RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Clint Bowyer sounds happy to be back at Richmond International Raceway.
NASCAR's last visit here in September 2013 threatened Bowyer's popularity with the fans when he spun intentionally with seven laps to go, causing a jumble in the race standings — and in NASCAR's playoffs.
Bowyer went from second in the standings heading into the Chase for the Sprint Cup to admittedly being distracted by a NASCAR investigation that led to fines and suspensions against Michael Waltrip Racing.
By the time the Chase was two races old, Bowyer was essentially out of contention.
"The fan base, Twitter and things like that — I took a beating for a while, but we weathered the storm, it's behind us and it's a lot of fun to interact with those fans whether it's good or bad," he said Friday. "It's all positive interaction as far as I'm concerned because they are talking about our sport."
Bowyer, who got married during the week off for Easter, would like to leave them talking again Saturday night for another reason: his third career victory at a favored track.
"Looking back over the years, you always have a track that fits your driving style and your confidence level is more for some reason, and this has always been the case for me," he said before practice.