Martinsville II: Clint Bowyer preview

* This Week's BB&T Chevrolet at Martinsville Speedway ... Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis No. 265 from Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2009, this Chevrolet debuted at Atlanta in March, where Bowyer...

* This Week's BB&T Chevrolet at Martinsville Speedway ... Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis No. 265 from Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2009, this Chevrolet debuted at Atlanta in March, where Bowyer recorded a sixth-place finish, followed by a 36th-place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. Most recently, Bowyer raced this Impala SS to a 10th-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September.

* Martinsville Facts ... In seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville Speedway, Bowyer boasts three top-10 finishes. His best finish at the .526-mile oval is fifth, where he finished when the series most recently visited the paperclip-shaped oval in March. The Emporia, Kan., native has completed all but four laps of competition at the shortest track on the NSCS circuit and has a finishing average of 12.7.

* Through 31 Races ... Over the season's first 31 races, Bowyer has accumulated four top-five and 14 top-10 finishes, an average start of 17.1 and an average finish of 15.5. The two-time NSCS winner has led 40 laps of competition and has completed 8,553 of the 8,887 (96.2 percent) laps contested thus far.

* Rearview Mirror ... Bowyer's No. 33 Scary Fast Count Chocula Chevrolet lived up to its name last Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway as "Count Bowyer" raced his way to a sixth-place finish in the final night race of the 2009 season.

* Get to the Points ... Bowyer's sixth-place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway allowed him to maintain the 15th position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. Out of the Chase field, the race for 13th place is on. Bowyer trails the current position holder, Matt Kenseth, by 75 markers.

* RCR at Martinsville ... In 110 previous NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Martinsville, RCR has earned three poles and posted six wins between former drivers Ricky Rudd and Dale Earnhardt. Additionally, RCR-prepared Chevrolets have earned 24 top-five and 45 top-10 finishes at Martinsville dating back to April 10, 1972. Childress, a former driver in NASCAR's top division, contributed four of those top 10s from 1976-1978.

* The Collective RCR ... In 31 races this season, RCR's four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entries have notched nine top-five and 30 top-10 finishes. The No. 29 team kicked off the 2009 season with a win in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. RCR-prepared cars have also completed 34,689 laps with four different drivers including Jeff Burton, Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and Casey Mears. RCR teams have led 188 laps and all four teams have earned just shy of $17 million combined purse money in 2009.

* On The Home Front ... While none of the No. 33 crew members are natives of the Martinsville area, approximately half of them reside close enough that they will make the daily commute from their homes to the speedway.

* Uncle Clint ... Proud parents Casey and Brook Bowyer welcomed their first child, son Lincoln Dale, to the world on Tuesday, October 19. Casey is the brother of Clint and Andy Bowyer.

* Vote for Steve ... Steve Ellis, shop foreman for the No. 33 team, is one of eight finalists for the inaugural NASCAR Wrenchman Award, recognizing the behind-the-scenes NASCAR team members who "turn the wrenches" in the shop and along pit row. Fans can choose the winner by logging onto www.craftsman.com/wrenchman and voting for their favorite team member. By voting, fans will also be automatically entered for a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip for two to the Wrenchman Award Ceremony in Miami on November 22.

* Hunting Trip ... Following last Saturday night's race at LMS, Bowyer, Childress and country music singer Blake Shelton headed to New Mexico for an elk hunt.

* Mark Your Calendars ... In honor of its 40th anniversary, RCR will host a Fan Day at the Welcome, N.C. complex on Thursday, Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. -- 5 p.m. Activities include driver and pit crew autograph sessions, self-guided tours of RCR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide as well as ECR's engine shop, radio remotes, musical entertainment, pit crew competition, viewing of the DALE movie, question-and-answer session with team owner Richard Childress and much more. General admission to RCR's Fan Day is just $5, which will benefit the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. For more information, or to purchase advance tickets, please visit www.rcrfanday.com.

CLINT BOWYER QUOTES:

Martinsville seems to be the most difficult track for drivers to figure out. Why is that?

"It's a short track, but it's not like any other short track you've ever been to. It goes against everything your tendencies tell you to do. You have to back the corner up and let the car roll way around the corner before you get back on the gas. Your tendencies are to get in the corner as deep as you can and get back on the throttle as fast as possible. Those are two things that are catastrophic there, so you've got to discipline yourself and stay disciplined throughout the race."

Is it easier or harder to pass at Martinsville with the new car?

"I think it's even harder to pass there now. The new car is pretty tough. You can beat and bang with it more than you could with the old car. The fenders were pretty weak with the old car. You had to be very careful not to fold them in or you'd find yourself in trouble. Now, you can really race a lot harder and that makes it a little more difficult to gain positions."

How competitive do you think you'll be this weekend? You tested at Little Rock in preparation for this race, and you had your career-best finish at Martinsville in the spring.

"I think we're going to be very competitive this weekend. We ran well there in the spring. Believe it or not, Martinsville has become a track that I look forward to going to. We had a little bit of trouble on pit road in the spring, but we were able to make some passes. We were one of the few cars that could make moves and passes in that race. I'm excited about getting there. The guys have worked really hard in preparation for this race and I was really impressed with how we tested at Little Rock a few weeks ago."

Is Martinsville the track where you feel the most congestion? It's the tightest, smallest track on the circuit.

"It takes a lot of discipline to get around Martinsville. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline not to overdrive the car, not to get on the gas too quick, to let the car roll and do the work for you. It's hard to do. If you get on the wheel and hustle the car there, you're going to go slower."

-credit: rcr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Kevin Harvick , Casey Mears , Clint Bowyer
Teams Richard Childress Racing