Bowyer taking break from 2016 talks to focus on making Chase

Updated Sep 12, 2015 at 8:03p ET

Richmond, Va. —

Clint Bowyer said Friday that his focus this weekend is qualifying for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, not where he's going to race next year.

Heading into Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway, Bowyer is the 16th seed in the Chase field and stands an excellent chance to make NASCAR's playoff round.

Bowyer is also the hottest name in NASCAR free agency, because Michael Waltrip Racing, the team he drives for, will shut down at year-end and Bowyer has a sponsor with him in 5-Hour Energy.

"It's humbling that people have reached out and been interested in me," said Bowyer. "But truth be told, look what we're in the middle of. Timing is good that it's ahead, and not at the end of the year that you're finding this out, but nonetheless, it's pretty crunching times right here."

Bowyer said he has told potential suitors to wait temporarily.

"It's like I told them, I don't want to use the word 'backburner,' but let's just take a timeout right here for a couple of weeks and take care of business, and that's kind of what we did this week," said Bowyer.

To that end, Bowyer stayed at his farm with his infant son, Cash, this week while wife Lorra went to New York City with some friends.

"Me and little man chilled out," said Bowyer. "I used a little help. My grandma showed up quite a bit. I ain't going to lie to you."

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