Clint Bowyer- 2013 Sprint Cup Champion

Bowyer won three races in 2012Photo - Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Bowyer won three races in 2012
Photo – Patrick Smith/Getty Images

By Jordan Dodson

Clint Bowyer finished his first season at Michael Waltrip Racing second in points. If we are honest, even the No. 15 team would say they out did their own expectations their first season together.

So how will Clint Bowyer and the No. 15 team do in 2013?

My prediction is that Clint Bowyer will win his first Sprint Cup championship.

Yes, in only Clint Bowyer’s second season with MWR, Bowyer will win the Sprint Cup championship. The team has all the momentum in the world going into the 2013 season and, with one full year of chemistry between Brian Pattie and Clint Bowyer, the No. 15 team only looks to get stronger.

Clint Bowyer and Brian Pattie, Bowyer’s crew chief, seemed to click right away and grabbed their first win together at Sonoma after only 15 races. The team went on to win two more races in 2012 at Richmond and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Bowyer racked up 23 top-tens and an average finish of 10.9 in 2012. And despite being taken out by Jeff Gordon at Phoenix during the Chase, and Jimmie Johnson‘s misfortune, Bowyer finished out the season second in points.

Many may ask, what about the runner-up hang over that we see many times in NASCAR? As evident by Carl Edwards last season and Denny Hamlin in 2011.

No need to worry. As mentioned before, the No. 15 team out did their own expectations. They did not end the 2012 season disappointed with a second place finish in the standings like Carl Edwards or Denny Hamlin had in seasons past. Bowyer did not enter Homestead with a shot to win the championship. Finishing second in points was more like icing on top of the cake after Jimmie Johnson‘s misfortunes. So I do not expect a hang over from Bowyer in 2013.

Clint Bowyer also has support from one of the most competitive organizations in Michael Waltrip Racing. Although the organization is new to the type of success they accomplished in 2012, they have some of the most talented and experienced people in the business. Some names to mention that are part of MWR include Mark Martin, Ty Norris, Rodney Childers and the enthusiastic Michael Waltrip. And as Matt Clark, former pit crew coach and current SPEED commentator, told me, it is the people that make organizations great. MWR will only get stronger from here.

So with nothing but optimism and confidence in each other on the No. 15 team and the organization of Michael Waltrip Racing, look for Clint Bowyer to raise that elusive Sprint Cup trophy in Homestead come November.

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