CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway and discussed the Chase, his points position, his contract situation and other topics.
ON BEING IN A GOOD MOOD. “Well, yeah. It’s beautiful outside. We had a good week last week – wrecked the race car, but somehow came out of it with kind of the best-case scenario. The two cars in front of me both had DNFs, and we were at least able to at least capitalize on it a little bit. So, I’m excited to be here. I’m excited to get in the car and see what we can do this weekend. It’s a very important weekend for us. I feel like last week kept us alive, so it’s on for these next four races.”
WHAT’S THE PLAN FOR THE NEXT FOUR RACES? “Try as hard as we can and get every point as we possible can. We’ve got to beat those guys. At the end of the day, that’s what’s going to take to succeed and be a part of that Chase, is to be better than those guys for these next four races. I feel like we can do it, but we’ve got to be able to step up to the plate and get the job done.”
WERE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE END OF THE RACE LAST WEEK ABOUT WHERE CARS WERE GOING TO BE PLACED? “I was super-bummed because of that, but then the caution came out, basically, right at the moment I hit Stewart, so I was like, ‘They weren’t ahead of me.’ They actually passed me in the carousal. I never lost momentum or anything; I was just off the track. I was just trying to gather everything up and get going, you know, and continue racing, and then I realized, once you get a second to realize what just happened, I’m like, ‘Well, it was over back there, so what are these guys doing, blowing my doors off?’ I couldn’t go wide-open, but it wasn’t like I was crawling, either, you know? I was just dragging a lot of stuff.”
YOU SEEM TO BE A VERY RELAXED GUY ALL OF THE TIME. WITH YOUR CONTRACT SITUATION, ARE YOU RELAXED, OR ARE YOU STARTING TO GET STRESSED OUT A LITTLE BIT? “You know, it is what it is. That’s, unfortunately, part of this business every three years, but right now I’m focused on these next four races. I care about the future, but I’ve got to set that aside and focus on getting myself in the Chase. We’ve got a legitimate shot at this, and we need to make sure we do everything we can to see it out.”
NOBODY SETS OUT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR TO BE ON THE CHASE BUBBLE. BUT THAT’S WHERE THE FOCUS IS RIGHT NOW. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON BEING ONE OF THOSE TEAMS RIGHT NOW? “Hey, we’re in one of those spots. I’m bummed out that we’re in the situation we’re in. We’ve just had too many DNFs this year and got ourselves back there, but it is what it is. We’re in that box. We’ve got to go out there and work hard to be a part of the Chase. We’ve been there three out of the four years, and I plan on being there another.”
DO YOU GO FOR MORE CONSISTENT RUNS FOR THE POINTS, OR DO YOU GO FOR THE WINS? “Do whatever it takes to beat them.”
MORE ON THE POSSIBLE SITUATIONS THE TEAM WILL FACE IN THE LAST FOUR RACES BEFORE THE CHASE CUTOFF. “You’re talking about a lot of what-ifs. That’s the hard thing: There’s a ton of what-ifs. You’ve got to be able to react to it. You’ve got to be able to see past the tip of your nose. You’ve got to be able to forecast and make a good decision on a gamble of what to do to put yourself in a situation to get the best finish possible. That’s what these races are coming down to, each and every week. You’ve just got to do a better job of making a better decision than the next guy, and having just a little bit more luck to see that decision play out.”