Last season, Clint Bowyer found himself in a situation similar to the one Matt Kenseth is about to experience: A lame-duck status with his race team.
Bowyer announced before the season ended he was leaving Richard Childress Racing for Michael Waltrip Racing, and the driver said it was difficult to keep his team together after that. Last week, Kenseth announced he would part ways with Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season.
"It was catastrophic for me," Bowyer said of his lame-duck status last year. "It was hard to keep everybody going. Everybody sees the end of the road, the light at the end of the tunnel is near. For me, it was very hard to keep that momentum going. Everybody was kind of wanting to give up on the season and it get over with."
Bowyer, though, noted his situation was different from Kenseth's in one important aspect: Bowyer's team wasn't in the Chase last year and Kenseth is leading the points this year.
"Matt is a champion and he'll see this thing through the end," Bowyer said of Kenseth's title chances. "They'll be a team that is competing for the championship. That would just be pretty awesome to have a guy that's leaving race for a championship. That would be a good story for you guys."
Kenseth, for the record, said he doesn't feel his lame-duck status will take away from the team's prospects of winning the championship.
"It's only a distraction if we let it," Kenseth said Friday.