CLINT BOWYER, DRIVER OF THE NO. 07 JACK DANIEL'S IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed his expectations for this weekend, the frustration of not winning more races, balancing going for both the Cup and ...
CLINT BOWYER, DRIVER OF THE NO. 07 JACK DANIEL'S IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed his expectations for this weekend, the frustration of not winning more races, balancing going for both the Cup and Nationwide championships and more.
TALK ABOUT YOUR EXPECTATIONS HERE AT LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY THIS WEEKEND. "Well they're high. We ran second here last year in our Chase efforts and that's a big part of the Chase right now. We just came off a wildcard track at Talladega and we got through that and got a little bit of momentum rolling through here. We ran well at Kansas on a big track which is something we haven't done in a long time. I kept making mistakes but we ran well. Looking forward to it. I just wish, if we're home I wish it would let us qualify and do our deal or not and go home."
WERE YOU IN THE NATIONWIDE GARAGE FOR THE INCIDENT BETWEEN KEVIN (HARVICK) AND CARL (EDWARDS) EARLIER TODAY? "I don't know what you're talking about. Were you? Was it any good?
"I'm not supposed to know what you're talking about (laughs). I don't know. I think they were talking about a golf game last week or something. I thought I was going to have to get a laptop out and instant message you guys to get the questions but everybody's head is down and as soon as you asked that it sparked some interest. That's was a joke (laughter)."
YOU'RE 152 POINTS BACK COMING IN, HOW CRITICAL IS IT THAT YOU CLOSE THAT GAP THIS WEEKEND AND IF YOU DON'T CLOSE THAT GAP ARE YOU STILL LEGITIMATELY IN TITLE CONTENTION? "Well, it's got to close pretty quick. We're running out of time. We're half way through right here and we got to close that gap. Hard thing is that you're trying to close the gap on a team that's two-time champions and know the way around the block. These boys have done this and they're very good and they don't make mistakes. They always seem to take a bad weekend like they did in Talladega, went a lap down early and didn't seem like they had a strong car, survived the melee's and got a good finish. That's what you have to do to win championships and they continue to set the pace for all of us. If they stub their toe we've got to be there for the take and certainly a good run here can do just that."
YOU GUYS AT CHILDRESS HAVEN'T WON A LOT OF RACES THIS YEAR, TO RUN AS WELL AS YOU GUYS HAVE IS THERE FRUSTRATION THAT YOU'RE NOT WINNING RACES? "Absolutely there is. I mean we're solid. We're consistent. We are doing a really good job with what we have right now. I really feel like we're off on speed obviously or we would be winning races, but you got to play the cards you're dealt and I think we're playing a really good hand right now. I think there's no question that we have to find that speed but until you do you can't step out of bounds and make a mistake or try to make something happen that's not there. You've got to get one hundred percent out of the box you're in and I feel like everybody at RCR (Richard Childress Racing) is doing just that. You know we have to find a little bit in a lot of different areas. You can't ask or look at the engine shop on a Monday morning meeting and say if you give me 15 horsepower we're going to go to winning races and being more of a dominant fixture. That's not the case. It's just a little bit everywhere. We got the people. We got the resources. We've just got to get a little bit better. It's hard to do that when you're as close as we are and trying to find that one little thing. It's not that one little thing, you're not going to find that. It's a bunch of little bitty things."
IF YOUR GUYS DO FIND HORSEPOWER, DOES THAT CHANGE THE SETUP OF YOUR CAR? "I don't think it changes the setup of your car. You're thinking if you've got more horsepower you're going down the straightaway faster, you're getting in the corner faster, what's that going to do. No, it doesn't do that. You have to have the chassis and the components to get the most grip out of those tires to go through the corner too. I'd give up 15 horsepower for a mile an hour in the corner, in the center of the corner. That's where you win races on these race tracks. These things, they're circle track race for a reason, those corners are where you get the big run and momentum down the straightaways."
HOW MUCH MORE DIFFICULT HAS IT BECOME EVERY WEEKEND KNOWING THAT NOT ONLY IN THE CHASE, WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT, BUT YOU'RE NOW IN A PRETTY GOOD BATTLE FOR THE NATIONWIDE TITLE AND THIS IS THE CLOSEST YOU'VE BEEN? HOW DIFFICULT HAS IT BECOME BEING ABLE TO BALANCE THESE TWO SITUATIONS? "It has been difficult but it's been a little of somewhat a relief going over there to the Nationwide garage because we do have a decent pad. I don't want to ever say that we have enough, because it's not enough by any means. I'm nervous about that and the closer you get to the end of the year the more you are nervous but it's been a relief all year long getting in a Nationwide car. It just seems like the pressure is off. We go out and do our job and the success seems to be there one way or another towards the front. Now this Cup thing is just a whole other level. That's where the worry is at. That's where the pressure comes from. If you're not running well there, life is miserable period. And we had probably the roughest summer I've ever went through this year since we've been together as a team. We've had a lot of off-track things happen, you know a lot of announcements, a lot of changing within our team that was I think a big distraction. A lot bigger than we thought it was going to be or even realized that it was. Making the Chase was a breath of fresh air on that side. We all got new hope, a fresh start, a new beginning and back having smiles on our faces and having fun again. And also look at our results, we're back to running better."
IT'S NOT QUITE CRUISE CONTROL TIME YET ON THE NATIONWIDE SERIES BECAUSE YOU'RE STILL CLOSE ENOUGH TO WHERE CARL CAN GET TO YOU AND BIT E YOU? "Absolutely, I mean there's five races to go. All it takes is one slip up and he's back in the game. We just can't afford to do that. We have to cover our bases. We have to make sure that we don't have a failure. As a race car driver, things happen. You have to surround yourself with good people. I've got great people at RCR, that Nationwide team. Dan Deeringhoff and all the guys have done a great job and if we keep going down the path we're going, we'll be fine and that's the way you have to look at it. Anything can happen."
-credit: gm racing