Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniels Impala SS Met With Media And Discussed Team Momentum Going Forward, The State Of RCR, Driver And Crew Chief Relationships And More. WITH TWO DAYS OF PRACTICE SO FAR, WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN AND WHAT HAVE ...
Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniels Impala SS Met With Media And Discussed Team Momentum Going Forward, The State Of RCR, Driver And Crew Chief Relationships And More.
WITH TWO DAYS OF PRACTICE SO FAR, WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN AND WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED? "There's a lot of asphalt. It's kind of slow (laughs). And it's pretty boring. No, it is what it is. It's all for a good cause. It is boring. You hear all the drivers come down here and complain. I was sitting there signing a few autographs and looked over my shoulder and saw this guy laying concrete, and I thought, well, it can always be worse (laughs). I'll get back in (the car). So, it's all for a good cause and hopefully I'll be holding that (Daytona 500) trophy."
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT DRAFTING AND HOW DIFFERENT OR SIMILAR IT IS TO WHAT YOU EXPERIENCED AT TALLADEGA "I haven't drafted yet. It looks a bout the same (laughs). I saw about as much as you did. So, I don't know if I can really give you an honest answer about that."
HAVE YOU HAD ANY ISSUES WITH YOUR TIRES? "No, we haven't. The No. 5 (Casey Mears) was right beside us and I got to talk to him a little bit and I obviously saw the tire sitting there and corded on the inside and he said it didn't really give any kind of indication that it was fixing to have trouble. It just kind of blew out and away she went."
W'EVE HEARD LOTS OF COMMENTS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DRIVER AND CREW CHIEF. CAN YOU GIVE US SOME EXAMPLES OF HOW YOU GO ABOUT ESTABLISHING COMMUNICATION AS TO WHAT THE CAR IS DOING? "It's kind of like a relationship, you know. You've got to have a lot of trust in each other. It seems like drivers are always complaining. They always want their cars to be better and faster and it's probably on their end of the spectrum, it's probably hard to put 100 percent trust in what their driver is saying. They may know one thing and the driver might be saying something and know that that's not right, but it might be something totally different that's not exactly a shock, or something like that. So that chemistry is very important and it takes time. For (crew chief) Gil (Martin) and me, that's what has brought us to where we were at the end of last year. It was believing in each other. When I said something, he took it to heart and he got to the bottom of it and figured out what was wrong, instead of (thinking) ah, he's a rookie. There's no way he can be feeling that. I think that's a big part of it -- not that you lie to one another, but most crew chiefs are smart -- especially guys like Gil who have been around for a long time. He knows before I ever say anything, probably what I'm going to say, you know? By how he set the car up or what changes he's made, he knows what it's going to do before I ever say anything. If I do say something, he's got to have the confidence in me to know it may be what we're working on or it might be something else. But hey, he felt that; it that makes any sense."
TALK ABOUT ANY MOMENTUM YOU ARE CARRYING FORWARD FROM '07 AND WHAT YOUR EXPECTATIONS ARE FOR THE 2008 SEASON, GIVEN THE NEW CAR AND YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TEAM "From where we left off last year, we left on a high note. At Homestead, we didn't finish on a high note; the tail pipe broke and overheated the transmission and it's just bad luck (laughs). You just chalk it up to that. We've learned some things and I felt like we had a lot of confidence and a lot of momentum built toward the end of last year and we were able to work on that. That's comforting knowing that we were running good when it was over; we weren't 43rd by any means, so hopefully we can keep that momentum strong and start off here at Daytona doing good." "HUMPY" WHEELER COMPARED YOU TO A MODIFIED DRIVER FROM THE FIFTIES AND SAID YOU DIDN'T OWN A NECKTIE AND THAT YOU'RE THE TYPE OF GUY THAT NASCAR NEEDS TO ATTRACT IT'S CORE AUDIENCE AND EVEN PICKED YOU TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP. DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE IN THE ROLE HE HAS SPELLED OUT FOR YOU? "I didn't know anything out it. Obviously, somebody who is as successful as he is and who has been around as long as he has, says something, it's comforting and gratifying. But I'm just a kid from Kansas who is getting paid to do what he loves to do. I love racing. I'd race everyday of the week if I could -- probably more on dirt than asphalt. But given the opportunity, I'm not going to turn it down. But it's true. My PR guy told me I had to go get a suit for the banquet and all the media stuff in New York. So I went and got a suit and I think I wore the tie one time and I had to have him come tie it (laughs)."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE CONVERSATION THAT YOU HAD AFTER THE OFF-SEASON WITH YOUR GUYS AND ANY CHANGES GOING ON AT RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING? "There are a lot of changes going on, especially with the engine department. And I really feel good about the changes Richard has made. I think that's only going to be a positive in the future. It's going to take a little time, but it's going to be a good thing for not only our shop, but for DEI also. I'm excited about the future of the engine shop and about our future. Richard's success has been in having good people around him and he's certainly surrounded me with good people and he's always had a knack in keeping those good people around. When you go to RCR, you see a lot of old faces that have been there a long time and who can tell a lot of Earnhardt stories and all that. It's no different at our team from three years ago, you still see the same people and I think that's going to be a key to our success in the future is keeping everybody around and fine-tuning what we've got and becoming better."
-credit: gm racing