RELATED: Bowyer falls in manure, smells like roses DOVER, Del. -- Clint Bowyer , introduced as the newest driver in the Stewart-Haas Racing stable for 2017 just two days ago, ended speculation about his 2016 plans Friday, announcing he will join HScott Motorsports for the upcoming season. The single-season move will keep Bowyer , 36, in the Chevrolet family while three-time premier series champion Tony Stewart wraps up his final season as driver of the No. 14 entry. RELATED: Bowyer , SHR a perfect fit HScott Motorsports , located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, currently fields Sprint Cup Series entries for drivers Justin Allgaier and Michael Annett . The organization works closely with both SHR and Hendrick Motorsports in NASCAR's premier series, purchasing its chassis from SHR and engines from Hendrick. "What a whirlwind year, to say the least," Bowyer said. "… It's kind of weird, as we've gone through this together, there's always been that door, the one that opens the easiest, and Harry Scott was definitely that. Looking forward to the marriage that he has with Hendrick, with Stewart-Haas, (those are) very strong. … "Harry is a young, very aggressive owner that we need in this sport; to have this together and tie my name to HScott Motorsports is something I'm looking forward to and get back to my winning ways." Scott said the addition of Bowyer "will help us long term because he's basically going to be able to help us reset our program and set the bar higher going forward. "With his experience, his leadership and his enthusiasm, I think it will be contagious amongst all the team members. Going forward he will help us form an even stronger relationship with Stewart-Haas and that will obviously be beneficial to us." RELATED: Bowyer to join SHR in 2017 5-Hour Energy will be the primary sponsor of Bowyer's entry for 24 of next season's 36 races. Scott started HScott Motorsports in 2013, running Allgaier, Ryan Truex , Michael McDowell and Kyle Larson in 11 of the season's 36 races. Allgaier was named the team's full-time driver in '14; Annett was brought on board prior to the start of the '15 season as the group added a second team. Allgaier is currently 30th in the points standings while Annett is 36th with eight races remaining. Scott said it was too soon to speculate on how the organization's roster would look for 2016, neither confirming nor denying speculation that Bowyer would replace one of the group's two current drivers. "We really haven't ruled out anything for 2016 or beyond," he said. "I'm not prepared to give you an answer for that because I simply don't know at this point." Friday's announcement closed the books on what has been a tumultuous season for the Emporia, Kansas, native. A little more than a year after announcing a multi-year contract extension with its driver, Michael Waltrip Racing announced in mid-August that Bowyer and the organization had "mutually agreed to separate" at the conclusion of the 2015 season as the team closes its doors. After slipping into this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field as the final driver in the 16-team field, Bowyer's No. 15 team was hit with penalties in the opening Chase race, at Chicagoland Speedway , for suspension irregularities. The P4-level infractions resulted in the loss of 25 driver points for Bowyer and owner points for co-owner Rob Kauffman. Crew chief Billy Scott was fined $75,000 and suspended for three races. RELATED: Drivers on the move for 2016 MWR appealed the penalties, but on Wednesday the National Motorsports Appeals Panel heard the appeal and upheld the sanctions against the team. Bowyer is an eight-time winner at the Sprint Cup level but enters this weekend's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR), riding a 105-race winless streak. He is making his sixth Chase appearance and has a best points finish of second (2012). The specifics of the move, as far as car number and team personnel, have yet to be determined. "It's going to take hard work and dedication, it's going to take funding. We have to have all these and we (do) at HScott Motorsports ," Bowyer said. "I've got the best of the best; when you talk about equipment we've got Hendrick engines, we've got ties to the Stewart-Haas organization. These are the guys that are winning races and I now have that bond, that connection to this kind of equipment. For me as a race car driver, that's huge."
Check out Michael Waltrip and Clint Bowyer teaming up with sponsor Maxwell House to give away free gasoline and coffee to drivers.
MORE: Stewart announces that 2016 will be final season in NASCAR's top series KANNAPOLIS, N.C. -- Stewart-Haas Racing unveiled Clint Bowyer as Tony Stewart 's successor Wednesday, shedding light on the plan to replace the three-time NASCAR premier-series champion upon his retirement at the end of next season. Bowyer said when it became evident that there was a vacancy at Stewart's No. 14 ride, he didn't hesitate. "They didn't have to call me," Bowyer said with his patented grin. Though the spotlight shone brightest Wednesday on Stewart, one of NASCAR's most popular drivers and a surefire bet for first-ballot induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Bowyer's piece of the puzzle provided an extra source of intrigue for the four-car organization's future. The news also provided Bowyer with an opportune landing place after rocky recent weeks with his current team, Michael Waltrip Racing . "I don't think I got fired; it just went away, and somehow you landed in a way better situation," Bowyer said to laughter in Wednesday's news conference at HaasF1's sprawling new headquarters. "Do you ever hear that term when you fall in a pile of cow manure and come out smelling like roses? That's exactly what this is for me." Bowyer's timetable for inheriting the No. 14 Chevrolet ride in 2017 includes a one-year gap in his driving duties. He shied away from giving specifics regarding his 2016 plans, despite speculation he would shift to the two-car HScott Motorsports outfit for a one-year stint in the interim. Bowyer hinted that next season's part of the equation could become clearer by this weekend at Dover International Speedway . "Yeah, there's going to be some more announcements later in the week as far as where we're going for next year," Bowyer said. "But for this announcement, why I'm here today is to announce the long‑term future plan for me." Stewart initially joked that his handpicked selection for the No. 14 Chevy was retired driver "Handsome" Harry Gant, the 75-year-old veteran whose last season in NASCAR was 1994. Besides a tongue-in-cheek comment about Gant's and Bowyer's common thread with "immaculate hair," Stewart applauded the team's newest driver, saying that his hero and friend -- racing legend A.J. Foyt -- would approve of the hire. "You know, everything in racing is timing, and the opportunity to get somebody like Clint Bowyer , I mean, that's when you know you seize the opportunity. We're probably going to have a hard time working together and communicating with each other. We probably won't have any fun racing," Stewart said with trademark sarcasm. "It's the right time, it's the right opportunity, and when somebody in a scenario like Clint's this year came about, you jump on those opportunities, and you know that timing is everything." In a compelling contrast, the details for Bowyer's future emerged as the fate of his campaign in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs simultaneously faced a crossroads just six miles away, where Michael Waltrip Racing was appealing P4-grade penalties against Bowyer's No. 15 team at the NASCAR Research & Development Center. RELATED: MWR penalty upheld in appeal Bowyer qualified for this year's Chase on the basis of his rank in the Sprint Cup driver standings, but the team opened with a thud in the Chicagoland opener. Penalties stemming from a pre-race infraction for improper track-bar and suspension mountings essentially negated the team's 19th-place finish, digging a large deficit in the opening three-race Challenger Round. The 25-point penalty was upheld Wednesday by a three-member panel, keeping Bowyer last in the 16-driver postseason field with bleak odds of advancing from the Chase's opening round this weekend at Dover International Speedway . The appeal is another tipping point in Bowyer's final days with MWR. The team announced Aug. 19 that it would shut its doors at the end of the season, granting Bowyer his release and freeing him to seek employment elsewhere. That freedom resulted in landing nicely on his feet, claiming what he called "one of the best rides ever in the history of the sport." "I mean, this is a champion's seat that I'm filling, so that being said, this is an unbelievable opportunity," Bowyer said. "Just like I said earlier, to think of that door opening, and holy cow, the timing couldn't have been any better for myself. Just somebody was looking after me." Bowyer has eight victories in NASCAR's premier series -- five with Richard Childress Racing , where he drove from 2006-2011, and three with Michael Waltrip Racing (2012-2015), all coming in his first year with the team. Bowyer's 2012 campaign remains his most successful with a second-place result in the final Sprint Cup standings. But besides the performance and accomplishments, Bowyer also brings an affable, cooperative element to the mix of personnel and personalities at Stewart-Haas. Though Bowyer said Wednesday that he would miss racing against Stewart -- his future boss, but also his friend -- he also looked forward to building chemistry in the next stage of his stock-car racing career. "That being said, damn, I'm glad that you decided to retire and open this seat up for me," Bowyer said to Stewart, "but you know, it's just all about people, it's all about culture for me, and I think the fit factor couldn't be any better."
OFFICIAL NASCAR RELEASE: Chase team among four penalized RELATED: Busch, Suarez issued penalties NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer now finds himself right back where he started -- 16th among a field of 16 drivers battling for this year's NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. There is one difference. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver will be without the services of his crew chief, Billy Scott, for the next three races. On Wednesday, NASCAR officials announced that Bowyer's No. 15 Toyota team had been penalized for a P4 level infraction found during opening day inspection last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway . RELATED: See the updated Chase standings As a result, Bowyer has lost 25 driver points, team co-owner Rob Kauffman has been docked 25 owner points, Scott has been fined $75,000 and suspended for three races. He has also been placed on probation for six months. Based on rules cited in the penalty announcement, the team was penalized for suspension and track bar issues. Those noted included: 20.14c -- All suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension and/or drivetrain component beyond normal rotation or suspension and/or drivetrain travel; 22.214.171.124.k -- Beveled washers and/or other components that allow movement under load will not be permitted on the track bar heim joints or rod end and/or track bar mounting bolts; 126.96.36.199.1.d -- Approved parts that are not properly installed or are made adjustable when not normally intended to be; 188.8.131.52.1.f -- Components, devices, systems, configurations, installations, etc. which serve to circumvent NASCAR templates, gauges, measuring devices whether intended or not … Because Bowyer is competing in the Chase, and the result of any appeal would have an impact on the championship standings going forward, NASCAR's penalty statement stated that a request had been submitted to the Appeals Administrator of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel seeking to expedite any appeal. Michael Waltrip Racing officials issued a statement shortly after Wednesday's penalty announcement. " Michael Waltrip Racing respectfully disagrees with today's penalties and plans to immediately appeal," the statement read. "MWR has made mistakes in the past, but we feel we are correct in this instance. We look forward to the opportunity to present our case to the appeals committee and have no further comment until the process is completed." Bowyer , competing in the Chase for the sixth time in his career, was seeded 16th in the field heading into last weekend's race in Chicago. He finished 19th and improved one position, to 15th, prior to the points deduction, earning 25 points. Regardless of the appeals process, Bowyer must win one of the next two Sprint Cup races -- scheduled for New Hampshire and Dover -- or be one of the top 12 in points following the Dover race to advance to the Contender Round of the Chase. MWR fields two teams in the Sprint Cup Series, the No. 15 of Bowyer as well as the No. 55 with driver David Ragan . Team owners announced earlier this year that Bowyer had been granted his release following the '15 season and that the organization would not field full-time teams beyond this year. RELATED: MWR begins process of shutting down Earlier this year, the No. 31 team of Richard Childress Racing was hit with a Level P5 penalty for infractions involving the release of air pressure from the team's tires. In addition to the penalty for the No. 15 team, NASCAR officials also penalized the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing team with driver Danica Patrick for modifying the right-side quarterpanel during pre-qualifying inspection. Crew chief Daniel Knost and car chief Pete White have been placed on probation through Dec. 31 for the Level P2 infraction.
Harry Scott Jr. and Clint Bowyer announce Bowyer will drive for HScott Motorsports in 2016.
Clint Bowyer goes undercover as a cameraman at downtown Klyde Warren Park to surprise three unassuming Texas Motor Speedway season ticket holders as part of NASCAR's Chase Across North America Day.
Clint Bowyer talks about his move to take over Tony Stewart's #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in the 2017 season.
Jonathan Merryman brings you up to speed with the penalties NASCAR handed down to two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams, including the 15 team of Clint Bowyer and two NASCAR XFINITY Series Teams.
RELATED: MWR won't field full-time entries in 2016 Wednesday's news that Michael Waltrip Racing won't be fielding full-time Sprint Cup Series teams in 2016 essentially turns the team's lead driver, Clint Bowyer , into one of NASCAR's highest profile free agents. MWR and Bowyer agreed to mutually part ways at the end of the season, freeing the 2012 championship runner-up to look for a new ride and making his current title run an important resume-builder. Bowyer is currently ranked 16th in the 16-driver Chase Grid standings with a slim 23-point edge over Aric Almirola for the final Chase berth with three races remaining to set the field. MORE: Toyota thanks MWR, supports Bowyer "I am looking forward to what future opportunities may come but for now we have a championship to pursue in 2015 and we owe it to every one of our sponsors, partners, employees and fans to deliver on and off the track,” Bowyer said in a statement released Tuesday announcing his and the MWR team's plans. "I want to thank Michael, Rob (Kauffman) and everyone at Michael Waltrip Racing that made these past four years special. After extensive discussions with Rob and MWR, we came to the point that we mutually agreed our paths in the future just didn’t align, but I think we all agreed on the next steps in a very professional manner." It's clear they are committed to that path. Waltrip discussed Bowyer's Chase scenario and his inspired motivation on FOX Sports 1 this morning after spending time with Bowyer at the team shop Wednesday morning. "I'm going to tell you, that's how fast your Chase world can change,'' Waltrip said. " Clint was not only 15th in the points, some 60 to the good, he was within striking distance of being 11th, up there where Jamie McMurray is. And had a crash at Michigan with a really fast car, had a crash and it set him back. "But I tell ya, it's inspired Bowyer . I know there's a lot of news around Michael Waltrip Racing , but he was at the shop today, talking to the team and said, 'Boys, we're going to race our way into this Chase, and when we get there, we're gonna go some rounds.' And that's the kind of attitude you need from your race car driver and that's the kind of attitude Clint has." Beyond his showing in this year's championship run, the big question is what's next for Bowyer , considered one of the NASCAR's top-shelf competitors and one of its most popular personalities. There will be plenty of speculation, however, Bowyer hasn't said anything beyond the statement issued Tuesday. The 36-year-old Kansas native is the 2008 XFINITY Series champion and has eight wins in 10 full-time Cup seasons, finishing second to Brad Keselowski in the 2012 championship, his first year with MWR. It's reasonable to consider one option for Bowyer is to follow his boss Kauffman to the Chip Ganassi Racing stable next season and bring his longtime sponsor 5-hour Energy to a third Chevrolet there. Sponsor 5-hour Energy released a statement about the MWR news, as well."5-Hour ENERGY has enjoyed a great relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing and Clint Bowyer since joining forces in 2012. MWR and Clint have delivered above and beyond with our partnership and we thank them for their dedication. Clint is a great amassador for our products, customers and retailers," the release read. "The MWR team and Clint will continue to remain focused on getting 5-hour ENERGY in the Chase. We will make no further comment until we are ready to announce our future plans." Kauffman, who became a co-owner and major investor in MWR in 2007, announced earlier this month that he had also invested in the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team. Sabates confirmed that the organization would expand to three cars in 2016, but no further details have been released. Another option down the road for Bowyer may include Furniture Row Racing , which is reportedly considering expanding to two teams. However, the team's general manager, Joe Garone told FOXSports in June that adding a second car wasn't realistic until at least 2017 and even then, it would be ambitious. The team's current driver, another former MWR driver, Martin Truex Jr . , is having a career year with the team and ranks eighth in the Chase Grid. There is also speculation that Bowyer's future could include a job at Stewart-Haas Racing should its co-owner and three-time championship driver Tony Stewart retire and leave an open seat. However Stewart has not publicly indicated he has any timetable to retire.
RELATED: Bowyer free to pursue 2016 opportunities MORE: MWR won't field full-time team in 2016 BRISTOL, Tenn. – Clint Bowyer said his racing future "is uncertain right now" as he prepares to finish out the season with Michael Waltrip Racing before an expected move to a new employer in 2016. Earlier this week, MWR officials announced Bowyer , 36, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organization had "mutually agreed" to end their relationship at the conclusion of the '15 season. The two-team outfit, which fields the No. 55 Toyota for driver David Ragan in addition to the No. 15 of Bowyer , will not field a full-time Sprint Cup effort next year. "It's a tough time for everybody involved," Bowyer said Friday morning at Bristol Motor Speedway, site of Saturday night's Irwin Tools Night Race (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). "It's unfortunate. "The truth is we're eight months into a three-year commitment to one another. I had a great four years at this company; great culture, great personnel at MWR. I really did enjoy the years that I spent there. "That being said Rob (Kauffman, MWR co-owner) ... invested a lot into this sport. It's a business decision to move forward on his end. That's where our futures ... unfortunately just don't align anymore." WATCH: Bowyer , Kauffman expound on MWR split The timing of the announcement was crucial, Bowyer said, to allow employees at MWR to understand and digest the situation and focus on the remainder of the '15 season. "These employees ... are real people, with real lives with real families and a lot at stake," he said. "They are racers, just like I am. But the racer in you doesn't change the reality side of life. And the reality is you need to provide for your family. "I thought it was extremely important ... to get in front of that and I owed it to these employees to get this done as soon as possible, even knowing where we're at on the bubble and everything in the Chase. I think being honest and straightforward and doing that for these people in the long run will set them up to make the most out of a difficult situation." Bowyer is an eight-time winner in the Sprint Cup Series, with three of those wins coming with MWR, which he joined in 2012. He finished a career-best second in the Chase for the Sprint Cup battle in his first year with the organization. W ATCH: Rob Kauffman about MWR, Bowyer decisions Heading into Saturday night's race at BMS, Bowyer is 15th in points with one top-five and nine top-10 finishes. Eleven of the 16 available Chase slots have been secured (as long as those drivers remain in the top 30 in points), leaving Bowyer and a handful of others battling for one of the five remaining positions. As for what the 2016 season and beyond may hold, Bowyer appears to be keeping all options open at this point. "Absolutely," he said. "... What I'm going to have in the future ... will be another announcement and I'll tell you as soon as possible. It's as simple as that. "I'm confident in the sport, I love this sport and the sport has been good to me and my family -- (I've) had a lot of great partners and a lot of great organizations that I've worked for, and I see no reason why somebody that works hard and wants it like I do ... can't have a job for as long as they want." PHOTOS: MWR through the years