CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Bristol Motor Speedway and discussed racing at Bristol, the Chase and other topics. TALK ABOUT BEING IN A TIGHT BATTLE WITH MARK MARTIN FOR THE CHASE HEADING INTO...
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Bristol Motor Speedway and discussed racing at Bristol, the Chase and other topics.
TALK ABOUT BEING IN A TIGHT BATTLE WITH MARK MARTIN FOR THE CHASE HEADING INTO BRISTOL: "Can't get that guy to go away, huh! (LAUGHS) It's going. Anytime you are racing Mark Martin for any kind of position, it is going to be a hard-fought battle. I know that it's going to be a hard-fought battle right down to Richmond. You can't count out Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray-they are still in this thing. You can't count those guys out. Last weekend we had a good run going, we didn't we finish quite as good as we wanted to, as we should have. It is funny, Kasey Kahne and I were talking earlier in the week, we raced fourth and fifth 90% of the race and for three hours we were fourth and fifth. Then within two minutes, we were 15th. It was like 'What the hell happened'. It is just the way these races shake out sometimes. Sometimes it is for the better for you and sometimes it is for the worst. That is credit to NASCAR for making some good changes for our fans. It makes those bigger race tracks like Michigan, some of those places where we used to end up fuel mileage and everything else, we haven't even talked about a fuel mileage race or stretching that out because it is so wild there at the end of the races. Good race. I am looking forward to the next three."
WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE TO CLOSE THE DEAL IN A RACE WHERE YOU HAVE RUN SO WELL? "I don't know. I am going to blame a little bit of it on circumstance. We just haven't been able to get anything to go our way all season long. It could just as easily go your way and it doesn't. Our cars are running well. Kevin Harvick if you look at his season so far, he spells out exactly what is the potential of RCR race cars. If you look at Jeff (Burton) and I, we've had our struggles. We've had our ups and downs. Had our good runs. But a lot of times, things haven't went our way and we end up like last where we were running in the top-five and was looking to have a top-five run and smooth-sailing race. Instead, it was crazy at the end and we struggled and couldn't even get in the top-10. Little bit of that is you put yourself in that situation. We have to get better at making our calls, making our decisions and playing our cards right at the end of these things because that is what it is all about. We've seen cars all year long capitalizing on those green-white-checkered restarts, the double-file restarts, being able to take two tires, staying out. Track position just seems to be key. As soon as you lose that, you're in for a rude awakening. If it is at the end of the race, you can't make it up."
TALK ABOUT THE NEW TIRE THAT GOODYEAR BROUGHT HERE: "It does weird things. It depends on when you go out. There were times I would go out and I'd be struggling, slipping and sliding around. Next time I would go out with just a little bity change and the car would be good and we'd run a 20-lap practice run and would be smiling. Then you would go right back out with a little or no change, and the thing would change again on you. The tire is definitely line sensitive I think. The track has really widened out. We are going to be racing all over this place. That outside momentum is going to be hard to beat in the race. An outside starting spot on the green-white-checkered, if there is one, or double-file restart toward the end of the race is going to crucial because I think you are going to be able to roll around them and pin them down on the bottom."
KURT BUSCH SAID THERE IS GOING TO BE STRATEGY TO GETTING AN OUTSIDE LINE: "You can definitely...you are going to have to be smart about it. You are going to have to realize the situation you are in. It is no different than getting held up on the outside at a place like Martinsville. If you don't get in pretty quick and play your cards right and be smart about it, you're going to lose 10 or 15 spots. You can just as easily do that here. I think you are going to be able to get in line a little bit quicker. You can root and gouge a little bit. Do whatever you've got to do. That is what is going to cause a little bit of excitement at the end of this thing because that is going to be part of it and you are going to have to get yourself back in position."
DO YOU THINK YOU OR MARK MARTIN HAVE AN EDGE IN THIS RACE? "This is one of those tracks where you just have to race as hard as you can. If you try to be conservative, this place is going to bite you. You have to be able to go out there, give it your all. Give it 110%, expect that of your teammates and if you do that, that is all you can do. If you get caught up in something, you were trying as hard as you could. If you get caught up in something and you knew you were lagging back and trying to be protective, you are going to get yourself in trouble. It happens every time here. You just have to race as hard as you can, as safe as you can, as quietly as you can, more importantly. Qualifying here goes a long way. Starting up front, not being back there in the eye of the storm. As far as Mark and I go, it seems like neither one of us can put any kind of separation on each other. We've both made mistakes and nobody can capitalize on it. It seems to stay tight. I think that is why it is going to come right down to Richmond probably the last lap to determine who is going to be in the Chase and who's not."
-source: gm racing