Team Chevy press release
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET met with media and discussed racing at Richmond, his uncertain future, how the pressure is off for making the Chase, and more.
TALK ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS AS YOU GET READY FOR PRACTICE “It’s exciting. To be honest with you, it’s been a long month or month and a half of struggling to try to get your equipment, your program running better to where you can compete make the Chase. The pressure’s off now. Now we can go. We’re here at a race track where we run well. We have fun here. We have a lot of success here and now we don’t have the pressure on us. We can go out and contend for wins for the rest of the season. Sometimes that’s a lot more fun to race under those circumstances. To be honest with you, I’m looking forward to the weekend. I’m looking forward to practice here in a little bit and hopefully having that same result.”
We didn’t do a good enough job and it’s up to us to cap off the season well.
HAVE YOU DISCUSSED YOUR STRATEGY ON HOW YOU’RE GOING TO APPROACH SATURDAY NIGHT? HAS THERE BEEN A DISCUSSION WITH JUAN PABLO MONTOYA? SINCE HE IS ONE OF YOUR ENGINE PARTNERS, IT JUST DOESN’T SEEM TO BE IN YOUR BEST INTEREST FOR YOU GUYS TO BE IN THAT SITUATION “No. At the end of the day with the Juan thing, it was a racing deal. Like I said, there was a lot of frustration there and there was a lot on the line for three guys. And unfortunately, the guy that had nothing on the line, I felt like could have backed off and gave a guy a break that had everything to lose in that situation. That’s where my frustration was. At the end of the day, it was my fault. I knew who I was racing with and I pushed the envelope and got bit.
“Strategy, it’s full-speed-ahead. Hopefully we’ll stay up front and lead all the laps and then win the race. This is a fun race track. It’s my favorite race track. I’ve had a lot of good battles and good races here. Obviously the Gibbs cars have been strong as of late at this place the last two or three years, and they’re going to be the cars to beat. I truly believe that. But it’s always a long hard-fought battle here and we’re up for the challenge.”
ON THE EXTERIOR, YOU’RE SO CALM; A HAPPY-GO-LUCKY TYPE OF GUY. ARE YOU FEELING THE PRESSURE ON THE INSIDE ABOUT NOT ONLY RUNNING WELL HERE THIS WEEKEND AND ALSO MAKING PROBABLY ONE OF THE BIGGEST DECISIONS OF YOUR LIFE ON YOUR JOB? “Yeah, there’s a lot of pressure. Unfortunately it all comes together at once. It would have been nice to have the future out of the way three months ago, but it’s just not the case. It’s tough in today’s world and you’ve got to be tough as well. You’ve just got to get through it and it is what it is. I am glad in a way it was a breath of fresh air last week because obviously that Chase is important to me. Going to the banquet and being a part of Champion’s Week is important to me. I’ve been there. It’s exciting and you want to be a part of it. But it isn’t the end of the world. There’s a lot of future left in me. I believe in this sport and hopefully it’s right.”
I AM CURIOUS TO HEAR YOU SAY THE PRESSURE IS COMPLETE OFF AT THIS POINT BECAUSE YOU STILL HAVE A SHOT AT MAKING THE CHASE IF YOU WIN THE RACE AND BEAT DENNY HAMLIN BY 12 POINTS: “Yeah, we had an interesting situation where we had all the scenarios here. Some mathematician is getting very smart in all the scenarios that he had worked out for the press conference yesterday. Kasey (Kahne) and I were laughing. Basically if everybody fell over dead, before the race; (laughter) except for two cars and he was able to beat them, then he was in. And then if half of them fell over dead and I won then I was in (laughs). Like I said, it’s silly and the pressure is off for me as far as I’m concerned. I’m here to win the race and if something crazy happens, and crazy things happen in this world of racing, I’ll be glad to be a part of it.
“But it just wasn’t our year. We didn’t do a good enough job and it’s up to us to cap off the season well. We’re not finished with the season. Just because you’re not part of the Chase doesn’t mean that you don’t go out and try to end the season on a positive note. That’s important to me and it’s important to our race team and it’s important to our sponsors.”
WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT YOUR TEAMMATE KEVIN HARVICK IS PULLING OUT OF THE TRUCK SERIES? WHAT’S YOUR REACTION TO THAT? “Obviously I’m probably a little bit closer than most to that deal. Surprise wasn’t there. But I’m bummed out, man (laughs). That No. 2 truck, I’m having a lot of fun in that thing this year! Again, it just kind of shows you the way my year is going. You can have a dominant truck, as dominant as we were last Friday night in Atlanta and we still lost. I’m just telling you; it’s just not my year (laughs). I’m ready to start over!
YOU ARE ONE OF THE LAST TWO GUYS NOT DRIVING FOR GIBBS TO HAVE WON HERE. GIBBS CARS HAVE WON THE LAST FIVE RACES HERE. IF YOU KNEW WHAT IT WAS, YOU’D BE DOING IT. BUT DENNY HAMLIN ELUDED TO SOMETHING HE AND KYLE BUSCH HAD DONE IN MAY THAT MADE THEM DOMINANT “Oh, it must have been ‘driver technique’, was it? Is that what he told you? (laughter)
SOMETHING LIKE THAT. DO YOU GUYS HAVE ANY CLUE ABOUT THAT? “They have a good package. They’ve worked hard on it. And it’s because of the driver communication feedback. That’s what makes these cars fast. There’s rhyme and reason why cars are fast and have success on any given day and we’re all a big part of that. In my opinion, what I see when I race against them is that they’re able on a long run, prevail. They can hold on longer, they can put the throttle down and then drop the hammer off the corners a lot harder than everybody else. Everybody else starts running into grip issues up off the corner. Off of (Turn) 4 you’ll start seeing people slide. You’ll start seeing feeling it yourself. You could be leading and the next thing you know, you look in the mirror, a straight-away behind, three or four car-lengths back and you see the No. 11 (Hamlin) or maybe the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) coming. And you’re like, here they come. And once they pass you, you’re able to dissect that a little bit and understand what they’re doing and what they’re capable of doing that you’re not. What I see is on the long run they’re just able to throttle-down harder, longer.”
YOU SAY YOU’RE READY FOR THIS SEASON TO END AND A NEW YEAR TO BEGIN. WHEN IT BEGINS, WHERE WILL YOU BE? (LAUGHTER). YOU KNEW IT WAS COMING!
IF YOU DON’T STAY WITH RCR, AND YOU’VE BEEN THERE QUITE A WHILE, HOW WILL THAT MAKE YOU FEEL IF YOU HAVE TO GO TO ANOTHER TEAM? “Oh, it would be heart-breaking; a tough deal. That’s family to me and it means a lot to me. I don’t forget where I was standing when I got a phone call to get me this opportunity and change my life. It would be big. But the world goes on. You have to make decisions and those are performance-driven, business-driven, life, family, everything. It’s just a lot of decisions you go through and everybody goes through those in life. Us racers are no different.”