Clint Bowyer was standing on a golf course this week when his phone started blowing up with texts and e-mails from friends.
The news of Red Bull's departure from NASCAR had just broken, and reports surfaced linking Bowyer's name to Red Bull as a serious candidate to drive for the team in 2012.
Word around the garage was Bowyer, whose contract with Richard Childress Racing expires at the end of the season, had much more than just a passing interest in Red Bull until the team's future became hazy.
But on Friday at Infineon Raceway, the driver called the media "pretty creative" and dismissed the claims as rumors.
"I've said from Day One that I want to stay at RCR, and we're actively pursuing that," he said. "It's just this time of year – you've got to see what's out there, you've got to see your options. The goal has never changed: I want to stay right where I'm at and hopefully keep the same colors on our car and everything.
"As far as I'm concerned, just sign us up for three more years."
So what's the holdup in getting a deal done? Sponsorship, Bowyer said, adding that "it takes time to get all that done."
Bowyer tried his best to paint a picture of the rumors as being unfounded, saying he didn't know how they possibly would have gotten started.
"You run into people in the garage and it's like, 'Hey, what are you doing next year?' And it's like, 'Well, I don't know.' (They say) 'Well, we might be interested,'" he said. "Then the next thing you know, you're standing on a golf course and everybody is saying, 'Well, now what are you going to do? Your plan just blew up.' It's like, 'What?'"
Ultimately, Bowyer said, "I think we'll get it all put together."
"If that doesn't happen, then you've got to explore options and see what's out there," he said. "It's the same thing everybody goes through. It's not much fun, but it's part of it."