NASCAR: Bowyer makes Nashville trip to promote Talladega race
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer made an appearance in Nashville this past week to promote the Talladega Superspeedway’s annual fall race.
The 1000Bulbs.com 500 will be Oct. 14, and it’s part of the NASCAR Cup playoffs. Bowyer is one of 16 drivers to qualify. The two-time Talladega Superspeedway winner (fall events in 2010 and 2011) sits 11th in the points standings.
In Nashville, Bowyer, stopped at the Johnny Cash Museum and the Tennessee Titans practice facility for some racing action with players.
“Today was really cool, and when you think about it, it all sort of relates to us in the playoffs and Talladega as well,” Bowyer said. “Johnny Cash is one of my all-time heroes — the man in black, tough and rugged who went through some tough times before ultimately having incredible success in the country music industry. My career has seen some peaks and many valleys, but right now, I feel like we have the team (No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing) that can get it done and be at the top of the mountain. I am so proud of what we have accomplished, not just our No. 14 team but SHR as a whole with all four teams making the playoffs.”
Bowyer’s first stop was at the Cash Museum. The iconic Cash was one of the best-selling music artists of all time, and did it his way. Bowyer’s admiration for Cash is deep. In fact, his three-year-old son is named “Cash.”
“One of the neatest things I have ever done,” said Bowyer of his tour. “I thought I knew everything about Johnny Cash but I found out today there are so many other incredible things about him that I wasn’t aware of. He was an incredible songwriter, and some of the memorabilia was something to see. What an experience. Needless to say I love Johnny Cash. Heck, my son’s name is Cash.”
During his stop with the Titans, Bowyer met with first-year head coach Mike Vrabel, who has vast knowledge about winning under pressure, especially in the playoffs. The former linebacker (57 career sacks in 14 years) won three Super Bowls as a player for the New England Patriots. He finished the last two years of his playing career (2009-2010) for Bowyer’s beloved Kansas City Chiefs. Vrabel gave Bowyer (an Emporia, Kansas, native) a Titans jersey with his name on the back while Bowyer presented Vrabel and Titans general manager Jon Robinson a Stewart-Haas Racing pit crew shirt.
“I met a lot of really nice people with the Titans who took time to talk with me and learn about our sport,” Bowyer said. “Coach Vrabel is a guy who knows first-hand what takes to win a championship. There are many parallels with our two sports. He knows every person on a team has to do their job and execute. The physical part of it is a given, but the mental part of it is just as important. You have to be mentally up for the challenge, and that is something that is of the utmost importance as we vie for a championship and a win at Talladega.”
While with the Titans, Bowyer had some fun with some of the players, catching up on the practice field with former Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans and kicker Ryan Succop, who hails from Hickory, N.C. Bowyer also visited with center Ben Jones, a Centerville native and former Georgia standout.