CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET met with members of the media at Kansas Speedway and discussed the appeal decision, spending time with fans in Kansas and other topics. HOW HAS YOUR WEEK AT HOME IN KANSAS BEEN?: "It's...
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET met with members of the media at Kansas Speedway and discussed the appeal decision, spending time with fans in Kansas and other topics.
HOW HAS YOUR WEEK AT HOME IN KANSAS BEEN?: "It's been a lot of fun. Got here back to my old stomping grounds and back to my old friend's Tim Karrick's house and worked on my dirt car, putting engines in and things. Felt like the old days. Late model boys were cleaning their cars up and working on the Modifieds and having fun. Had our annual fan club gathering last night, it was a lot of fun. That is a neat thing to do if you ever think about it -- those are your fans. Those people -- you mean as much to them as they do us and it was a fun deal. It was the annual go-karting and had a lot of fun racing everybody and interacting. What's fun about coming back home, I was in Topeka and Lawrence and all over and Kansas City. Just enjoy this race track and racing out here in front of the home town family and friends and everybody that gets to come here and enjoy this fun weekend for all of us."
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE DECISION BY THE APPEALS COMMITTEE AND DID YOUR FANS ASK YOU ABOUT IT?: "Everyone of them, obviously they're your fans and everyone of them supports you on it and wish you the best. Just like anybody else, they don't understand, you know. I'll just save everybody's breath in asking me. Here's my answer to that -- I'm very disappointed, not surprised at all. I'll just leave it at that. I'm looking forward to getting that behind me. This is an important weekend. I made some mistakes on the track last week that were uncharacteristic of myself, we made some mistakes as a team that were uncharacteristic and our heads weren't 100 percent in the game. I don't want this mess to bother us anymore. I'm at my home track, I'm having fun and that's what I aim to do."
DO YOU STILL THINK YOU CAN GET IN THE CHASE BEING 235 POINTS BEHIND THE LEADER AT THIS POINT?: "No, I think the championship hopes are done for myself. The thing that I have to do is be the best teammate I can be. We have to bring a championship home. We still have two shots at that, but for myself and our race team, I've never finished out of the top-five in the Chase and I want to continue that streak and want to continue that consistency in the Chase and I think that's an attainable goal. The biggest thing is to be the best teammate I can be."
HAS THE PENALTY DAMPENDED YOUR HOMECOMING TO KANSAS THIS WEEKEND?: "It hasn't bothered me a bit. I've always looked forward to coming here. It's just a lot of fun. It starts Tuesday night which is my only night that I can go out and enjoy ourselves. I took my dirt guys and everybody kind of went out on the town and went over to Harrah's and just had fun and enjoyed Kansas City. This is a fun area. To sit back and think of this area and Wyandotte County and what this race track has done to this area. This used to be a housing development and a bad part of town. Now this is the best part of town and it's all due in part to this race track and this whole area has turned around. The Legends, the new soccer complex is going to be awesome, the casino when it gets done is going to be unbelievable and as a race fan, how can you do any better than this? It's easy in and out of this place, it's within walking distance. You can come watch qualifying and then walk over and eat dinner, do some shopping and it's just a great family atmosphere for all of our fans and it's something that I'm proud of being from Kansas. I think all of us in NASCAR are proud of this place because it's a lot of fun and everybody looks forward to coming here."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE SUPPORT FROM RACE FANS?: Absolutely. Times like this is when you really realize it. When things are good you don't realize or feel the support of your fans as much as you should. When something comes up like this, you really feel the support, that it's there and I think that's important. That's what fans are all about and that's why we appreciate them and they're loyal. They're loyal to this sport and loyal to the drivers."
WHY WERE YOUR HEADS NOT IN THE GAME LAST WEEK AND IS THAT PRESSURE GONE THIS WEEK?: "You just have to get it out of your mind, you know? That's the best thing about coming here is there's so much distraction, so much other things that I don't have to worry about that. We're going to Lakeside tonight, we've had thousands of fans that we've already seen this week and those things get your mind off what you're doing. I'm looking forward to unloading that race car and having a good day today, starting up front at what is one of the most important races of my year."
WOULDN'T IT BE EASY TO TEAR A TEAM APART AS A DRIVER IN THIS SITUATION?: "Absolutely and that's what I'm trying to say is I'm not going to let that happen. I've told Richard (Childress, team owner), it's not worth fighting. In my opinion, their (NASCAR) minds are made up, it is what it is and if you want to be a part of this great thing we call a sport, you better just go on and enjoy what it is. He's fighting hard and I'm proud of the case that they put together. I think they worked very hard on it, they put a lot of time and energy and money into presenting a case that could prove less than a 16th of an inch how that car could be out. At the end of the day, if you're going to pick that, it is what it is."
DO YOU HOLD NO HOPE FOR THE LAST APPEAL?: "What would you do? Answer that. I asked you. You asked me. Did you have any hope? You didn't answer -- that's what I thought."
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE IN THE CHASE WITH A CHANCE ON A SUNDAY AND 72 HOURS LATER TO BE OUT OF IT?: "That sucks. That's an emotional roller coaster that nobody wants to ride, trust me. It is what it is. This sport is very humbling sport, I can promise you. This is the first time that I've seen that kind of thing and in this sport, in racing in general, I can remember back racing at Lakeside, you can win three or four races in a row and blow up the next week and struggle to even get to the race track. That's just the way racing is."
HOW EXCITED WERE YOU FOR TY DILLON TO WIN THE ARCA RACE YESTERDAY?: "Absolutely. Ty (Dillon) is very quiet, not like the other one that's exactly like this father. He's very quiet and never says much around the shop and just kind of keeps to himself. I knew how excited he was and what he was going through and I was just excited for him. He's a good kid -- they're both very good kids and Mike (Dillon) and Tina (Dillon) have raised good kids. I think Tina did most of it, but I was just very happy for him. He deserved it."
DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO RACING AT CHARLOTTE AND DO YOU THINK THE TRACK HAS WIDENED OUT?: "It really has widened out. A cool race track, it's very close to home, you get to sleep in your own bed every night -- that's a plus. The fan base there in Charlotte, that's where everybody's at. Not only your fans, but your family. Everybody on the crew's families and everything are there. Mine are obviously here in Kansas, but that means a lot to those guys to be able to have their family there and have them proud of them for that weekend. It's a special and important race for us. I'm looking forward to that big screen or whatever he's putting on the back straightaway, I think. Does that mean you're going to have a facial? If it's a 200-foot screen, that makes you look pretty big on there. Put Kasey (Kahne) up there full time on it or something."
DID YOU LOSE TO ANY OF YOUR FANS ON THE GO-KARTS?: "Yeah, I did. I don't know who won. I about caught him on the last lap. We kind of had a tournament-type thing where you qualified and broke it down that way and it kind of got narrowed down to the last 10 guys, the fastest and then I raced them. It's a neat place, that is one of the neatest go-kart tracks in the country and the cars are fast and everybody races hard. I had my dirt guys out there at the end and we had a lot of fun. Of course they get to beating and banging on each other and they got thrown off. Ruined all the fun for everybody, imagine that? Leave it up to a bunch of dirt racers to spoil it."
HAS THIS ORDEAL CHANGED YOU?: "I like that, it is an ordeal isn't it? I don't think any ordeal, joke or whatever you want to call it could change you. You just have to go about doing what you do. If that changes who I am, you would be fake to begin with. We'll get through it. We've got to get through it this weekend. I'm here to win this race. I've gotten close a couple times and I can promise you, if we win this thing it will be a big party."
-source: gm racing