* This Weekend's Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet Impala at Auto Club Speedway ... Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis No. 277 from Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Bowyer piloted this No. 33 Chevy twice last season and...
* This Weekend's Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet Impala at Auto Club Speedway ... Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis No. 277 from Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Bowyer piloted this No. 33 Chevy twice last season and finished 18th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July and 21st at Kansas Speedway in October.
* Stat Check ... In four NSCS starts at Las Vegas, Bowyer boasts a 23.5 average start and a 20.5 average finish. Last year, Bowyer recorded his best finish at the 1.5-mile oval last season when he led nine laps en route to a second-place finish.
* Ending Strong ... Bowyer is the NSCS' best closer at Vegas, picking up an average of five positions in the last 10 percent of the races. Additionally, he has completed 1,059 of 1,089 laps contested (97.2 percent).
* Rearview Mirror ... Last weekend, Bowyer bounced back from a lap down to pick off nine positions in the final 20 laps to finish eighth in the Auto Club 500 in Fontana, Calif. Coming off his second consecutive top-eight finish, the 30-year-old driver sits second in the NSCS championship points standings, 19 makers behind RCR teammate and current point leader Kevin Harvick.
* Shaving Time ... Bowyer will visit his hometown of Emporia, Kan. on Monday, March 1, as part of Gillette's 'Great American Shave' promotion. He is teamed up with driver Carl Edwards as the Gillette Young Guns try to shave 500 miles of faces before Apr. 30.
* Wilson's Headed to Familiar Town ... Crew chief Shane Wilson worked in Las Vegas from 2000 to 2004. He served as crew chief for Brendan Gaughan's NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams while in "Sin City," earning two West series championships and eight NCWTS victories. He moved back to North Carolina in 2004 and joined RCR the following December.
You finished second and led nine laps last year at Las Vegas. At some point did you think you had a shot at the win and what are your thoughts about Vegas this time around?
"We stayed out and put ourselves in position to win. It was a great call on (crew chief) Shane Wilson's part to keep the track position. It was a big momentum booster and confidence builder for our entire Cheerios/Hamburger Helper team. It definitely was a pivotal race for us last season. I would definitely like to take that race back and maybe there was something that we could do different. In the end, last year's run was good for us and now we can go in there knowing we can get the job done this season."
What stands out about the 2009 Vegas race and do you continually look back at last year's run?
"You know, I don't try to dwell on the past very much. I try and look toward the future and try to make things better. Every now and then you have to take a look back at the past to learn from that and fix a mistake you made. We've worked hard over the offseason on our mile-and-a-half program and I think tracks like Vegas are places we need to improve on. I feel like we've done enough homework on those tracks and can really show that improvement this season."
Do drivers take gambles both on and off the race track, especially in the 'gambling capital of world?'
"I've watched drivers gamble at casinos and, trust me, we're horrible gamblers. We may make good gambles on a race track, but we're horrible at it at a casino. As far as our poker face goes, we always have a helmet on during the race, so no one can see it. They should let you play poker with your helmet on and your visor down for a competitive edge. On the track, by the time the race is over, you're going to gamble on something, whether it is fuel mileage, two tires versus four tires or the car being loose and you try to hold onto it and go for it. There are always gambles throughout the race. You just have to be the one that knows the odds and makes the best decision."
Besides the race in Vegas, what do you do on your downtime?
"I'm a people watcher, quite honestly. There are so many people there, from so many walks of life, so just viewing what people are doing is fun to me. One cool part is checking out what people are doing at the craps tables. When people are winning, you have all the friends in the world. But, when you're losing, everybody hates you. That's kind of the way I see it when I'm racing, too."