A unique milestone is in the making for Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr., former NASCAR Xfinity Series champions and current Cup Series competitors, approaching this weekend’s regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway. By the time both Cup veterans complete this Saturday’s event at Daytona, both will surpass former NASCAR veteran Kasey Kahne and move into a tie with one another in 15th place on the all-time Cup consecutive starts list with 530 consecutive starts.
For Bowyer, his current streak of 529 consecutive starts in NASCAR’s premier series spans all the way back to the 2006 Daytona 500 in February. By then, Bowyer was prepared to run his first full-time season in the Cup Series and in the No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing with support from crew chief Gil Martin. In addition, he had made one previous start in the Cup Series at Phoenix in April 2005, where he started 25th and finished 22nd in RCR’s No. 33 Chevrolet.
From 2006 to 2008, Bowyer made 108 consecutive starts in the No. 07 Chevrolet for RCR, where he earned his first two Cup career victories in 2007 and 2008. He also achieved two poles, 16 top-five results, 45 top-10 results and a best result of third place in the 2007 standings.
From 2009 to 2011, he remained at RCR, but assumed driving responsibilities of the No. 33 General Mills/BB&T Chevrolet led by crew chief Shane Wilson. During his three seasons in the No. 33 car (108 consecutive races), Bowyer achieved three wins, 15 top-five results and 50 top-10 results. His best result in the final standings while driving RCR’s No. 33 car was 10th place in 2010.
From 2012 to 2015, Bowyer changed gears as he moved to Michael Waltrip Racing to pilot the No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry led by Brian Pattie. During his four-year run with MWR (144 consecutive races), Bowyer achieved three victories, 27 top-five results and 69 top-10 results with a best result in the final standings being second place in 2012. Following the closure of MWR, Bowyer spent one season racing with HScott Motorsports, where he only achieved three top-10 results and concluded the 2016 Cup season in 27th place in the final standings.
Since 2017, Bowyer drives the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1/PEAK/Haas Automation/One Cure Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing. From 2017 to 2019, where he worked with crew chief Mike Bugarewicz and made 108 consecutive starts, he achieved two wins, one pole, 22 top-five results and 47 top-10 results. His best result in the final standings during the three seasons he drove SHR’s No. 14 car was ninth place in 2019.
This season, through the first 25 Cup races and his first season with crew chief Johnny Klausmeier, Bowyer has achieved three stage wins, two top-five results and seven top-10 results. He is currently in 11th place in the regular-season standings and with a 57-point cushion above the top-16 cutline in the standings, he can secure a spot for the 2020 Cup Playoffs should he notch three or more points at Daytona.
Ironically, Truex’s current streak of 529 consecutive starts in the Cup Series also spans back to the 2006 Daytona 500 when he entered the season as a full-time Cup Rookie-of-the-Year candidate and in the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc. with support from crew chief Kevin “Bono” Manion. By then, he made a total of nine previous Cup starts in DEI’s No. 1 Chevrolet in 2004 and 2005.
From 2006 to 2009, Truex made 144 consecutive starts in DEI’s No. 1 Chevrolet. During his four-year run, he earned his first career win and notched three poles. In addition, he recorded 13 top-five results and 36 top-10 results. His best result in the standings during the four seasons with DEI was 11th place in 2007.
From 2010 to 2013, Truex competed in 144 consecutive races in the No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing, first with Pat Tryson before Chad Johnston came on board midway in 2011. During his four-year run with MWR, Truex achieved one win along with three poles, 18 top-five results, 53 top-10 results and a best result in the standings of 11th place in 2012.
After departing MWR due to sponsorship issues, Truex joined Furniture Row Racing to drive the No. 78 Furniture Row car in 2014, first with Todd Berrier before Canadian Cole Pearn was assigned crew chief in 2015. From 2014 to 2018 (180 consecutive races), Truex’s career skyrocketed as he notched 17 wins, 12 poles, 56 top-five results and 91 top-10 results. In 2017, Truex won his first NASCAR Cup Series championship with Pearn after winning the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He also finished second and fourth in the final standings in 2018 and 2015.
Since 2019 and after Furniture Row Racing ceased operations following the 2018 season due to a lack of funding and sponsorship, Truex has been driving the No. 19 Bass Pro Shops/Auto-Owners Insurance/SiriusXM Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. Last season, Truex won seven races and recorded 15 top-five results and 24 top-10 results throughout the 36-race schedule before he concluded the season as the championship runner up in the final standings behind teammate Kyle Busch.
This season, through the first 25 Cup races and his first season with new crew chief James Small following Pearn’s departure from NASCAR, Truex has won once and has also recorded two stage wins, 10 top-five results and 16 top-10 results. He is ranked in fourth place in the regular-season standings. Compared to Bowyer, Truex is one of 10 competitors that have already clinched a spot in the 2020 Cup Playoffs based on winning throughout the regular season.
In addition to Kasey Kahne (529 consecutive starts), both Bowyer and Truex surpassed Richard Petty (513) and Tony Stewart (521) on the all-time consecutive starts list in the Cup circuit earlier this season. They also hold the second longest active streak in consecutive starts of the current Cup field behind Kevin Harvick, who just completed his 665th consecutive start and surpassed Jimmie Johnson to move into the top five in the all-time starts list.
Catch Bowyer and Truex’s milestone start at Daytona on August 29 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.