If you listened to the words of Richard Childress on SirusXM then you’d have to gather that Clint Bowyer has 11 races left at RCR. Bowyer had hoped to use the interest Carl Edwards generated from other teams as justification for his demands of a three year contract. Thus far nothing has materialized other then an offer from Richard Petty Motorsports.
Childress and Bowyer have enjoyed a stable relationship over the years but with sponsorship for 2012 in doubt and Bowyer not the type of driver who could win every week things hit a snag during contract negotiations.
The money quote from Childress during the interview expressed the struggle the two had over negotating a deal and referred to the driver in the past tense.
”You know, we’ve tried and we’ve really worked really hard to put the deal together to keep Clint,”… ”It’s not 100 percent off the table, but it’s getting tougher and tougher as the day goes by. Clint’s got a couple of really good opportunities there facing him. We just, for us, it just didn’t seem that we could get everything worked out. (Richard Childress, SirusXM Radio)
Multiple teams are said to have interest in Bowyer but the only team that we’ve seen extend an offer is that of Richard Petty Motorsports. Andy Murstein, co-owner of the company, has been courting Bowyer all season. He’s said that Bowyer was the type of driver that the team could build around.
While RPM is a drop off from RCR they are on the way up again. This time last year it was questionable if RPM would even be in existence in 2011, much less looking to expand back to a three car operation. With Marcos Ambrose finally winning a road course event and A.J. Allmendinger showing stints of putting it together you’d have to believe that Bowyer would be competitive in one of their cars.
RC knows this but he’s not about to overpay for a driver of Clint’s statue simply because someone else is. After all he does have a solid pipeline of grandchildren working up to the cup level.
Childress did say that the door wasn’t completely closed on Bowyer but it was headed that way. Whether this is truth of a last attempt to get Bowyer to lower his demands is the question.