Michael Waltrip Racing
CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 15 Aaron’s/Alabama National Champions Toyota driver Clint Bowyer races at Talladega Superspeedway in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race with a special paint scheme honoring the 2011 University of Alabama’s BCS National Championship football team. Bowyer will even sport an Alabama firesuit and a specially designed helmet honoring legendary football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. The Alabama paint scheme combined with his recent performance on the 2.66-mile track—winning two of the last three races—should make Bowyer the center of attention at the Aaron’s 499.
CLINT BOWYER ON ALABAMA HELMET DESIGN: “Yeah, it was actually my idea about the helmet. I always have icons on the back of my helmets. I've had them on my helmet all year long. Trying to think of something to do with Alabama, it was only fitting to have Bear Bryant on the back of it. So it's a pretty cool helmet that Nick Pastura painted for me. I just want to get down there and hopefully have the same success we've had over the past couple of years. Talladega is good to me, had a lot of fun there, and I can't think of anything bigger than to win in Talladega, Ala. with the Alabama car.”
ARE YOU AN ALABAMA FAN? “I'm from Kansas so I'm a pretty big KU fan. I think everybody knows that. But the Alabama partnership came along with Aaron's, and the SEC partnership that they have and from Alabama winning the National Championship this year. I’m certainly a KU fan, but respect all athletics and certainly respect what they've accomplished in the past years. It's going to be fun to have the Alabama colors for one day.”
ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
NMPA Spirit Award Winner: The National Motorsports Press Association selected Clint Bowyer as its first quarter Spirit Award winner. The award recognizes an individual’s contributions to the racing community. Bowyer’s “Seventy-Nine Fund” donated more than $1 million to the construction of a multi-purpose community center to host events, concerts and activities for the residents of Bowyer’s hometown of Emporia, Kan.
Bowyer at Talladega: Bowyer will make his 13th career NSCS start at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday. In 12 previous starts, he has two wins, four top-five and six top-10 finishes. Bowyer has won the last two fall races at Talladega and finished second last spring. Bowyer has averaged a 4.6 finish and scored 554 total points in his last five Talladega starts - Kevin Harvick is second over that span averaging a 12.2 finish and scoring 31 points less. Bowyer has led five races for a total of 88 laps - including 19 or more in his last three starts.
Alabama Football Power: This is the third consecutive Talladega spring race Aaron’s Inc. has honored a national championship football team from the state of Alabama. Sunday also marks the only race 5-hour ENERGY will not be the primary sponsor on the No. 15.
Chassis Notes: Primary Chassis No. 679 raced to a 10th place finish in the 2011 Budweiser Shootout as the No. 47 JTG-Daugherty Toyota. It also served as the backup No. 56 Toyota at Talladega last fall and Daytona EFI test car, but never raced. Chassis No. 705 will serve as the backup and previously raced to an eighth place finish in the 2012 Bud Shootout.
Pattie The Problem Solver: Crew chief Brian Pattie won the Moog Problem Solver of the Race Award for his performance at Richmond last weekend. The $5,500 award goes to the crew chief that improves the most from the first half of the race to the second half utilizing the 40 best lap times. His times improved by 0.270 second. Bowyer started 23rd and finished seventh.