NASCAR AMERICA: Clint Bowyer happy for the end of a long off-season (VIDEO)

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When four eligible drivers for Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited decided not to compete in the exhibition, alternates were chosen by 2014 Sprint Cup driver championship points.

Bowyer’s 2014 season was dismal – no wins and a career-worst 19th in the Sprint Cup championship standings. But that 19th-place showing was good enough to put him into the Unlimited as an alternate.

With a lack of off-season testing due to new rules, Bowyer’s happy to have the chance to knock the rust off this weekend at Daytona.

“This year in particular, without testing and things like that and being acclimated with the guys, it’s been a long offseason,” Bowyer told NASCAR AMERICA’s Dave Burns today. “[With] no testing, nobody’s been in these cars, so to be able to get out there and get a practice session in and get the jitters shook out, I think it’s going to be beneficial going into the Daytona 500 [next weekend].”

And while the Unlimited has no points involved, Bowyer is going to give it all he’s got.

“They give you a trophy and there’s cash – you wanna win,” said Bowyer, who will start 18th on Saturday’s grid.

Bowyer also discussed bouncing back from his toughest year in Cup racing. You can hear his thoughts on that in the clip above.