CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIO’S/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET met with members of the media at Kentucky Speedway and discussed racing at Kentucky, the challenges of Loudon and other topics.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THIS TRACK TO HAVE A CUP RACE?: “This is huge for everybody involved. It’s huge for us. It’s a brand new market for us that truth be told, we probably needed to be in a few years back. The time is right and we’re here. I think for the fans, they can finally see the Cup series racing here and it means a great deal to them. They’re all very appreciative of it and we’re very appreciative to be here. It’s a lot of fun to be able to race in front of a crowd like this. The excitement from the time you got on the airplane at the airport, you had people wanting to help you and when you come in, just everything is new and everyone is trying to make sure that this goes down as a great race. Think this is a place that’s just going to continue to get better and better as we go on. This is the first one.”

Clint Bowyer, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Clint Bowyer, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

WHAT CHALLENGES DOES THIS TRACK PRESENT?: “The biggest thing for us right now is the surface is rough. There’s no question that it’s rough, but it’s the same for everybody so it make it challenging and gives a lot of character to this place. With a great race here, maybe we can get it repaved in the next year or two and even make for better racing. Only time is going to tell. As we’re practicing today, the groove keeps getting wider and wider. Hopefully, with any luck at all, by the time the race starts, we’ll be able to get out there and get two or three wide and be up there by the wall.”

HAVE YOU DONE ANYTHING WITH FUEL INJECTION?: “We haven’t. We have a car here. Austin’s (Dillon) been driving our fuel injection car. I think everything is going fine over there. We’re good there.”

DO THE DRIVERS CARE ABOUT FUEL INJECTION?: “That’s more pressure on the engine guys. They’ll have it figured out by the time we get to have it in our race cars. It’s not going to be that big of a deal I think.”

WOULD IT BE A BIG DEAL TO WIN THIS RACE?: “Oh yeah. Anytime you can win an inaugural race, it doesn’t matter where it’s at, it will be huge. I’m telling you, this is a huge fan base, it’s a great market to be in and to be able to win the first race here is going to be a big thing for us.”

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT LOUDON?: “Just looking forward to getting to Loudon and hopefully unloading a good race car out of the box. That’s a big thing to be able to unload pretty close and be able to fine tune it from there. You have to be able to roll the center of the corner good, you have to be able to get to the gas and stay in the gas up off the corner. I think that’s the biggest thing. A lot of people can get to the gas and can’t quite make that rotation without having to lift and get back out of the gas at one point or another off the corner. I think that’s the key for me is just making sure the old girl rolls the middle good and you can get to the gas hard and wide open like you need to.”

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF LOUDON?: “Traffic is a big thing. It’s hard to pass there. There is one preferred line to be in and if you get out of that preferred line, it doesn’t matter how good your car is, it doesn’t like to be there.”

DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO PROVE AT LOUDON?: “We did it the first time. I did spank them. When I got that penalty, the only reason I won was because Tony (Stewart) ran out of gas. It wasn’t like I whooped them all day long. The first time we were there, it was a pretty good butt whooping. Last one was kind of a gift really.”

IS THERE EVER A TIME THAT YOU DON’T THINK ABOUT THE BRICKYARD?: “Right now I’ve got this race on my mind. Truth be told, I got the next race on my mind. That’s what I focus on, that’s what I try to – as I go into a race weekend, remember back some of the things we struggled with and some of the things we were good at and put that all together to get a good run for the next week. When Indy comes around, I’ll be worried about Indy.”

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE OR LESS ROAD COURSE RACES?: “I think we’ve got a good blend of road courses. With Sonoma being so much different from Watkins Glen. Myself, I run well at Sonoma and I struggle at Watkins Glen, but I did get me a better finish at Watkins Glen and I’m starting to run better on the road courses and I’m looking forward to Watkins Glen, I really am.”

DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE THE TOOLS TO MAKE THE CHASE?: “Oh yeah. We’re in it right now, we just had a bad set back there in Daytona. Just uncharacteristic of us. Usually we can get a good run there. Just got crashed. It’s one of those things. I think we can continue to do what we’ve done to get us this far and we’ll be just fine.”

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE AT KENTUCKY FOR THE FIRST CUP RACE?: “Anytime you’re in a new market, it’s a big thing for our series, for our sport. Everybody is looking forward to being here. Anxious and excited to be out on the race track in front of that big crowd and I know the crowd is too. We all know the fans are very appreciative of us being here and we’re very appreciative of them to have us here. This is a big deal for everybody involved and I think it’s going to be a great day.”

WILL THIS BE A FUN TRACK FOR THE CUP CARS?: “I’m telling you, it’s got a lot of character to it. There’s no question, she’s rough. That could present problems for others and other cars could prevail through that. It’s something that can shake the race up. That’s for sure.”

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BUMPY COURSE AND ONE WITH CHARACTER?: “That is the character of this place is the bumpy course. They don’t have much character, a lot of times they’re boring too.”

ARE YOU FEELING PRESSURE TO WIN BECAUSE OF THE NEW CHASE FORMAT?: “I don’t know. I don’t think so, necessarily. I think the pressure, that’s what is the unfortunate thing about that wild card deal. I’m just not a big fan and I never was. I told them when they said what they were going to do, I said, ‘Well, I think this is what’s going to happen and it’s pretty sure the race is going to be for ninth and 10th – 11th and 12th is going to be locked up plenty before they ever get there.’ It’s unfortunate that it is what it is. There’s a good chance that the best 12 teams aren’t going to be in the 12 spots for the Chase.”

By: team chevy