CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 BB&T CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway and discussed strategy for the Chase, racing both Cup and Nationwide at Atlanta and other topics. WITH TWO RACES TO GO, WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET FOR...
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 BB&T CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway and discussed strategy for the Chase, racing both Cup and Nationwide at Atlanta and other topics.
WITH TWO RACES TO GO, WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET FOR SUNDAY NIGHT'S RACE TO SECURE THAT CHASE SPOT AND ALSO WHAT YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE NATIONWIDE RACE TONIGHT? "By no means is it a lock and we don't look at it as that. But, I feel a lot better about our situation. We're running out of races and we've put points on them and that's a good feeling. Going into Bristol with a 35-point lead at a race track that anything can happen and something did happen leading the race in that Nationwide race, I was nervous. I was really worried about it. It sure was a good feeling rolling out of Bristol and having an off weekend to think about it and dwell on it that we gained points and came out of there looking good. With any luck at all, we can be in this thing. We have two races left. I really feel like the only people that can beat us is ourselves. As long as we don't beat ourselves, we're going to be in this thing. We just have to go out and take care of business. Hopefully, I can put some more points on them here at Atlanta and roll on to Richmond and be able to do the things it takes to win that race. That is one of my best tracks and that's definitely a track that we can win at again."
IS THERE A DIFFERENT STRATEGY TO YOUR APPROACH TO THESE LAST TWO RACES AND WHAT IS THE PRESSURE LIKE ON YOU AND THE TEAM? "Just make sure I don't screw up first of all. That's the biggest thing is don't beat yourself. I've been in this situation before, a lot of pressure and anybody can buckle under that pressure. You just have to go out there and have as much fun with it as you possibly can. And make sure as a driver, you are a little bit of a quarterback, make sure you keep it upbeat and have fun with it, no matter what. That was something that is important and I had it on my mind and Richard met with us before Bristol even happened. He said just make sure you keep upbeat and keep everybody upbeat with their program and you'll be fine. I sped on pit road running well, got ourselves way back and was able to drive back up and get a top-five finish. It is just staying positive and upbeat about things. So that is important you know. Momentum, confidence is so much of this sport. It is so close that those two things are a huge thing and they feed off each other drastically."
IN WHAT AREA IS IT THAT YOU THINK YOUR TEAM IS SECOND TO NONE? (LAUGHS) "Well, we are 12th to all of them right now. I feel like we've done a lot of things well this year. I think ECR (Earnhardt Childress Racing) right now is second to none and I think that is the biggest part of our success is our engine program. RCR cars are running well. If you want to pinpoint it down to the No. 33 car, it is just feeding off of those things. I think those are the things that we are able to capitalize on and use to our advantage week in and week out right now."
WAS THERE EVER ANY CONSIDERATION TO NOT RUN THE NATIONWIDE RACE HERE GIVEN YOUR POINTS POSITION IN THE CUP SERIES? "You know, I thought about that a lot this week. Actually, I forgot that I was even running this race until about Saturday, somebody called and was wanting to know if I would come and sit in the seat. I was like, what are you talking about. (LAUGHS) That is just how focused we are on that Cup program. And where we are at there and the situation that we are under. You know, it is probably for the better actually. I was thinking about it in Bristol, had a lot of fun with it, enjoyed working with guys you don't normally get to work with. Had a lot of success, got wrecked leading, but they knew we were there and we had a shot at winning the race. I think it probably helps keep your mind and focus off the big picture a little and just go back to having fun and racing and not worry about the little things."
HOW WORRIED ARE YOU ABOUT JAMIE MCMURRAY OR ANY OF THE GUYS BEHIND YOU? IS THERE ANYONE THAT STANDS OUT? "There are so many things you can focus on, look at and you can worry about and dwell on. You just have to be sure to go out and do your own thing. We are parked right next to each other in the garage. I am well aware when his car is running well in practice and when mines' not. I'm well aware of who is the fastest guy here and who is not. As a race car driver, that is what you are trained to do. Just for instance, I never look on anything, I'm not lying, I usually don't get on NASCAR.com, I don't go on Jayski or any of these things that a lot of people do. Never really watch much about the sport because it always drives me nuts and get to worrying about things because of that. I looked on it and one of the stats I think somebody said on one of us, even as well as he (McMurray) had been running, he'd only gained 50 points on me in the last five races or something and there are only two left so that made me feel pretty good."
IN THE PAST WHEN TEAMS HAVE HAD TO FIGHT HARD TO GET IN THE CHASE, THEY HAVEN'T HAD A LOT LEFT TO FIGHT ONCE THEY ARE IN THERE, DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WILL HAVE SOMETHING LEFT? "Absolutely. For one reason, those Chase races have always been good race tracks for me. They are some of my favorite race tracks and my best race tracks finish wise. Looking at the future here, I'm excited. I have to get in that Chase, because I know that we can perform when we get in that Chase. I've seen me do it before. I've seen our team do it before. Some of our best runs were in that last 10 races even last year when we weren't a part of that Chase. Those are good race tracks for us and if we can be a part of that group, I really feel like we can be somewhere in the top-five. Now I don't know where that will be. I don't know if that is fifth or a championship but I feel like we can contend and as a top-five team in those last 10 races."
OTHER DRIVERS HAVE TALKED ABOUT HOW STRESSFUL IT IS TO BE WHERE YOU ARE, THEY CAN'T SLEEP, ARE YOU DEALING WITH ANY OF THAT? "I had a pretty fun off weekend. I had my golf tournament and enjoyed a lot of fun so really didn't have a chance to think about it too much. You can't put too much pressure on yourself and down on your race team. We have to go out and do the best we can. At the end of the day, that is all you can do. You know, you can freak out about it, you can worry about it and everything else but if you do that, it is going to hurt you. You just have to go out there and make sure that everybody is having fun right. Pick on them, lean on your buddies, that is your guys you bring to race track. Those are your only friends in this sport are the guys that come with you. Make sure you are having fun with them and enjoy this time and not dwell on it and be worried sick about it."
-source: gm racing