SONOMA, Calif. –Kyle Larson won last Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway sporting Lightning McQueen, the lead character from the hit film “Cars 3” on his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
This week, Lightning McQueen adorns the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford driven by Clint Bowyer, who hopes some of the good “Carma” from Larson’s win will carry over into Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway (3 p.m. ET on FS1).
In his first year at Stewart-Haas, Bowyer is looking for his first victory this season—and his first since winning the fall race at Charlotte in 2012.
“Hopefully, lightning strikes again,” Bowyer quipped. “The kid (Larson) won in the Lightning McQueen scheme last week, and it would be cool to take Lightning McQueen to Victory Lane again this week. We got an early showing of the movie as an industry.
“Lorra (Bowyer’s wife) took Cash (Bowyer’s two-year-old son) to it. I was out of town, and he had a ton of fun at that. They’ve done a good job promoting that, and it’s a big deal for our sport. I’m proud to have that paint scheme on the side of my car this weekend.”
The paint job isn’t the only good talisman for Bowyer, who is driving the same chassis team co-owner Tony Stewart used to win his 49th and final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma last year.
Bowyer’s own past performance at the 1.99-mile road course is another strong omen. With six top fives (including a victory in 2012) and eight top-10s in 11 starts, Bowyer has to be considered one of the favorites on Sunday.