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August 21, 2015

Clint Bowyer

THE MODERATOR: Good morning, everyone. We are joined by Clint Bowyer.
Clint, you had some news this week and we thank you for agreeing to come to the media center and taking a few questions.
CLINT BOWYER: First and foremost, it's a tough time for everybody involved. It's unfortunate. But, I mean, the truth is we're eight months into a three‑year commitment to one another. Had a great four years at this company, a great culture, great personnel, great people at MWR. I really did enjoy the years that I've spent there.
That being said, Rob provided us all of that and invested a lot into this sport. That being said, it's a business decision to move forward on his end. That's where our futures for he and I unfortunately just don't align anymore.
That's the reason this statement's out. I think the timing behind this, the reason I'm in here right now, it was very important to me knowing that we got in front of our employees that have worked their ass off for me personally to make these four years good and successful.
I think it was important that they could as racers continue to race under this Chase format and compete for a championship in 2015, all the while knowing what their future holds, and knowing they have some security and as much time as possible to look and see what their futures hold for themselves, as well. That's me included.
There's going to be a lot of questions. I'm sure the next question is, What does that mean for the future?
That means the future for me is uncertain right now. We've got a lot of work to do. But, again, the timeframe with this, the reason we're here today, Rob and I both agreed we owed it to these people to tell them as soon as possible. We worked on this as soon as we got back from the weekend till 11:30, midnight, and got to the conclusion to where we could tell these people as soon as possible.
I mean that. It's important. There's a lot of lives at stake, a lot of families. I thought we owed it to them to do so.
With that, that's where we are. If you guys have a couple questions, I don't mind clarifying some things if you need it, if I can. There's a lot of unknowns at this point.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take a few questions.

Q. Were you originally thinking you envisioned yourself maybe going over to Ganassi, and when that didn't work, were you at all caught off guard by being released at this time or being granted your release?
CLINT BOWYER: No. I mean, again, it all goes back to where we are and our situation. We're eight months into a three‑year commitment. Again, Rob has invested a tremendous amount into MWR and into this sport.
That being said, he made a business decision to move forward. That direction as we all know from his previous statements is the Ganassi organization.
The fit for my career and me and my future, it's just unfortunate that our futures didn't align anymore. It's as simple as that.
It was a mutually agreed upon thing. It was something that was not ugly. It was something that we did professionally and made our decisions. That's where we're at.

Q. Number one, you've been talking about winning a championship. Performance is so important right now. Understandable, people have been saying around here employees are going to run for the hills to try to find jobs. Is it possible to keep the performance up when you may be losing members of your team as they look for other jobs? And what is your relationship now with 5‑Hour ENERGY moving forward?
CLINT BOWYER: I think to answer your first question, it's very important. These people are people. You know, these employees are real people with real lives, with real families, and a lot at stake.
They're racers just like I am. The racer in you doesn't change the reality side of life. And reality is you need to provide for your family. So I thought it was extremely important to me to get in front of that, and I owed it to these employees to get this done as soon as possible, even knowing where we're at, on the bubble and everything, in the Chase.
I think being honest and being straightforward and doing that for these people in the long run will set them up to make the most out of a difficult situation for us all, and that's me included.
I need to start actively pursuing my career, and that's what I'm doing. The first piece of the puzzle is set on the table, and now we got to go to work on all of our behalves.
But as far as performance, just like you said, I thought it was more dangerous in my mind of making an announcement like we did in Pocono and not saying anything for another month and a half. We owe it to those people to be honest with them. It was not a day later than what we made our agreement that they were told.
5‑Hour ENERGY, it's as simple as this. I've worked really hard in my career to have great partners. I've been with a lot of great companies and been a spokesperson for them. The relationship, very proud of the relationship and the partnership I have with 5‑Hour ENERGY. I think we could all agree, how could there ever be a better fit, to fit my lifestyle, my character and everything, what I'm all about. It's a great fit.
That being said, they're no different than I am. We didn't see this coming. We were both in a situation where we've got to see what the future holds for both of us and move forward from that.

Q. In the last couple days there's been a lot of talk about how could something like this happen to MWR. How much do you think it stems from Richmond in 2013?
CLINT BOWYER: I don't think it does at all, and this is why. I think what happened in Richmond, that's two years ago. Since then Rob and everybody, the management, has restructured, reorganized. We're a two‑car team. We're not a three‑car team. We're a two‑car team which, by the way, was fully funded on my car moving forward.
It was, again, a business decision by Rob to do this. I'm proud to work for MWR and work for Rob. I'm happy for that experience. But to answer your question, I just don't, and that's because we were a two‑car organization. We were set up and moving forward to a two‑car organization. It wasn't like we were, you know, forced into a weird situation.
That's my honest, legit answer to that.

Q. Clint, understanding what you said there, the future is uncertain. When you look around, are there possibilities? It seems like most of the top‑tier rides are locked up for next year. Would you maybe be looking for a one‑year placeholder, then go somewhere for '17?
CLINT BOWYER: Yes. Keep talking, I'll keep telling you yes, absolutely. Those are all systems go (laughter).
You know, again, just like these people, these employees, what I'm telling you, that had to happen. You got to get that piece of the puzzle and the factual information on the table as soon as possible so we can all start working on our futures and what that holds. It's as simple as that.
It all goes back to Pocono, like I told you. You guys, we are all in this business together, right? I didn't have a whole lot to tell you in Pocono. It goes back to the statement at hand and the reason that we're here.
What I'm going to have in the future, what that future holds for me will be another announcement, and I'll tell you as soon as possible. It's as simple as that.

Q. (Question regarding confidence in things working out.)
CLINT BOWYER: Hey, I'm confident in the sport. I love this sport. The sport has been good to me and my family. I've had a lot of great partners, a lot of great organizations I've worked for. I see no reason why somebody that works hard and wants it like I do in this sport can't have a job for as long as they want.

Q. With this announcement, three races to go to make the Chase, then if you do make the Chase, tell me how you and the team go on and achieve the goals at hand knowing what's ahead.
CLINT BOWYER: Well, I got a good team. We're racers. These guys are all racers at heart. After our announcement Wednesday, every single one of my guys, employees at MWR got up, they obviously know the future, but my guys in particular, these road guys that are on the road with me every week, all of them said, Listen, we got a job to do. Get your damn head straight and let's go after this championship and end this on a bang.
That's the fire, desire and passion that racers have. You can't take that from any of us. So very proud of my team and the people that were organized around me from day one at MWR, and it hasn't changed today. We're going to do just that.
THE MODERATOR: Clint, thank you for your time this morning. We appreciate you being here with us.

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