces top-seeded UConn in win over Duke
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 20:57:12 EST No. 2 seed South Carolina pulls away late to top Buffalo
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 00:34:21 EST NCAA women's roundup: Oregon State stuns Baylor
Fri, 23 Mar 2018 23:54:01 EST Louisville overpowers Stanford in regional semis
Fri, 23 Mar 2018 23:40:30 EST UCLA edges Texas to reach Elite Eight
Fri, 23 Mar 2018 23:42:57 EST Oregon State ends Baylor's 30-game winning streak in Sweet 16 upset

USA Stories

Mon, 13 Aug 2018 13:39:24 EST Former WWE wrestler Neidhart dies at 63
Fri, 10 Aug 2018 13:08:48 EST Reports: Former Tour de France champ Ullrich arrested
Thu, 09 Aug 2018 15:05:38 EST Wings, beer ... bets? Buffalo Wild Wings' action plan
Fri, 03 Aug 2018 01:13:37 EST Reports: Pro wrestler Kane elected mayor in Tennessee
Mon, 30 Jul 2018 13:06:03 EST Ex-Olympian Miller, wife recount daughter's drowning death
Sun, 29 Jul 2018 21:12:38 EST Pro wrestlers Volkoff, Brian Lawler, Brown die in 24-hour span
Sun, 29 Jul 2018 13:36:05 EST Thomas rides into Paris as Tour de France champ
Sat, 28 Jul 2018 12:21:19 EST Dumoulin wins Stage 20, but Thomas all but seals TDF title
Fri, 27 Jul 2018 14:11:13 EST Roglic wins Stage 19, Thomas increases overall lead
Thu, 26 Jul 2018 13:47:52 EST Démare wins stage 18 of the Tour de France, Thomas maintains lead
Wed, 25 Jul 2018 17:07:57 EST Quintana claims Stage 17 of Tour de France; Thomas pads overall lead
Wed, 25 Jul 2018 15:32:30 EST Triple Crown winner Justify retired, owners announce
Wed, 25 Jul 2018 15:02:01 EST Ex-sports doctor Nassar appeals sentence, seeks removal of judge
Tue, 24 Jul 2018 17:53:34 EST Protests, pepper spray and crashes mar Tour de France Stage 16
Tue, 24 Jul 2018 11:24:09 EST Tour de France riders hit with tear gas by police
Mon, 23 Jul 2018 15:22:22 EST Team Sky's Gianni Moscon booted from Tour de France for punching another cyclist
Mon, 23 Jul 2018 12:57:56 EST Lochte suspended for 1 year for illegal IV
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 20:37:39 EST Espinoza breaks vertebra in neck after horse collapses, dies
Sun, 22 Jul 2018 13:51:13 EST Neilsen claims first stage win with dash at Tour de France
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 13:31:50 EST Fraile wins Stage 14, Thomas retains Tour lead

INDY Stories

Sun, 27 May 2018 17:54:42 EST Power finally claims elusive Indy 500 victory
Sun, 27 May 2018 17:40:48 EST Patrick crashes out of final Indy 500


Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:03:34 EST 2 more people arrested in Frost burglary
Mon, 13 Aug 2018 18:37:51 EST Zach Smith: I didn't tell Meyer about 2013 traffic-stop arrest
Mon, 13 Aug 2018 10:16:17 EST Pruitt: No clear leader in QB competition
Sat, 11 Aug 2018 21:14:04 EST College football notebook: Maryland coach Durkin placed on leave
Sun, 12 Aug 2018 00:01:49 EST Report: Zach Smith to meet with OSU investigators; Texas' Herman denies involvement
Sat, 11 Aug 2018 12:35:28 EST Southern Miss. QB Griggs suspended indefinitely
Sat, 11 Aug 2018 18:31:03 EST Maryland places football coach Durkin on leave amid investigation
Sat, 11 Aug 2018 11:22:08 EST Michigan among schools investigating shoe sales
Fri, 10 Aug 2018 21:52:09 EST Ex-Florida AD Foley declines to discuss Zach Smith case
Fri, 10 Aug 2018 20:30:10 EST Transfer WR Robertson eligible to play immediately for Georgia
Sat, 11 Aug 2018 02:08:22 EST Maryland places football staffers on leave amid McNair investigation
Fri, 10 Aug 2018 10:31:19 EST Zach Smith: No contact with OSU investigators
Thu, 09 Aug 2018 17:26:42 EST K-State extends coach Snyder through 2022
Thu, 09 Aug 2018 14:29:26 EST Michigan WR McDoom departs program
Thu, 09 Aug 2018 12:30:21 EST LSU-Florida State to open 2022, 2023 seasons
Thu, 09 Aug 2018 12:15:02 EST Teenage girl arrested for burglary at Frost's home
Wed, 08 Aug 2018 23:36:56 EST Reports: LSU suspends LB Taylor over arrest
Wed, 08 Aug 2018 21:12:11 EST College football notebook: Saban downplays Hurts' comments
Wed, 08 Aug 2018 20:22:06 EST Saban downplays Hurts' comments: No effect on our team
Wed, 08 Aug 2018 17:58:02 EST Reports: USC OLB Gustin (meniscus) out 4-6 weeks