By Andrew LaskeyThink Clint Bowyer is struggling at Michael Waltrip Racing? Think again. In fact, Bowyer hasn’t missed a beat at all and is currently positioned to make the chase and win races. In fact all of the MWR drivers are having a great season, and a key factor for that may very well be the addition of Scott Miller as executive vice president of competition. Both Bowyer and Miller came over from Richard Childress Racing. Bowyer’s move to MWR from RCR was questioned by many, however it seems, early on, that he made a great move.
Scott Miller has spent most of career at RCR, who worked his way up the ranks within the organization as an engineer and eventually moved his into the position of crew chief for several seasons. During a lackluster 2009 season for the organization, Miller was moved into directing the competition department, where he turned the organization around for a successful 2010 campaign, one which saw all 3 of the RCR teams make the chase to contend for the championship.
|Scott Miller – Michael Waltrip Racing
Photo – Getty Images
However, during the 2011 season, Miller announced that he’d make the move to MWR for a chance to help turn around an organization that needed to take steps to the next level. Miller’s expertise would help turn the team from mid-pack to contenders, even amidst expansion with the addition of Bowyer as a third team. Key personnel were also added to assist with the process including Mark Martin and Brian Vickers as drivers and Brian Pattie as Bowyer’s crew chief. With all people in place, the team felt prepared for a successful 2012 and to prove everyone wrong.
The results have been solid to start this 2012 season. Miller’s off season direction has certainly yielded results for the team. After 11 races, Martin Truex Jr. is highest in points with 7 top-tens, 4 top-fives, and a pole award. Clint Bowyer is 11th in points with 5 top-tens and a top-five finish, meaning both drivers have a good chance at positioning themselves for a chance at getting themselves in the chase. MWR’s third team, driven fulltime by a trio of drivers in Mark Martin, Brian Vickers, and Michael Waltrip, have also put together results in the form of 5 top-tens and 2 top-fives. In fact, all three teams are currently in the top 12, meaning that even though Martin, Waltrip, and Vickers split a ride, they could still put the team into the chase for the owners title. That would certainly be quite a feat.