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Clint Bowyer in thick of NASCAR Sprint Cup championship battle

A victory at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday helped vault Clint Bowyer back into the Sprint Cup title picture with the season nearing its conclusion.

John Harrelson - Getty Images

Following Saturday night's clutch win at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, driver Clint Bowyer moved right back into the Sprint Cup championship picture with only five races remaining in the NASCAR season.

The 33-year-old Bowyer took the checkered flag for the third time this year, and is now a mere 28 points behind Cup leader Brad Keselowski, currently positioned in fourth place at the moment. Bowyer's 2,186 Cup points place him 13 points behind third-place contender Denny Hamlin at 2,199 and 21 points behind second-place Jimmie Johnson's 2,207.

Bowyer, who ranked 10th in the standings at the midpoint of the season, moved up a full spot with Saturday's performance alone. Hopeful that staying in his comfort zone will be able to keep his momentum going, the Michael Waltrip Racing member is thrilled that he can return to his home track in Kansas for the 32nd race of the season.

"That's probably the biggest thing, to come off this win, going into your hometown," Bowyer told The Associated Press over the weekend. "It's just so important to be able to roll in on a positive note. And to be able to win there some day, we've gotten close, if we could possibly pull this off again in Kansas – it would be, that's my, do you dare say, Daytona 500? But it truly is."

Though rumors were once swirling about Bowyer's future before the year even began, his production this season has helped to silence many critics wondering if the talented driver would jump ship at some point. Already with 19 top 10 finishes this season and plenty of momentum on his side, Bowyer definitely has a chance to steal the coveted Sprint Cup championship if he can close the year out with a bang.