COMMENTS FROM CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIELS IMPALA SS, FOLLOWING CONTACT WITH THE WALL THIS MORNING DURING THE FINAL HOUR OF TESTING THE IMPALA SS AT BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY FOR THE UPCOMING FOOD CITY 500 ON MARCH 25, 2007. RAIN HAS CANCELED...
COMMENTS FROM CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIELS IMPALA SS, FOLLOWING CONTACT WITH THE WALL THIS MORNING DURING THE FINAL HOUR OF TESTING THE IMPALA SS AT BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY FOR THE UPCOMING FOOD CITY 500 ON MARCH 25, 2007. RAIN HAS CANCELED THE REMAINDER OF TODAY'S ON TRACK ACTIVITIES.
ON WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE: "Life was good. We had actually hit on something out there I was really happy with. I was fixin to come in and tell them about it, went off in to three there and away it went."
ON BEING HAPPY WITH HANDLING OF IMPALA SS: "Oh, I was really happy with my car. But I will tell you something that does concern me. I didn't hit all that hard and that think thing is jockeyed around pretty good. Even the rearend, even though pretty much all of the impact was on the right front but the body is about knocked off the rear of it. I think that is something we need to look at and make better. We are going to be bumping and gouging here, you are probably going to get up in to the wall up off the corners. Seems like everybody struggles getting off the corner, you come off the corner with a lot of input in to the steering wheel. It snaps loose on it, that is going to be a caution creator."
"I think these cars are a lot more skatey watching other cars. I feel like all three of our Richard Childress Racing cars are really, really strong as far as balance wise, as far as competition. Watching other cars on the race track, it looks like everybody comes off the corner with a lot more wheel in it and gets loose up off. That seems like it is a big part of it. The cars that get can get off the corner are the cars on the top of the board.
"Everybody at RCR dug deep last year and came a long ways. Over the winter we fine-tuned what we had and made it just that much better."
ON HOW RACING WILL BE HERE AT BRISTOL ON MARCH 24: "I am afraid there won't be much racing. Just watching other cars out there, you are racing yourself out there. Obviously the cars that are one-half a second off you are going to be able to get around pretty easy. But, a car that is a tenth or two off from where you are running, it will be hard to get them without getting in to them.
"It could be a bumper car type of deal.
"I would say there are going to be a lot of cars on the inside line at the end of the race. With their radiators showing."
ON THE CAR NOT BEING VERY FORGIVING: "The thing snapped loose in a hurry. The guys are looking at. We don't know what happened, but something did happen. Like I said, life was good. I was actually our fastest lap just four laps in to the run on old tires, that was pretty unheard of. I was just fixin to come in and tell then how good of a job they did and away it way. As soon as it got sideways, I wasn't able to correct it. Any other time, you get loose in the corner, you are able to compensate for it with the banking and chase it up the track. There was no chasing that one, it took off straight.
"It is going to be a handful. You know, watching people, following people you feel like you are up on the wheel pretty hard, and you are watching other cars and they are doing it just as much. It is going to be interesting that is for sure."
ON LOOKING AT DAMAGE TO THE CAR: "I knew I hit harder and more than a body hammer was going to fix but I didn't know it was going to be that bad. Most of the impact like I said was in the right front. The deck lid is all moved over and everything else. We are going to have to look in to that, beef them up a little bit, especially with the style of racing I am afraid we are going to see here.
"Without the splitter, you are going no where. That is going to be a big part of racing this car, keeping that splitter on. We were doing a good job. I think Gil (Martin, crew chief) and everybody on this Jack Daniels Chevrolet has gotten me a good race car. They will take it back and fix it and we will be just fine."
ON WORK TO BE DONE BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 25 RACE: "Not only us but everybody here has come so far since we got here yesterday. Everybody was kind of curious at the beginning of yesterday. It kind of reminded me of dirt track racing or motocross racing, nobody wants to go out in the mud. Here nobody wanted to go out there and be the test dummy. The cars were going off in to the corners, bouncing and shooting to the wall, everybody was like 'Whoa, maybe we will wait a while and see if they figure it out'.
"It is just amazing how smart these crew chiefs are on these teams. You get here, you are so far off and the next thing you know you have picked up a second, the car is handling a whole lot better. I think what we have got, we will be able to go back and fine tune. It is amazing how far they have come in just a day and a half."
ON TRYING TO TEST ANY PLACE ELSE BEFORE THE BRISTOL RACE: "That is the hardest thing about here. There is just not any place to test that will help you. Everywhere you test is for places like Phoenix, Martinsville and places like that. You come here on the bump stop and things like that like you would run and kind of make it feel it feel like our current car on this coil-bind deal. You get here and it is a whole different animal. I think that caught everybody off guard. I think everybody is having to go back to things they did 10 years ago."
ON SPLITTER HOLDING UP: "I was surprised, yes, I probably was. But that thing is a pretty solid piece. I think the teams that grind it off and get thin, that is when it is going to start splitting and breaking. That was a side impact. When you hit somebody in the corner or the left rear corner or wheel or something like that, that is when the wheel, then we will see where it is at."
ON BIGGEST ADJUSTMENTS THAT HELPED CAR DURING TEST: "It was all of the springs, the wing, the splitter, it was all mechanical. Especially at this place. Obviously it is fast enough that aero is a big part of it. I had them move the wing just because I wanted to see if I could feel it. I did feel it. But here, getting the drivability is always mechanical with springs, shocks and stuff."
-credit: gm racing