Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed the weekend at Charlotte, being in the top-three in points in the Chase, strategy in the Chase, trend of more open wheel...
Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed the weekend at Charlotte, being in the top-three in points in the Chase, strategy in the Chase, trend of more open wheel drivers coming to NASCAR Nextel Cup and restrictor-plate racing with the new car.
ON THE CHARLOTTE WEEKEND: "We have worked hard getting ready for this race. We ran very well on the last mile and a half track, Kansas so we feel like we are prepared for this weekend. Hopefully all of that hard work will pay off."
ON HOW HIS TEAM MANAGED POTENTIAL ENGINE PROBLEM AT TALLADEGA: "Just lucky and very fortunate. I talked to the boss last night and he said I had about five laps left. Once everybody started having trouble, our game changed big time. We pulled all the tape off to keep it as cool as we could. I got out of the pack, to not turn the RPMs that we were turning in the pack. We didn't as good of a result as I think we could have, but, nonetheless, we did finish the race and that is a pretty good feat for me. I don't run very good there (Talladega)."
ON HOW NERVE WRACKING IT WAS AFTER TEAMMATES STARTED DEVELOPING ENGINE ISSUES: "Oh, absolutely! Once I saw the first car, Jeff (Burton), he caught on fire right in front of me, blowing up and then the next one, then Harvick radioed in and said he lost a cylinder. I mean, you know you are next. You are just waiting your turn. We just tried to do everything we could. That God it held off."
ON LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE IN EQUIPMENT THROUGHOUT THE CHASE: "The equipment is what I have the most confidence in. It is our experience that we are behind. We are racing some pretty good company up there right now for this championship. We just have to make sure we are polished with everything we do. We can't make any mistakes and so far, so good. As the Chase goes on and the pressure keeps building, we have to do better. We know we have to keep stepping it up week in and week out. We certainly know what we are up against; we can't afford to have weekends like we did last weekend. You know, you put 40 -50 points on me, you can't have those weekends. You have to stay solid. It isn't going top-10s anymore, it is going to take wins and top-fives."
ON HOW MUCH FUN BEING IN THE THICK OF CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE IS: "Absolutely, it is a lot of fun. It is a blast. I am really excited about being in the situation we are in right now. It is every driver's dream to be racing for a Nextel Cup championship. We are right in the thick of things. It is up to us, we have everything we need from Richard (Childress), Jack Daniel's and everyone else, we just have to make it happen.
ON IF THE FUN IS STILL OUT-WEIGHING THE STRESS OF BEING IN THE CHASE: "It is still on the fun side. I am enjoying where we are at. It is exciting being parked up there between those guys in the garage. It is a dream come true and just have to work on it. We know what we have to do. We just have to go out to do it. The pressure is still on those guys. They are still answering the question on how they are going to win the championship. We aren't getting asked that question too much yet. We just have to keep doing what we are doing. Keep racing the race tracks and trying to finish the best we can week in and week out. If we keep doing that, hopefully when we get to two or three to go, we will be racing for a championship."
ON IF CHASE IS NOW BETWEEN FOUR DRIVERS: "No, I look back, I definitely think there are four or five cars that can still win the championship. Certainly, all eyes are on the championship, we have to keep an eye on second and third, and finish the best we can too. You can't just go for broke and end up crashing out of races and end up fifth or sixth, that won't be a successful year in my opinion."
ON IF HE HIS GAINING FANS AS RESULT OF SUCCESS: "I don't know, you would have to answer that for me. It is certainly gratifying to see more Jack Daniel's hats in the crowd. That is what it is all about. It is all about winning races and fans and the better you run in this sport, the more attention and exposure you get, like it or not. Hopefully we are doing the things people like and hopefully we can win a championship for them."
ON GETTING COMMENTS FROM FANS THAT THEY HOPE HE BEAT THE HENDRICK CARS: "Everybody likes a winner, but they don't like a winner that wins too much. Those guys have certainly gotten accustomed to winning and winning championship. Hopefully we can be a deal breaker for them."
ON FOREIGN DRIVERS COMING IN TO NASCAR CUP RACING: "It certainly says a lot about our sport and the way it is headed. A lot of guys who make a lot of money in other sports are coming over here. I have mixed emotions about it. But bottom line is they are good race car drivers. Juan (Pablo Montoya) has proved that it can be done. He has struggled from time to time, but he has also won a Nextel Cup race this year and has done pretty good in my book and will only get better, as their equipment improves and he gains some experience. I think that has opened the door for a lot of other guys to get in.
"I think it is good for our sport. I just don't want to see young drivers like myself lose chances of getting here because of a big name getting a freebie-anyone in the Busch Series, touring Series, weekly series. It is a lot of hard work and dedication on a lot of people's parts. Lots of sacrifices in people's lives and families to try to get to this level and it was for my family. I hate to see too many of those spots taken by people with a big name that have already been successful in other sports and just think 'Hey, let's try this out, if it works, it works, if it doesn't then it doesn't"
ON WHERE GATHERING SPOT IS IN EMPORIA KANSAS THIS WEEKEND: "Man, I don't know. Probably Russ Sports Bar and Grill will probably be a good spot."
ON HOW MUCH SUPPORT HE FEELS FROM PEOPLE IN EMPORIA WHO HELPED HIM GET STARTED: "It means a lot. When you go back home, after the Kansas race, they sent my souvenir truck back to Emporia and it sold out in a town of 30,000 people. It says a lot about the support we have in Emporia. I am grateful for that and it is a lot of fun to go back there."
ON NEW GENERATION RACE CAR BUMP AND RUN: "It is definitely different than these cars. It seems like you can get in to them, you just don't lift their wheels off the ground and spin them out. I think that is a positive. I got angry at a guy at Richmond and I was going to knock him out of the way, he had done the same thing to me. It just kind of shoved him forward; I thought that was pretty cool. I think it is going to be better for us. When things get tense, sometimes that is a good show for the crowd, that seems to certainly be what the fans in the stands want to see is us losing our minds and getting in to each other and rubbin', it is still going to be the guy with four fenders on his car at the end of the race that is going to win.
"First of all, you don't need to move people. It is just every now and then you come up on somebody that isn't having a good day and isn't very happy but they want to race your tail off, you just let them know you are back there."
ON HAVING RICHARD CHILDRESS AT THE TRACK: "I want him here. He is our boss, he is our leader. Maybe come New Hampshire time, that is going to be Burton's race to win, we are going to find a good hunting trip for Richard, but anything other than that weekend, we want him here."
-credit: gm racing