Season finish: 19th
2014 Season Stats: 0 wins, 5 top-5, 15 top-10, 0 Poles.
What went right: Very little went right for Bowyer this year. His best performances were a pair of third-place finishes, both at Talladega, as well as a third-place showing in the final race before the Chase at Richmond. Unfortunately, even with the strong finish at Richmond, Bowyer fell just short of making the Chase (due primarily to the 38th-place finish he had the week before at Atlanta). Off the track, one thing that went very right: Bowyer became a father for the first time.
What went wrong: What didn’t go wrong for Bowyer? He endured the worst season of his nine-year Cup career. He just never seemed able to get on track, nor was he able to maintain any kind of consistency from race-to-race. And let’s not forget he came into 2014 after the scandal by Michael Waltrip Racing to manipulate Martin Truex Jr.’s finish to make the Chase at the late summer race at Richmond in 2013. Bowyer now hasn’t won a race since 2012, when he won a career-high three races. His average start was 15.8 and average finish was 17.1.
2015 Prospectus: With the way 2014 played out, things likely can’t get much worse and can only go up for Bowyer in 2015. However, overall team continuity could be affected early in the season with teammate Brian Vickers being sidelined for the early part of the season due to medical issues. Bowyer will have to get used to a different teammate for an unknown number of races. Still, Bowyer is a resilient type. After two winless seasons plus his worst-ever Cup finish, he’s a candidate to potentially be comeback driver of the year in 2015 – but only if things go right.
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