Report: Bowyer, MWR working on contract extension

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Clint Bowyer is the lone full season holdover at Michael Waltrip Racing for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season; Martin Truex Jr. has left for Furniture Row Racing and the No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota, which was shared by several drivers the last couple years, will have a single driver in Brian Vickers.

With that established, MWR is determined to keep Bowyer for 2015 and beyond, per team owner Rob Kauffman in a FOX Sports report.

“We working on it now, trying to get it renewed,” Kauffman told FOX’s Lee Spencer. “It’s time to perform and make sure we maintain that level of success so we can re-up these sponsors and get a contract signed. We should have something soon.”

The renewal process for Bowyer requires several steps. Getting the Emporia, Kan. driver under contract is step one; from there, the team can work on the commercial aspects of the deal.

Sponsor 5-Hour Energy renewed its support for 2014, but only after reviewing its involvement following the Chase-fixing controversy that rocked the sport last fall.

There was a bunch of movement this offseason that saw drivers shift to other teams, and created more potential Chase challengers. For MWR to stay in title-winning contention, it needs to wrap up Bowyer to ensure it stays in the top tier of the NASCAR grid.

Verstappen picks illegal Raikkonen pass as favorite F1 2017 overtake

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Max Verstappen has picked his illegal pass on Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap of the United States Grand Prix as his favorite overtake of the Formula 1 season.

Verstappen was one of F1’s most prolific passers through 2017, making 22 overtaking moves as per Pirelli’s end of year data.

When asked to pick out his favorite in a post-season interview on his official website, Verstappen picked his bold move on Raikkonen at the Circuit of The Americas that sparked controversy when he was penalized for completing the overtake off-track.

The Red Bull driver had charged from 16th on the grid to cross the line third, only for a five-second time penalty to deny him a podium and drop him to fourth in a snap call made before the post-race ceremony.

“Of course, at first your initial reaction is something like: ‘Why? It was a great move.’ But when you look at the rules, it was not correct,” Verstappen said.

“Nothing was by the book that whole weekend. Drivers were getting off track without being penalized for it. But you always need to focus on the positives: it was still a nice race and everyone enjoyed the excitement all the way down to the final lap.

“It’s always nice to be on the podium, but to finish fourth after having started sixteenth, is still a great result.

“It wasn’t as painful as most people thought it was. In the end I made my peace with it.”

Asked if it was his best move of the year, Verstappen said: “Yes, because this year I actually didn’t have that many overtakes.

“With this car you are actually only able to overtake on the straights, which is really not that satisfying compared to last year.”