With the Daytona 500 coming up, driver Clint Bowyer is looking forward to some down time in the Arizona wilderness. According to Yahoo.com, Bowyer is part of a group of drivers who enjoy time in the outdoors, even if it means freezing in late winter temperatures with a rifle glued to their hands.

NASCAR is known for having enthusiastic outdoorsmen in its ranks and Bowyer is no exception. Last year the No. 15 Toyota Camry driver managed to harvest an eight-foot alligator in the swamps of Louisiana with nothing but his fists. His fists contained a bow and a “bang stick,” a powderhead attached to the end of a length of tubing that can fire one round or shell.

Now Bowyer’s got his sights set on something warm-blooded, specifically the mountain lion. With a natural range larger than any other American predator, the cougar is a fierce animal that demands perseverance. That is something Bowyer is no stranger to.

There were a lot of changes recently for Clint Bowyer. Switching over from Richard Childress Racing to Michael Waltrip’s team garnered some surprise and concern. A new team, new sponsor, and new manufacturer were just the beginning as he sized up his challenges.

“The natural instinct is, change is dangerous, change is scary,” Bowyer said. “Last year is proof that change isn’t always a bad thing. Literally picking up and starting over from scratch is what I did. Every face that I worked with was new.”

Never one to back down in the face of adversity, Bowyer juggled skill on the track with the politics of facing the media. With the mounting pressure sitting squarely on his shoulders, Bowyer planned to spend the days after the Daytona hunting mountain lions. Waiting patiently for a cougar in below zero temperatures is as different from the heat of the race as it can be. It will be a good wind-down from a frantic season and finally give the driver a chance to reconnect to the outdoors.

“Honestly, I’m stir-crazy,” Bowyer said. “I’m over talking about it. I’m ready to get down to business.”

Image from AlexF54 on the Wikimedia Commons

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