This Weekend's Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet Impala at Chicagoland Speedway ... Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis No. 306 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This chassis was built in 2010 and was put through its...
This Weekend's Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet Impala at Chicagoland Speedway ... Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis No. 306 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This chassis was built in 2010 and was put through its first paces four weeks ago at Michigan International Speedway. Bowyer drove this Chevrolet in both practice sessions at MIS, but he made contact with the outside wall in final practice and had to retire this Impala for the No. 33 team's back up.
Chicagoland Stats ... In four career starts at Chicagoland, Bowyer has three top-10 finishes. He boasts a 15th-place average start, a 12.5 average finish and has completed all laps contested at the 1.5-mile Illinois oval.
Race for the Chase ... With eight races remaining before the 12-man Chase for the Sprint Cup field is set, Bowyer sits 14th in the point standings and 49 markers outside of Carl Edwards in 12th place. He is only 10 markers behind Mark Martin in 13th and 29 points forward Ryan Newman in 15th.
You have three top-10 finishes at Chicagoland. Is that a good track for you?
"It is. It's an important track for me. Chicagoland's sister track is my home track (Kansas Speedway). I grew up in Kansas. It's important that I have a good race car here because, I know, if I leave Chicago with a good car, I'll have a chance of having a good piece when we get to Kansas. It's an important track in that situation, but right now, with any of these tracks over the summer months, we have to have solid finishes. We have to get some top fives. We're in line for top 10s, but we're way behind on our top-five finishes. We need to crack into that now."
Is Chicagoland one of the places you can earn a top-five finish?
"Absolutely. Chicago is a track where we can have a good run. Hopefully, we can come out of there with a top five, and, maybe a win."
Chicago is a unique race track. What is your comfort level like there?
"I'm comfortable racing there. It's a fast, one-and-a-half mile, simple race track. You have to have a good car. You need to be able to unload fast, tune it from there and try to have a good night on Saturday."
When you say simple, what do you mean by that?
"It's just easy to drive. It's a cookie-cutter race track."
In looking at your intermediate track record, you have four top 10s and three not-so-good finishes. What can you tell us about that so far this season?
"At Darlington, we had a brake problem. At Texas, we were running second, had a flat tire and went two laps down. We got back on the lead lap and there was a big pile up on the front straightaway that we got caught up in. Those are the things that you can't afford to have in today's day and age. You have to be able to minimize those things because you get yourself into the situation that we're in right now. We're trying to race our way back into this Chase and it's because of those bad runs right there. We beat ourselves at Darlington with having a brake line failure and it was something that could have been avoided. Other than that, we've had solid runs. We need to have more of them and less of those bad runs."
Do you think RCR has the speed at the bigger tracks that you were lacking last season?
"Our cars are definitely running better on the big race tracks. Our cars are running better everywhere. We need to keep doing what we've been doing and keep building those good cars, but, more importantly, we need to get solid finishes."