Atlanta II: Bowyer - Saturday media visit

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIELS IMPALA SS met with media and discussed double duty with NSCS and NNS this weekend, Shane Wilson named as crew chief for '09, starting on a clean sheet of paper next year, and more. ON QUALIFYING AND PRACTICE...

CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIELS IMPALA SS met with media and discussed double duty with NSCS and NNS this weekend, Shane Wilson named as crew chief for '09, starting on a clean sheet of paper next year, and more.

ON QUALIFYING AND PRACTICE BEING RAINED OUT FRIDAY, AND RUNNING BOTH THE CUP AND NATIONWIDE RACE IN MEMPHIS "I'm just glad the weather is cooperating enough that we can at least get practice in today here, and that it's not raining there (Memphis) so we can get the race in. It'll be a fun day. I talked to the guys last night and it sounded like the car was decent over there. I'm just looking forward to the challenge, you know. It's a lot of fun to be able to just show up over there. You've got what you've got and just do the best with it. So we'll see how it all turns out."

ON THE ANNOUNCED PLAN THAT SHANE WILSON WILL BE HIS CREW CHIEF IN 2009. "He's the best man for the job. He's been around RCR for quite some time. He's going to fit in well right off the bat. That's something that's important. Everybody knows we've got to start off at Daytona right out of the box good to be in contention for this Chase. I think he's the best guy for that and the fit-factor, and he's organized. He's got a game plan and that's what I like about him."

WHY WAS THAT DECISION MADE TO HAVE SHANE WILSON BE YOUR CREW CHIEF AND NOT GIL MARTIN? "It's for the betterment of our organization. Bringing a fourth team in and moving me over to the No. 33 car in the long haul, that's going to be better for me. It's going to bring more income in, more resources. When we go test, it's another car I can pull information from. In the long haul looking forward it's going to be a lot better."

HAVE YOU WORKED WITH SHANE WILSON BEFORE? "A few times. I ran a Nationwide race with him I think at California and obviously through Nationwide testing and things like that I've worked with him quite a bit. Shane's a good guy. Like I said he's organized. He's got a game plan. Of all the crew chiefs we talked to and everything else, he's the one that made the most sense and had the best game plan and the one I felt like could do me the best job.

I sat down and met with several crew chiefs and it made the best sense, I thought, for our organization and myself to use some guy that we already had. Shane is definitely qualified. He's won championships with Harvick over on the Nationwide side and I feel like he'll do me a good job."

IS IT MIXED EMOTIONS THOUGH WITH GIL MARTIN AND THIS TEAM BEING IN THE CHASE TWO YEARS IN A ROW? IS IT SCARY AND DOES IT MAKE YOU NERVOUS? "Absolutely. It's hard. We've had a lot of success together and we've had a lot of fun. I love Gil. He's my kind of people. He's a lot of fun to be around. We've had a lot of fun together. But he won't be too far away and we'll be able to lean on each other if needed. We'll still have a relationship."

IF JIMMIE JOHNSON SHOWED UP AT YOUR DOOR ON HALLOWEEN NEXT FRIDAY, WHAT DO YOU THINK HE'D BE DRESSED LIKE? "There is no way in hell Jimmie Johnson would be at my door at Halloween (laughs). He's counting his money (laughter)."

WHO IS THE BEST ACTIVE DRIVER THAT HAS NEVER WON A CUP CHAMPIONSHIP? "Ah, man. Jeff Burton, my teammate. I think he's poised to win a championship. I think he's definitely qualified to win championships. He's won a lot of races. I think he's a good guy for that."

THIS YEAR, DO YOU THINK YOU'VE LIVED UP TO THE EXPECTED PERFORMANCE WITH GIL MARTIN? "Yeah, it's not anything performance related as to why we're split up. It's strictly moving forward and trying to better our organization. Richard came to us and said this is what we're going to do, and we've got to make the best of out of that situation. We've all got to stick together. If you look at the teams we're getting beat by, it's all four-car teams. We knew that we had to step up and bring that much more income. That's going to bring more people and more engineers and more R&D. More, more, more for me, you know? It's just as well for Kevin (Harvick) and Jeff (Burton). So at the end of the day, that's going to be better for us."

A LOT OF FANS THINK THE NO. 07 IS JUST GOING TO SWITCH OVER, PUT NEW UNIFORMS ON, AND TAKE THE POINTS OF THE '07, BUT YOU GUYS ARE STARTING ON A CLEAN SHEET OF PAPER "Yeah, it is what it is. You've got to make the best out of it and we will. We're going to make the Chase and hopefully we can get all four of us in it."

SO THE FIRST PART OF THE YEAR IS GOING TO BE TOUGH? "The first part of the year is going to be the proving grounds (laughs)."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jimmie Johnson