by Bobby Markos
Since nestling into his new life as a color commentator in 2018, Dale Jr has been the “new kid on the block” when it came to drivers turned analysts. But that all changed this year, when newly retired Clint Bowyer joined the Fox Sports Racing family alongside Jeff Gordon and Mike Joy in the booth. On this episode of the Dale Jr. Download, the two compare notes on their experiences thus far, and break down the transition from fire suits to suit jackets for listeners.
The conversation runs through the initial experience of attending races outside of the driver’s seat, and overcoming the urge to be in a race car. They also discuss how different it is to see a race through a broadcaster's eyes, learning to be fair and balanced with their coverage and how to manage the nerves of being on camera week after week. A lot of common ground is found between the two, especially on the topic of walking away from the frustrations of racing, and filling the void of a full-time racing schedule in their respective lives.
Remaining a positive contributor to the sport of auto racing remains high on Clint’s priority list, and he has found a number of ways to do so away from the grind of competition. Clint fills us in on his son Cash’s new racing career and how the scene at Millbridge Speedway is a NASCAR family affair. He also weighs in on his dirt late model team and the ability to spend more time with them on the road.
As always, Dale Jr. takes time to answer your questions on “Ask Jr”, where this week he talks about track variety on the NASCAR schedule, the team-charter scuttlebutt, the Lost Speedways season two premiere and his personal t-shirt collection. Also, the boat saga continues into another week, with Dale and Mike both weighing their options going forward in the infamous quest to sail, or not.
Tune in for an enlightening conversation between two of the sport’s greatest personalities, figuring out the next chapters of their lives. The podcast is available right here on this site or on any major podcasting platform.
Additional reading about our guest:
Hailing from Emporia, Kansas, Clint’s career started in motocross, where he found great success early on. From there he moved up the ranks in the Kansas dirt scene, graduating from street stocks to dirt modifieds. In 2000, Bowyer became a champion in the modified ranks at Thunderhill Speedway in Mayetta, Kansas. He backed this feat up in 2001 with 18 wins and 32 top-5s, securing the crown at Lakeside Speedway and Heartland Topeka Speedway.
Clint would use this success to springboard into the NASCAR Weekly Series, where he would claim the 2002 Midwest title and place 2nd in the national standings. It was here where Bowyer saw his first track time on the black-top, running a late model at the famous I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Missouri. As they say, some things were meant to be, and Bowyer would write his name into the history books at the track winning the season title in his first attempt.
These triumphs would only serve to make Bowyer hungrier for the next step, and he quickly ascended through the ARCA ranks and caught the eye of Richard Childress, who gave him a shot in the then Busch Series. He would earn the reputation as a fierce competitor, and made a name for himself in the NASCAR ranks for years to come. His triumphs include a 2008 NASCAR Nationwide title and 10 victories in the Cup division.
Bowyer’s time in NASCAR also established him as a fan favorite, and when his time behind the wheel began coming to a close, a natural transition presented itself. Originally getting time behind the mic during Xfinity race broadcasts, Clint proved himself a natural, and a full-time position in color commentating proved imminent.