Clint Bowyer is retiring from NASCAR at the end of the 2020 season because of the opportunity he got to work for Fox.
Bowyer said Tuesday that he’d still be driving next season if Fox hadn’t offered him the chance to be in its NASCAR booth with Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon. Bowyer has been doing television work for Fox in recent years and was set to be a free agent at the end of the 2020 season.
“I didn’t want to just retire,” Bowyer said. “If this opportunity with Fox didn’t come to the table, I was going to be in a car somewhere somehow. I wasn’t gonna just quit and run off into the sunset because I like this sport and I wanted to find my way and a future within it, and luckily this happened.”
Bowyer, 41, has been with Stewart-Haas Racing since 2017 after he took over for Tony Stewart in the No. 14 car after Stewart’s retirement. He was eliminated from the playoffs at the Charlotte Roval on Sunday.
Bowyer said that his decision to go into TV after this season became more and more clear in recent weeks and was finalized right before he announced his retirement a week ago. He’s the second high-profile driver in NASCAR to call it quits after the season. Jimmie Johnson announced ahead of the 2020 season that he would stop racing full-time.
“It was an opportunity of a lifetime, an opportunity to stay a part of this sport for many years to come, and that’s the coolest thing about it,” Bowyer said. “Was I getting close to being ready to get out of the car and start thinking about it anyways? Yes. Was there a lot of things that happened this year in the schedule and things like that, where I was away from my family doing this on my own that kind of made that decision a little easier yet? Yes. There were a lot of those things, but the fans, the event of a race weekend is something that you just can’t do without.”
SHR hasn’t announced who will drive Bowyer’s No. 14 car in 2021, though it appears that the team has a clear-cut in-house replacement. Chase Briscoe has won eight Xfinity Series races in 2020 for SHR and is the favorite to win the title in NASCAR’s No. 2 series.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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