Clint Bowyer: Daytona road course "a crapshoot for everybody"

No practice or qualifying has generally gone well during NASCAR’s return to action but there is one upcoming race where many drivers would like to see that change.

Clint Bowyer: Daytona road course "a crapshoot for everybody"

When NASCAR released its most recent 2020 schedule update earlier this month, the ARCA, Xfinity and Cup races at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International were replaced with races in August (14-16) on the road course at Daytona International Speedway.

While the addition of a new road course in NASCAR competition was generally well-received, teams have thrown up warning flags about competing on a venue on which they have never even practiced.

No practice

NASCAR confirmed Monday that all races through Dover next month (Aug. 21-23) – including the Daytona road course – will be held without practice and qualifying.

In fact, Motorsport.com has learned NASCAR officials were still as of Monday contemplating changes to the current course layout to address the high speeds expected as cars exit Turn 4 on the oval and transition to the infield course.

“I think it’s a tall order to show up there and to run a track that we’ve never been on before with a tire combination with the package – you know the aero, horsepower, everything we’ve never even seen before,” driver Clint Bowyer said Monday. “It’s gonna be a crap shoot for everybody.

“But, you know, these are challenging times. To ask the team to come up with a unique car again for a backup car and everything else. I mean, it’s saving them money, I get it. Everything’s tight right now.

“So, you’ve got to give and take in this scenario, and I think that’s definitely a ‘give’ for the Daytona race.”

NASCAR has tried to keep team expenses to a minimum since the sport restarted in May following a two-month hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Holding practice and/or qualifying sessions for all the series planning to compete on the Daytona road course would add extra time at the track (which increases team’s travel costs) and require teams to have a backup car available should someone wreck before the race itself.

Unknowns entering Daytona RC weekend

That leaves drivers in four NASCAR series – Cup, Xfinity, Trucks and ARCA – taking to the course cold aside from a handful who have competed on the course previously in IMSA or Rolex 24 events.

No one, however, has competed on the track in a NASCAR car or truck.

“I voted to practice at Daytona,” Bowyer said. “I guess I’m probably unique in at least I have some laps on the race track. It was a long time ago, I don’t even remember those laps but I ran the Rolex 24 (in 2013) and have some experience on that track. But that being said, not in our cars and anything else.

“I think there’s definitely drivers and teams that have experience running that Rolex that will be ahead of the pack, ahead of the curve for sure.”

shares
comments
Tyler Reddick misses out on Texas win but gains 'validation'
Previous article

Tyler Reddick misses out on Texas win but gains 'validation'

Next article

NASCAR to run without practice/qualifying for remainder of 2020

NASCAR to run without practice/qualifying for remainder of 2020
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021