NASCAR Sprint Cup Series post race press conference at Texas Motor Speedway
An interview with CLINT BOWYER AND CARL EDWARDS
THE MODERATOR: We're now joined in the Samsung Mobile Media Center by tonight's second place finisher, Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet. Clint, it's your best career finish at TMS, your third Top 5 finish here, talk about your night.
CLINT BOWYER: It was a good night, a good weekend. Really proud of everybody on this Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet. We've come on, we've had solid runs and we're clicking now. That's what it takes in this sport. You've got to be able to get on a momentum swing, get some confidence built back up, and you have to start with that.
Just so proud of everybody for digging in deep, and bringing in good equipment to the racetrack, and you know having great finishes. I got in the lead there, and got away from him once, but I was driver, you know, as hard as I possibly could to stay in front of him, obviously.
I got into the 83 car, and about ruined our night for us. But it was a solid run. It was a run we could be proud of.
Q. Clint, how about that incident with the 83?
CLINT BOWYER: It was big.
Q. It could have been a lot bigger?
CLINT BOWYER: Yeah.
Q. Did you come up on him faster than you thought?
CLINT BOWYER: I had a run. And it was so important to get around those guys as soon as you got to them. They just slowed you down so much. It took me a couple of laps and I slowed down 2.5 tenths. And he was starting to catch me.
I just forced the issue a little too much. Got loose underneath, having got into him, and almost ruined the night. Did you see that? It was dirt tracking it. At its best, in the middle of the straightaway. Not supposed to do that.
CARL EDWARDS: I didn't see the straightaway.
CLINT BOWYER: Oh, you didn't?
CARL EDWARDS: I saw Matt get under there. You did that to me.
CLINT BOWYER: I did?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, you got by me.
CLINT BOWYER: I'm sorry.
CARL EDWARDS: You're not sorry.
Our car was really loose all night. Man, we struggled.
THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Scotts Ford. It's his fourth Top 5 finish at Texas Motor Speedway. Carl, talk about your night?
CARL EDWARDS: Our car was really loose all night. Man, we struggled. It seemed like we put on a set of tires, made a small adjustment and the car would be way different. I don't know what adjustment was making the car change so much.
But we worked pretty hard, and it just went our way. Third was about the best we could hope for, and coming out of here with the points lead and a trip to Victory Lane is a good trip to Texas for us.
Q. Two things real quick. Could you talk about the heat? Some of the guys were talking about how hot it was and needing water early on, what was that like?
CLINT BOWYER: That was one of the hottest times I've ever had in the car. It's early in the season, and those guys are a little reluctant to put all the fans in the car that Carl has in his. And, you know, makes him look like Superman all the time. You know, that's pretty much what it is.
More than anything, my feet were burning up. There is a lot of stuff they're doing for weight and everything else. It's early in the season, and they just figured they don't need to put it in until it gets hot in the summer. But I'd say my boys will be putting that stuff back in. I think Kevin was hot too, so it's kind of a common thing with the RCR cars.
Q. What has Kevin's wins the last couple of weeks done to start a fire for all you guys that didn't get off to the best of starts with the RCR?
CLINT BOWYER: You've got to give credit where credit's due. It's the set-up that we have in our car. We owe a lot to them. They came over to RCR, and had a good package, a good baseline package. We didn't go down that path for a few weeks. We were out to lunch. We switched over to their stuff, and you know, it's worked out good for us.
Proud of their race team. It's been an asset to RCR so far, and we hope to continue it that way.
Q. For both of you, how did the wind affect you out there especially coming off the backstretch into three and four?
CARL EDWARDS: It's pretty serious. My car started moving around a lot like three quarters into the race. I was like what the heck is that? It's like the wind got stiffer throughout the race maybe. So it's a pretty big factor, I thought.
CLINT BOWYER: It was weird. Whatever your car was, it was the handful you had into three. If it was tight, it was really tight. If it was loose, it almost pushed you around backwards getting in. So that's what you thought. It just amplified the problem.
Q. Were you going for the Pepto Bismol sponsorship? What was wrong?
CARL EDWARDS: I was a little sick this morning, and I thought I was all right. My stomach was messed up about 50 laps in.
CLINT BOWYER: What did you eat last night?
CARL EDWARDS: Well, my mom made a little dish. I don't think one of the ingredients was bad. I think it might have been her first attempt at it.
CLINT BOWYER: I'll cook for you next week.
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, I bet.
Q. Was there an ultimate result you want to talk about?
CARL EDWARDS: No, I'd rather not talk about the details. I'm good. No, I kept everything in, so we were okay.
I knew in this white fire suit I had to be careful, so...
Q. Carl, did you feel like that you pretty much spent the entire race making in-race adjustments?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, we were trying really hard to get the car right, and we never did. That's why Bob and I are so happy with third. It was the best result with the balance that was that far off that we've probably ever had. I think everybody was struggling a lot. It was kind of who struggled the least.
Yeah, we worked hard.
Q. Carl, was there any point early on where you wondered am I going to have to get out of this thing? Was it ever that bad?
CARL EDWARDS: If I were from Kansas or something, we might think about that. But we don't do that where I'm from.
No, I didn't think about that. If it would have gotten worse, Ricky Stenhouse was standing by for child birthing relief duties.
CLINT BOWYER: So you did have a standby driver, the all mighty Carl Edwards.
Really proud of everybody on this Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet.
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, but no, I wasn't going to get out of the car. We were running too well.
Q. Did you guys really hit a bird early on? I mean, you guys went through everything tonight.
CARL EDWARDS: I didn't see any feathers, but Bob said there were some feathers on the front, which being sponsored by a duck, that's not good. So we'll leave that be. It probably did not happen.
Q. You won in Las Vegas. Now Matt's won here. All four of the cars finished in the top seven on a big 1.5 mile oval. That's got to give you guys a lot of confidence going forward going through the track being so dominant in the series?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, I was a little nervous after Martinsville. We came here and ran like we did at Vegas. There were times when all the Roush cars, I think they were 1, 2, 3, and I was running 6th or 7th. So our cars are good right now. We're enjoying it. We've just got to keep it going.