Bowyer faces uncertain future at Michael Waltrip Racing
LONG POND, Pa. (AP) Clint Bowyer is ready to press on at Pocono Raceway in the wake of an ownership shake-up that leaves the veteran driver with an uncertain future.
Bowyer's ride with Michael Waltrip Racing is in flux after team co-owner Rob Kauffman agreed to buy an interest in the race team owned by Chip Ganassi.
Kauffman's defection to Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates means he could bring Bowyer with him. CGR already fields cars for Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson.
MWR fields Sprint Cup teams for Bowyer and David Ragan, who earlier this year replaced Brian Vickers when Vickers was sidelined with recurring blood clots.
Bowyer says ''there's obviously change on the horizon'' and was simply concerned with a strong finish in Sunday's race. Bowyer, who scored the last of his eight career wins in 2012 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, has struggled this season with one top-five finish and seven top 10s in 20 races.
He needs a win or some big points days to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
''We're close and this can happen,'' Bowyer said. ''These guys (have) got to stay focused, I've got to stay focused and if we do our jobs we can get in this Chase and compete for a championship.''
Waltrip declined comment through a team spokesman. Toyota, which has supplied cars for MWR since 2007, also is waiting for a decision.
''Rob has not disclosed the plans for Michael Waltrip Racing past the 2015 racing season,'' said Ed Laukes, vice president for Toyota Motor Sales. ''Toyota and TRD remain focused on winning races and championships with our team partners this year.''
Kauffman helped save MWR in 2007 when the team had financial issues, and with Kauffman's financial assistance, it grew into a three-car organization that had a legitimate title contender in Bowyer.
MWR was rocked in 2013 in the aftermath of the Richmond scandal and it hasn't fully recovered. NASCAR determined that Michael Waltrip Racing manipulated the outcome of the race in a bid to get Martin Truex Jr. into the Chase.
MWR lost Truex and longtime sponsor NAPA in the wake of the scandal and Vickers has been in and out of the car with medical issues.
Without Kauffman and with the likelihood of fielding just one car in 2016, MWR could struggle again.