CLINT BOYWER, NO. 33 BB&T CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Talladega Superspeedway and discussed winning here in the fall, season to date, two-car draft, multiple drivers on the radio and other topics.
CLINT, TELL US ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT BEING HERE AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY “Yeah being that we won here last time always gives you a good feeling coming back and Talladega hasn’t always been a great race track for me and we haven’t always been able to get the finish. We run well here, but it always seems like we get caught up in something in this spring race. Hopefully we can get through there. I think with this new pairing so to speak…..the two car breakaways and things like that enables you to control your destiny a whole lot more. You aren’t bunched up three and four wide and you can get out, and stay out front and stay out of trouble. And if you don’t like your situation you can radio over to your teammate or to your partner and say, ‘let’s get the hell out of here, they are fixing to wreck’. You know that is the big part of it trying to be aware of your surroundings and put yourself in the right situation not to be in the wreck and be in the right situation and hopefully have a win.”
DO THE TEAMS RUNNING THE ECR ENGINES STILL HAVE AN EDGE TO BE OUT FRONT AND CAN YOU WIN AGAIN, AND WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF A PHOTO FINISH BETWEEN YOU TWO TEAMMATES LIKE IT DID LAST FALL? “Well I certainly hope so to answer the first question. The boys down at ECR work very hard to keep it that way and we are all very proud of them and very lucky to have them under the hood. As far as a photo finish, it was pretty much a photo finish in one of the Duel races with my teammate Jeff Burton down in Daytona and that is one thing about having an engine like that under the hood is that you share that same common ground with your teammates so its not a surprise if they are the ones you are racing for a win.”
WHAT ABOUT THE ODDS OF IT BEING YOU AND KEVIN AGAIN? “Man, I hope they are really, really, really, really, good.”
TALK ABOUT RICHMOND AND YOUR SUCCESS THERE: “It’s a good track for us and one of my favorite tracks on the circuit and I think it just promotes great racing. I wish we had three or four more tracks just like that. That size just races well but we are looking forward to going there but we have to get over this obstacle here at Talladega. This is a bear and you have got to get out of here with a good finish. It’s very important because the racing this year just seems so competitive, so close, and so hard to just get on a roll and we have found ourselves with three solid races and three good runs here. Its very important to keep that momentum going.”
YOU SEEM TO HAVE BECOME MORE COMFORTABLE WITH RESTRICTOR PLATE RACING GIVEN YOUR RECENT RESULTS “The key to this plate racing is getting comfortable with it. Getting confident with your moves and obviously having a good hot rod goes a long way but you have to be comfortable out there and you have to be comfortable with your surroundings and you have to know where to go and how to get yourself in that situation and more importantly getting yourself in that situation. That’s what I think I have learned over the course of time is that you could usually tell where you needed to be when you first started it was always hindsight and it was like ‘oh well, that’s where I should have been’, and then you start learning ahead of that curve of where to be and you start putting together how to be there and then I think that is the most important thing is to know with ten to fifteen laps to go you have to be in that situation. Because I am telling you, you boys are going to be busy if you are trying to follow us and there is a caution with ten laps to go, these radios are going to be almost hilarious I would call it. There is going to be a lot of begging, lot of pleading, and a lot of working. You know I heard someone say Trevor Bayne came over Kyle Busch’s radio and said “I’m good” and there is going to be a lot of that.”
HOW WILL THE WEATHER AFFECT YOUR PLANS ON WHO TO WORK WITH IF YOU LOSE TRACK TIME IN PRACTICE? “You know, now that they have re-paved both of these racetracks, Talladega and Daytona, they are so smooth and the track surface is so perfect that now its just shape the best bullet you can and make it as fast as possible. Build as much horsepower that you can and the fastest car is going to be the right way to go. And it wasn’t always that way because you always had to handle and you had to suck up and do things and now all the wind tunnel time, the proving grounds time, all the testing that goes into these cars, they know where they need to be.
Build as much horsepower that you can and the fastest car is going to be the right way to go.
“You do need to go out and make sure your splitter is not on the ground and you are not dragging anything and other than that there is not much you do anyway so we will just get a few laps to get things going good and then its go-cat-go. We are ready to go and in Nationwide practice I went out and ran probably ten laps probably of pushing Kevin around and its the same car we ran at Daytona and this is the same car that we won with at Talladega so it certainly knows its way around here.”
ARE YOU STILL AT THE MERCY OF BEING DISCONNECTED FROM THE GUY YOU ARE DRAFTING WITH IF SOMETHING HAPPENS? “Well I can’t say anything for Tony, but they did get disconnected and you can’t let that happen. You have to be able to like I said, control your destiny. Hopefully you are working with somebody who is on the same page. And if you get connected, drag your feet, drag your feet. You have got to stay connected no matter what.
“That was something that I was very fortunate with was with Montoya last year was that he told me, ‘I am following you and I am not getting off of you, let’s go win this thing’. And I did that. You know I dragged my brakes and did what I had to do to keep him connected because I knew the minute that the connection breaks – you’re done.”
SO THERE IS A WAY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SIDE DRAFT: “Oh, there is a lot more that goes into it. Its not easy. It may look easy but there is a lot of practice and a lot of technique that goes into it and the switch is probably the most important thing than anything. You know as your car’s temperature goes……especially throughout the race you cannot just let it sit there and run at 250 or 260 degrees for the whole race and not expect it to not have a failure. And if it does, you have to blame yourself. Its your own fault. You cooked it.
“The switch is hard……it’s not hard, but it’s hard to be good at it. There are guys that can do it a half-a-second faster than other guys. You know, Kevin and I were practicing it and we were pretty good yesterday in Nationwide and both were pretty happy with it and we will go on and perfect it in the race but there is a lot that goes on and into a car that goes to the front and keeping it up front all day long.”
HOW EASY IS IT TO GET DISTRACTED BY ALL THE ADDITIONAL RADIO CHATTER AT A RACE LIKE THIS? “Well, in the past you were yelling at your spotter saying ‘go down to the 14 spotter and see if he will work with me or go down there……’ and you are at his mercy now. You can be able to flip over.
“To start the race and throughout the race the best case scenario is that I want one of my three RCR teammates working with me. But like in Daytona, my dancing partner was Jeff Burton all day and three quarters through the race he blew up and I find myself like, ‘what am I going to do now, and who am I going to find’. And I had to finish the race off of Kyle and we couldn’t communicate as good with one another the way we would have liked, and if we could have, the outcome could have been a lot better.”
“Its hard, but hopefully at the end of the day, you will have a restart or whatever else if that situation happens you will have time to find him on the radio. I guess you just go through and say, ‘is this Kyle?’ and they say, ‘No, get off my radio’. And you say, ‘hello, is this Kyle?’ and you just keep switching till you find him. But like I said, its going to be interesting at the end of this thing. I would say, it will be quite humorous.”
But like I said, its going to be interesting at the end of this thing.
CAN YOU WORRY ABOUT YOUR TEAMMATES GETTING UPSET IF YOU GO WITH SOMEONE ELSE OTHER THAN THAT? “You have to work with your teammates. I know going into this thing my best shot at a good run is to be with somebody with an ECR engine under the hood. I know how much work our guys put into this race track. How much pride we take in being good here. So, my best opportunity, I think, going to be with my teammates. Now, if something happens, you are forced to find somebody else and it is important to be able to have that range on the radio so you can do that. I think it is a safety measure. I think it helps everything run smoother and be a lot more methodical with everything if you are able to communicate with whoever you are working with.”
YOU WERE TALKING EARLIER ABOUT FINISHING DAYTONA WITH KYLE AND DIDN’T FEEL LIKE YOU GUYS COULD COMMUNICATE AS WELL SINCE YOU WEREN’T ON THE SAME FREQUENCY, WHAT DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WEREN’T ABLE TO COMMUNICATE ABOUT?
“Here is the line of communication. ‘Kevin, walk over and tell Kyle’s guy I need to switch the next corner’. ‘Ok, he said he is ready’. ‘Ok, tell him now’. ‘Now’. (LAUGHS) That was the line of communication, it was complete chaos. Now, you are able to switch over and tell him. You don’t have to go through two spotters and wait for the response and then get back and then by the way, you missed your opportunity, now we are no longer leading the race because somebody else was talking and did it way better than you were. It is important to be able to have that.
“If you are pushing somebody and…that was one thing that evolved at Daytona, and it’s going to be even more so here is now, it is not just two cars breaking away and pulling away from the field. Now there is two cars pulling down on them, there is two cars sucking down on them and now you have a bunch of two car packs working back and forth as they go to the front. As you are pushing him, you have got to be able to have him tell you ‘Checking up, checking up’ or you are going to push him right into wreck and cause everybody to wreck. That’s an important safety measure.”
HOW MANY GUYS WILL YOU HAVE ON YOUR RADIO? “I don’t know, I haven’t seen it. Like I said, I wish I could have everybody. Obviously your teammates are the most important, but it doesn’t matter who it is, if you find yourself with whoever, you need to be able to communicate with them and I wish there was a way they could make that happen for us.”
-source: team chevy