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‘It was epic:’ Why Clint Bowyer will never forget his first race on asphalt

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Clint Bowyer is one of the best storytellers in NASCAR. He never seems to be at a loss to come up with great tales and yarns.

During the recent NASCAR Media Tour, Bowyer stopped by the NBC booth to talk about his hopes for 2017, but also decided to take a walk down memory lane.

When asked what it was like to take a lap around the track he cut his racing teeth on and what made it so cool, the Emporia, Kansas native reflected back to the late 1990s and a race he’ll never forget.

“Probably Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City is what put me on the map,” Bowyer began. “Awesome racetrack. It was an asphalt track and I did drive on it when it was asphalt (even though he cut his teeth on dirt track racing).

“A funny story, true story: My friend, Tim Karrick, I had always wanted to drive asphalt and I had been running real well on dirt. The last race of the year was a points race. Tim was running second in the points, Jeff Klem was leading the points and pretty much had it wrapped, all he had to do was finish the race and it was done.

“Tim was down and out and knew Jeff pretty much had it done, so he let me drive his back-up car. I’d never been on asphalt before in my life. Going around there, making laps, all of a sudden the car gets extremely loose.

“I’m asking the spotter, ‘Hey, this thing is so loose, I can’t hold on to it. What’s the deal?’ And he said ‘You’re fine, you’re fine, just keep going.’ The tires wore out. About that time, the left rear tire rolls off the bead. I spin out getting into (turn) three, save it and try to get it restarted and I hear screeching coming and BOOM! I look over and it’s Jeff Klem, the guy that was the points leader.

“The guy that owned my car was racing for a championship. (Klem) hit me, knocked the rear end out of his car, he couldn’t finish the rest of the race, lost the championship, the guy that owned my car won the championship and it was all set up, everybody thought I did it on purpose.

“There was a huge fight in the pits, they hid me in a van, closed the door and locked the doors, and these guys were out there fighting, beating each other with jack handles – and I caused it all. That happened.”

When asked if there was a conclusion to his tale, Bowyer revealed the rest of the story.

“I don’t know, look up the police department in Kansas City, I’m sure there’s a police record of it,” Bowyer said. “It was epic. You should have been there that night. It was unbelievable.”

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NASCAR on NBC podcast, Ep. 90: Roger Slack

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Eldora Speedway general manager Roger Slack joined the NASCAR on NBC podcast to discuss his track’s past, present and possible future with NASCAR.

Slack detailed the run-up to the initial “secret” test with Tony Stewart and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon that led to scheduling a Camping World Truck Series race that recently completed its fifth edition.

Slack also discussed the storied history of Eldora, which opened in 1954 and was bought by Stewart 50 years later.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone.

It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify and a host of other smartphone apps.

NASCAR America: How Daniel Suarez found out he was replacing Carl Edwards (video)

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On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Daniel Suarez recalled the moment he got the call that he was being promoted to replace Carl Edwards in the NASCAR Cup Series at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Suarez was at dinner back home in Mexico with family and friends when JGR officials called and him to be ready for a teleconference in a few moments.

Suarez stepped away, telling his dinner partners he’d be back shortly — which ultimately lasted 40 minutes.

When he returned to the dinner table, he couldn’t tell anything about the phone call — JGR officials swore him to secrecy — but he eventually revealed that he had been promoted to the NASCAR Cup Series to replace Edwards, who had decided to take a hiatus from his racing career.

Check out the video above.



NASCAR America: What Joe Gibbs Racing teammates really think of each other (video)

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Daniel Suarez appeared on Wednesday’s live broadcast of NASCAR America from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina,

One of the funniest segments of Suarez’s visit was a video and verbal collage of how much he and his fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammates really think of each other — all in good humor, of course.

Check out the video above where Suarez, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch answer the “tough questions” about themselves, as well as how they feel about their fellow teammates.

NASCAR America: Daniel Suarez’s journey from Mexico and VW Beetles to NASCAR champion (video)

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In winning last year’s Xfinity Series championship, Mexican native Daniel Suarez became NASCAR’s first international champion.

It was the culmination of a journey that began with his father and, interestingly enough, Volkswagen Beetles.

Check out Suarez’s story and the thoughts about his success and prowess by our NASCAR America analysts in the video above.

Speaking of VW Beetles, Suarez’s father sold his restoration shop to fund his son’s racing dream. Years later, Daniel repaid his father by purchasing a new restoration shop for him. See the video below.