RICHARD CHILDRESS ANNOUNCED EXTENSION OF JACK DANIEL'S SPONSORSHIP AND CLINT BOWYER AS DRIVER OF THE '07 CHEVY FOR 2006. PRESS CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS: RICHARD CHILDRESS: "It gives us great pride to represent a company like Jack Daniels and ...
RICHARD CHILDRESS ANNOUNCED EXTENSION OF JACK DANIEL'S SPONSORSHIP AND CLINT BOWYER AS DRIVER OF THE '07 CHEVY FOR 2006.
PRESS CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS:
RICHARD CHILDRESS: "It gives us great pride to represent a company like Jack Daniels and the messages they put out, like 'pace yourself' and 'drink responsibly'. It's been great to be associated with them now through '08 and to bring on a young driver who is going to be a superstar. He's going to make the grade and we're really proud. We couldn't be more proud to have Clint (Bowyer) representing Jack Daniels and RCR. I think it's going to be a great venture. We're just very excited about it. We're going to move Gil Martin over (from Busch) and he's going to be the crew chief. They already have a working relationship. As you know, chemistry in this business is big. The chemistry I see there, I feel like it's great. I feel good about it. We want to get them up front."
JOHN HAYES, VP AMERICAS BRAND DIRECTOR FOR JACK DANIELS: "First, on behalf of everybody associated with Jack Daniels, we want to thank Dave Blaney. Dave has been, and will continue to be, a good friend of Jack Daniels. We couldn't have asked for a better driver and spokesperson for our inaugural year in NASCAR and with the Richard Childress organization and we wish him nothing but the best. So while we haven't necessarily been pleased with the success we've had on the track, we are really looking forward to the future with Clint Bowyer. We've been able to get out messages out to the millions of NASCAR fans and they've responded and we've heard that they really like us being in the sport. So we're happy to announce that we're going to be here for a long time and with Richard Childress for a long time. We're really looking forward to Clint bringing the '07 into the winner's circle here really soon."
CLINT BOWYER: "It's a wonderful opportunity for me. It's been a short road for me from dirt racing back in the Midwest to now announcing full time in the Cup Series. It's a dream come true to be able to tie myself with a company and organization like Jack Daniels. It's pretty incredible. We've had a lot of success this year. Gil (Martin) and I have had a lot of fun. He's built a good team and I feel like we can carry success on to the Cup Series. It's going to be a big task, but I feel like it's something we can handle and overcome within the next few years."
GIL MARTIN: "I'm looking forward to this whole relationship that we're going to have with Jack Daniels and the extended year contract that they're going to give us and the opportunity that Richard is going to give us. I think we're really going to have some success. We want to finish out this year good and strong and try to still win the Busch championship and carry that momentum over to the next season. I think we're plenty capable of doing it. I think over the past few weeks, our organization has become stronger. With Richard's commitment with what we're going to do with our continued relationship with Jack Daniels, we're going to have a successful future."
CHILDRESS: WILL CLINT BOWYER CONTINUE TO RUN IN THE BUSCH SERIES NEXT YEAR? "We plan on running Clint in both series. He'll be in the ACDelco (Busch) car. We've still got a couple of things to finalize. But right now, we're still planning on having him in that car. I think it won't do anything but help. You saw last night, the number of drivers running in the Chase (in the Busch race). It just gives you more track time. It gives your crew chiefs an opportunity to talk to one another and kind of work together and get a feel about the tires and everything that's going to happen before the Cup race.
"I think Clint will be as strong a rookie as anyone would want to put in the car. He's really got his feet on the ground. He knows what he wants to do. He's committed. Sure, rookies are going to have their try at it. It's a tough go with rookies. I've had two of them before. But that's what makes great drivers. You put them in there and they're going to do the job. I have all the faith in Clint. From what the rumor mill says, the rookie field for next year is going to be strong."
WILL THE CUP AND BUSCH TEAMS BE SEPARATED? "They'll be separated. The Jack Daniels car will stay where it is in the Cup shop and the No. 2 will be over there. That's one of the things we've got to finalize is who is actually going to be crew chief on that car. But we're going to work close together. It's sort of like when we ran Kevin Harvick in the ACDelco car and the Goodwrench car in 2001. We were able to win the (Busch) championship and finish 9th in the (Cup) points. The crew chiefs worked back and forth. It wasn't like Gil would be there every day, but they would know what was going on. It's a big win for everybody, I think, running both series."
PAUL TRACY UPDATE: "Right now, with Clint where he is and trying to get Kevin (Harvick) to finish the season in 11th, we're really focusing on that. We want to try to get the Jack Daniels car back into the top 25 and the No. 31 car back in the top 15. We are capable of doing all that. Paul and I haven't talked now for about a month. We're just trying to get our in house program put together for next year."
WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER TO BE A SUCCESSFUL YEAR IN '06? "I think you set your goals high. You set your goals to win races and be in the Chase. With a rookie, you've got expectations. I think if we could be in the top 20 in the points and have us some good top fives and top 10's out of it. If you're running good there, you're going to win a race."
AS AN OWNER, ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE SPEEDS AT THIS TRACK FOR TONIGHT'S CUP RACE? "The track is really fast. It's got a lot of grip. When these cars take off with these radial tires, they just go so quick on you. I've watched experienced drivers like Tony (Stewart) and others just lose it. It's tough. This track is fast. It's the fastest I've ever seen it in race conditions. Yeah, we've all got concerns. But I think it'll be a good, safe race. There will be some cautions, for sure.
WILL DAVE BLANEY BE IN THE CAR UNTIL THE END OF '05? "Dave Blaney will be in the car for the rest of the year. We can't thank Dave enough for helping us get this program off. He's done a super job for us. I wish Dave the best. He's just a great human being to be around and to work with. Right now, we're just trying to focus on what we need to do right now. We're really working hard on our '06 program right now. We'll be testing some '06 stuff within the next week. We've got challenges with the new '07 car coming and the '06, but we're up for it. I think we're far ahead of the curve (now) than we were last year."
BOWYER: ON LAST NIGHT'S BUSCH RACE AT LMS: "It was pretty wild. We just tried to be patient and stay out of trouble. We didn't get that accomplished. It was a pretty hard lick for our points deal. We're still 120 points out with four races to go. It can still be done. I think we gained a little over 200 points in four races. So by no means are we lying down and giving up, I can promise you that
MARTIN: DID YOU SHARE SOME INFORMATION WITH THE OTHER CREW CHIEFS AT RCR ABOUT HOW TO STAY OUT OF WRECKS IN TONIGHT'S CUP RACE? "I talked to Todd this morning on the way to the track and just gave him some indications of what we saw last night and some things we think we can do to prevent some of the tire failures and overheating. We actually didn't have any issues last night on the set-up we had on the car -- just the one short run we got to run. We all talk pretty frequently and think we might be able to help some."