[MUSIC PLAYING] NARRATOR: The wait. It’s not just a matter of time but that heavy feeling on your competitive soul. Do I still have it? Can I win again? For Clint Bowyer, it took 190 races. That’s more than five winless seasons in the prime of his career. But a good day in Martinsville gave him the answers he was looking for.
ANNOUNCER: The long wait to return is over. Tick-tock, grandfather clock– Clint Bowyer wins Martinsville.
CLINT BOWYER: Hell yeah, boys! [BLEEP] Yeah! Finally!
I don’t know what it is about being in victory lane and sharing that, but that’s that burden that’s been haunting me for a long time. It’s finally off your back. You can finally have confidence knowing that you’re a winner again.
NARRATOR: That confidence also comes with perspective– a lesson to savor that victory lane celebration just a little longer, not knowing when that next one will come. Last season, it was Ryan Newman breaking a streak of more than 125 races, and Kasey Kahne, who went winless for nearly three seasons. Bowyer’s celebration reminiscent of his boss, Tony Stewart, who broke an 84-race winless streak in 2016, a win that turned out to be Smoke’s last.
So who will be next? Drivers like Jamie McMurray, David Ragan, and Aric Almirola all have streaks in the triple digits, but none have waited as long as Paul Menard, who kissed the bricks 238 races ago. Bowyer and crew showed us when the streak ends, it comes with more than a trophy. It comes with a sense of relief. Once the wait for the win is over, the wait for the next one starts again.