Bowyer fresh off first win of year

Associated Press  |  Last updated June 27, 2012
Clint Bowyer doesn't need a reason to throw a party, and he already had one planned even before he won at Sonoma. Bowyer celebrated the opening of the Bowyer Community Building in his hometown of Emporia, Kan., on Tuesday night with a concert by country star Blake Shelton. The building is located at the Lyon County fairgrounds and was built with funds raised through Bowyer's ''79 Fund'' charity. ''It was always going to be a big week, starting with all the charity foundation things we had planned, then we go and win the race,'' Bowyer said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. ''It's been the biggest week we've ever had. It just set us up in being able to celebrate, and that we did, let me tell you.'' The Tuesday night concert with Shelton was scheduled as the grand opening of the community center Bowyer gifted to the county. The event included a VIP reception inside the center, where Bowyer, Shelton and NASCAR's Kyle Petty conducted a Q&A with fans. Petty was then the opening act at the outdoor amphitheater in front of a crowd Bowyer estimated to be about 900 people. Shelton, a good friend of Bowyer's, then performed an acoustic show. ''Obviously, in my hometown, that building is something we are very proud of,'' Bowyer said. ''And Blake, he killed it as always. It was really more of an intimate show, and it really showed his talents. Man, we had a good time.'' Bowyer won his first race of the season, first career win on a road course, and first since joining Michael Waltrip Racing on Sunday at Sonoma. A day earlier, he auctioned off his 2011 Toyota Tundra custom truck at Barrett-Jackson to raise funds for the Emporia Community Foundation. Now, he's ready to get back to racing. ''I woke up today wishing I was going to Kentucky,'' he said. ''We've had a good time this last week, and I need to get back to work so I can get some rest.''
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