Monday, September 20, 2010

How long can Clint Bowyer race with nothing to lose?

   Any NASCAR fan had to be happy with the end of Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
   You had a driver, Clint Bowyer, who was willing to risk everything - perhaps any chance at his first Cup title - to earn the win in Sunday's race, allowing his gas tank to whither to fumes to get to Victory Lane.

   The payoff was great. Bowyer moved from 12th in the standings to second, trailing leader Denny Hamlin by 35 points entering next weekend's race at Dover, Del. He has gone from underdog to a top contender in the course of an afternoon.

   The question remains - and it was rightfully asked during the post-race news conference - how long can Bowyer and his No. 33 Richard Childress Racing team afford to race with nothing to lose? Because at some point now, there is everything to lose.

   Bowyer seems willing to continue with the same philosophy. Of course, it is what got him here. Yet there has to come a time when the risk outweighs the reward. Just ask Tony Stewart. Or Jeff Burton.

   I'm not saying it's time to start "points racing." Those words are just make NASCAR fans and media alike cringe.

   I'm just saying, while everyone would love to see Bowyer's penchant to approach this Chase with reckless abandon continue, I would not be surprised - nor should fans - if there comes a point, when Bowyer may need to get a tad more conservative.

    In any case, it seems Bowyer's championship quest - no matter how it turns out - should be one of the more entertaining to follow.