Michael Waltrip Racing press release
CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota crew chief Brian Pattie led driver Clint Bowyer and crew to their first top-five and second top-10 finish of the season last week at Bristol Motor Speedway. After the first four races of the 2012 season, the No. 15 team ranks eighth in driver points and is headed to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., one of the tracks where Bowyer performs best. Over 11 races at Fontana, Bowyer averages an 11th place finish —including two top five and four straight top-10 finishes. Pattie deflects much of the credit to fellow crew chiefs Rodney Childers (No. 55) and Chad Johnston (No. 56), as well as Scott Miller, MWR’s executive vice president of competition.
PATTIE ON START TO THE SEASON: “I don’t think that we struggled the first couple races as much as we just made mistakes. Eliminating mistakes helps you run pretty decent – it’s a hell of a concept. We haven’t really done too much to get things going the right way. Everybody is understanding each other and Clint is understanding the cars more – and so am I. Hopefully we can keep Clint’s top-10 average at Fontana going this weekend.”
ON WORKING WITH RODNEY CHILDERS AND CHAD JOHNSTON: “I’ve known Rodney (Childers) for a long time because he was (David) Reutimann’s crew chief for a long time, so we’ve always communicated well. Chad (Johnston) I didn’t know very much until I got here, and he and I get along great. Chad and I have similar philosophies – no BS and all hands on deck to max everything out. We treat every race as if it’s our last one and try to get the best finish. It’s been good so far. I know Chad has an engineering background, I’m all about the car and Rodney has a background in both. So, right now it works well. I’m trying to continue to make the cars better and they are doing the same on the engineering side – right now it’s the perfect compliment.”
ON SCOTT MILLER: “Scott (Miller) brings organization. He’s been there and done that. He understands what needs to get done and he knows how to prioritize projects in the shop that need to get done for the future health of the company. Moving forward there are a lot of moving parts – and success is a moving target – but he’s doing a good job keeping everybody in line and focused on the end result which is running top-five consistently.”
ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
· Bowyer at Fontana: Bowyer will make his 12th career NSCS start at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday. In 11 previous starts, he has two top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He finished a career-best second in the fall 2010 race where he led 40 laps. On average he starts 15th and finishes 11th. Bowyer has four straight top-10 finishes at Fontana and has led in each of his last three starts at the 2.0-mile speedway.
· Chassis Notes: The No. 15 5-hour ENERGY team will race chassis No. 727 at Fontana. Chassis No. 721 will serve as the backup. Chassis 721 also served as the backup in Las Vegas. Both chassis are new in 2012.
· Twitter: Bowyer joined Twitter on Thursday, March 8 while in Las Vegas. Since that time, @ClintBowyer has gained more than 16,000 followers.
· Bowyer Gives Back: On Monday, March 12, Bowyer attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Bowyer Community Building in Emporia, Kan. Bowyer worked with Lyon County to secure the land for the building and Bowyer’s 79 Fund donated more than $1 million for the design and construction. The multi-purpose building was immediately turned over to the people of Lyon County. For more information and pictures of the building in various stages of its construction.