KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Coming back to his home track has always been special for Emporia, Kansas native Clint Bowyer.
In his 17-year career he has raced at the Kansas Speedway 32 times, including 24 NASCAR Cup Series races, six Xfinity Series races and two Gander Truck Series races that included one victory.
Having recently announced this will be his final year as a driver before heading to the FOX Sports broadcast booth in 2021, Bowyer now has something else to get excited about in his return to Kansas this weekend.
The Kansas Speedway announced Thursday that Bowyer will serve as the virtual Grand Marshal for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300.
The race starts at 6 p.m. CT.
This honor comes one day before Bowyer makes his final ride at Kansas Speedway in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400.
“This is an honor,” Bowyer said. “I’ve been to every city there is in this country and Kansas City is the best. You couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to call a place home than Kansas City. When we roll back in here this weekend it’s always been the go-to destination track for a fan, and for the people in the industry. The Xfinity race will be a great show for the fans, and a good ramp up to Sunday.”
Kansas Speedway President Pat Warren said Bowyer embodies everything that is great about the sport.
“Clint has had an extremely successful career and has been a terrific ambassador for NASCAR, especially here in the Kansas City Metropolitan area.,” Warren said. “He has been a great friend of the track, and we appreciate everything he has done for us throughout his career. His infectious personality has made him a fan-favorite, and I know we will all enjoy seeing that on a regular basis as he transitions to the FOX broadcast booth. On behalf of everyone at Kansas Speedway, we salute our hometown hero.”
Bowyer said the fans, the event of a race weekend is something that you just can’t do without.
“The fans in the infield, that’s what you feed off of,” Bowyer said. “That’s the environment in which you want to go out there and do whatever you can to beat those guys on any given Sunday because of that fuel for the fire that’s burning at those events on any given Sunday. You can’t replace that and we’ve got to get that back as soon as possible.”
Bowyer has a lot of great memories at the Kansas Speedway, even before he was behind the wheel.
“My first memory was 2001 sitting on top of a motorhome with a beer in my hand watching Jeff Gordon win the first race,” Bowyer said. “Now I’m gonna be lining up next to him in the booth next year. It’s all kind of coming full circle. It really is weird how life works and it’s still working for me. Those opportunities are still there.”
Bowyer’s final race at the Kansas Speedway will take place Sunday in the NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at 1:30 p.m. CT.