- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2011

SONOMA, CALIF. (AP) - Clint Bowyer said Friday the only thing standing in the way of a three-year extension at Richard Childress Racing is sponsorship money.

“I’ve said from Day 1 that I want to stay at RCR and we’re actively pursuing that,” Bowyer said at Infineon Raceway. “As far as I’m concerned, sign us up for three more years.”

Bowyer is in the final year of his contract with RCR. His name was recently linked as a replacement for Kasey Kahne at Red Bull, but any potential deal fell apart when Red Bull said this week it will leave NASCAR at the end of the season.

Bowyer acted surprised Friday by all the Red Bull talk, and blamed the media for creating stories. When news of Red Bull’s departure broke, Bowyer said he was golfing and his phone blew up with friends asking him what he’ll do next.

“You guys are pretty creative, you really are pretty good at creating stories and stuff like that,” he told reporters. “You run into people in the garage and it’s like ‘Hey, what are you going to do next year?’ And it’s like, ‘Well, I don’t know.’ (They say) ‘Well, we might be interested.’ 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?”

He blamed all the talk on this crazed time of year, when drivers are jockeying for new jobs. Much of what happens in free agency depends on Carl Edwards, the current Sprint Cup Series leader, and if he decides to stay at Roush Fenway Racing or move elsewhere.

Edwards has refused to discuss contract talks, and said he finds it’s best to keep all negotiations private.

Behind Edwards is Bowyer and Juan Pablo Montoya, and now Brian Vickers, who was in the final year of his contract with Red Bull.