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Clint Bowyer announced his retirement from racing on Thursday, bringing an end to a 16 season career in the NASCAR Cup Series. In a letter posted on his social media, the 41-year-old said that he'd be hanging it up at the end of this NASCAR season.

This announcement comes as a bit of a relative surprise, particularly to the reporters who were at his media availability earlier in the day, and did not hear any indication that he planned to call it a career. 

Bowyer has won races driving for all three current NASCAR manufacturers -- Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota during his career with Richard Childress Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Stewart-Hass Racing, the last one being his latest team. He took over Tony Stewart's No. 14 Ford after Stewart retired following the 2016 season. In total, Bowyer has 10 career Cup wins and his best season came in 2012, when he finished second in the standings. He's also made the playoffs his last three seasons. Stewart-Haas racing took to twitter to congratulate Bowyer on his career. 

This season has been a bit of a different story for the driver. He's sitting in 11th in the 12-driver field and faces elimination from the playoffs barring a tremendous run at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday.

With his pro racing career behind him, Bowyer will join NASCAR on Fox television broadcasts in 2021.