Is Lightning McQueen a good luck charm for Clint Bowyer?

RICHMOND, VA - SEPTEMBER 11: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, looks on during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

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.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.