Photo credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography

Clint Bowyer not done yet after 'frustrating' Nashville race

LEBANON, Tenn. -- Friday night's Truck Series race at Nashville Superspeedway was supposed to be the last-ever start in NASCAR for Clint Bowyer. The situation has changed after a 17th-place finish at the 1.33-mile track.

"I can't quit like that," Bowyer told media members on pit road after the race. "There's no way in hell. I'll find something."

Spire Motorsports already has a potential track lined up for Bowyer's return to the truck. The team specifically mentioned "the Paperclip" over the radio, referencing the nickname for Martinsville Speedway.

Bowyer qualified 11th for Friday night's Truck Series race, his first start in a NASCAR series since 2020. He worked his way to ninth place before the end of the first stage while telling his team that the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet was too loose.

This is when the night went awry for the driver-turned-broadcaster.

Bowyer lost multiple spots on pit road during his first stop of the night. He said over the radio that his knees were bent too much for him to get on the gas pedal like he preferred.

While Bowyer lost spots on pit road, he remained in a spot to challenge for a top-10 finish. His team had made adjustments during the stage break, and he was still inside the top 20.

A major issue on the Lap 60 restart derailed Bowyer's night once again. There was a major stack-up and Bowyer ran into the rear of Chase Purdy's No. 77 as it failed to take off.

This incident damaged the front of Bowyer's truck and erased all of the progress the team had made after stage 1. The veteran had to drop to the rear of the lead lap and spend the rest of the race trying to work through the field.

"The restart, I don't know what the hell happened," Bowyer said. "I know (Christian Eckes) was... took off, hit the brakes, took off, hit the brakes.

"I don't know, you get back there in the hornet's nest, we watch it every week. Those guys, they (make aggressive moves) because there's no throttle response and it's really hard to pass. I'm glad I saw that and experienced it firsthand."

The night had its frustrating moments. That doesn't mean Bowyer regrets his decision to make a comeback in NASCAR. He acknowledged he had some fun getting behind the wheel and seeing people at the track. He just didn't have as much fun as he could have.

"I've told people forever, racing's not fun. Winning is fun."