Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniels Impala SS - Qualified on the Pole ON SITTING ON THE POLE FOR THE FIRST RACE OF THE CHASE: "I'm really excited. It's an exciting time for not only me, but for everybody at RCR and everybody on the Jack Daniels...
Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniels Impala SS - Qualified on the Pole
ON SITTING ON THE POLE FOR THE FIRST RACE OF THE CHASE:
"I'm really excited. It's an exciting time for not only me, but for everybody at RCR and everybody on the Jack Daniels Chevrolet. It's a lot of fun to be a part of this Chase. The pressure is off of us. We're 12th. We only have one way to go and that's forward. Sitting on the pole right here, the first race of the Chase, is a big step in the right direction. I think it says a lot about our race team."
ON THE ROOKIE PRESSURE COMING INTO THE CHASE, IT SEEMS LIKE BOTH YOU AND MARTIN TRUEX JR. ARE HANDLING IT EASILY:
"Yeah, I'm excited for both of us. We've battled it out in the Busch Series and I have a lot of respect for him. When he posted that lap it was like, man, nobody is going to beat that. After the first lap, I didn't think I had a chance at it (laughs). They scuffed and we went out on stickers and I knew it was going to take a lap to get going. But I'm glad I got going as fast as I did."
ARE YOU FIRMLY STAKING OUT THE UNDERDOG'S ROLE NOW BY TALKING ABOUT BEING IN 12TH?
"That's just fine (laughter). If I can keep all of you guys (media) off my back and wondering what's going on and we sneak up in there. All that matters at the end of the year when you're standing in line at the pay window, that's all that matters. It's no different back in the day was back then you had to wait until five or six in the morning before they could figure it out at the local dirt track to get paid."
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO GET YOUR FIRST VICTORY, AND IF NOT, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO FINISH STRONG IN THIS RACE AND SET THE STAGE FOR THE CHASE?
"Well, it's very important and that's what excitements me about this weekend. Already, we unloaded and we were really fast in practice. I was looking at the sheets and we were really good. I'm really excited about our chances to win our first race right here. That would be so cool to get our first win in the first race of the Chase and get that confidence and that momentum going. That's exactly what this team needs. We saw it with Martin Truex Jr. As soon as he got that win, he rattled off three top-three finishes right in a row and put himself in this Chase. I really think that would catapult this team to the next level."
YOU'VE BEEN CONSISTENT ALL YEAR EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVEN'T HAD A WIN. DON'T YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE ON A ROLL EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVEN'T WON?
"Yeah, you know I was reading magazines and newspapers and people say you don't belong here and everything and the bottom line is there were three teams behind us when that cutoff was that won races that we were ahead of, points-wise, so we did the things it took to get here. It doesn't matter. Racing back when we were racing motorcycles and dirt cars for championships, consistency is what wins championships. But you've got to run a little closer to the front than we have been. We have to make that next step and I firmly believe that we can do that."
DID RICHARD CHILDRESS GIVE YOU ANY INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO APPROACH THE CHASE?
"I haven't seen him. He's in Mongolia or something, shooting another sheep (laughter) of something. I haven't seen him. Hopefully he'll show up and we'll have a victory. I hope not, I want to win but I want to celebrate it with him in victory lane. There's nobody who likes winning better than RC."
DID YOU ALL NOT GET THE MEMO THAT THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HARD?
"Don't get me wrong (laughs). It beats New York. I was so excited to get back to the track, I couldn't stand myself. You couldn't get me in a car fast enough. But I'm just very excited. This is a neat thing to be a part of. It's a big deal. It's something you've worked your whole life to get to. To finally see it paying off and to be a part of such a big thing is pretty neat. So you just wide the wave as long as it lasts and hope your wave is bigger than theirs."
WHAT DOES THIS POLE DO FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM AS FAR AS CONFIDENCE?
"We qualified 20th here in the spring race and drove up to sixth or seventh. An air wrench flew out in front of me on pit road and I ran over it and I just couldn't believe it. The hose wrapped up in a tire and it yanked it up; clear up in a spot that the it wasn't capable of going. You couldn't have put it up in there. It cut an oil line and ruined our day. We have run well here. Our results are terrible. But we have run up front and hopefully we can run up front and get that finish."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR TEAM IS JUST NOW STARTING TO GEL?
"I'm not going to put all the blame on them. It's me. I'm behind, experience-wise, to a lot of these guys. I've made mistakes. Last week in Richmond we built a car capable of winning the race and I just a mistake. I was going for broke and I came up broke."
-credit: gm racing