CLINT BOWYER, DRIVER OF THE NO. 07 JACK DANIEL'S IMPALA SS met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discussed running in New Hampshire, making the Chase, racing at Indy and more. WHAT'S THE KEY TO RUNNING GOOD IN NEW ...
CLINT BOWYER, DRIVER OF THE NO. 07 JACK DANIEL'S IMPALA SS met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discussed running in New Hampshire, making the Chase, racing at Indy and more.
WHAT'S THE KEY TO RUNNING GOOD IN NEW HAMPSHIRE? "Just having a good race car obviously, but rolling off the center of the corner. You've got to carry so much momentum through there, let the car do the work so to speak and you really got to roll the center good. I've been fortunate to have good cars that have done that."
THOUGHTS ON THE UPCOMING EVENT AT NEW HAMPSHIRE, HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU'LL RUN UP THERE? "Hopefully pretty good. Just looking forward to seeing what we've got. You never know until you get there and see how you stack up to the competition in practice. Looking forward to the opportunity."
DOES THAT AUTOMATICALLY MEAN THAT CLINT BOWYER IS A THREAT EVERY TIME THAT WE GO TO A TRACK THAT'S A LITTLE BIT FLAT? "I wouldn't say that. We've had a little bit of success here. Started on the outside of the front row my first time here, ran fourth. Struggled a little bit last year but really a fun race track and an important race track. You want to run good here. We only get to come here once. It's an honor to be able to go on the track, so many great names have raced here. Fun place to be."
DOES THIS PLACE HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE FOR YOU OR FOR YOU IS IT DAYTONA AND NOTHING ELSE? "I think Daytona still spells out NASCAR and is our biggest race, this is a close second. This is just a neat race track and motorsports in general. This is the granddaddy of all motorsports. As far as NASCAR I think Daytona is still, it's where it all started."
I'VE HEARD SOME GUYS SAY YOU'VE GOT TO GET OUT OF TURN TWO QUICK, GOT TO GET OUT OF TURN FOUR QUICK, WHAT'S THE KEY TO RUNNING GOOD HERE? "That's definitely the case. If you get your car turning good and you can get off low, carrying the momentum through the corners. This is such a momentum track. It's something that you don't really think about but when you're out there. You really have to carry momentum through these flat somewhat tight corners."
EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT HOW YOU GOT YOUR BIG BREAK IN THIS SPORT, RC (RICHARD CHILDRESS) WATCHING THE ARCA RACE AND EVERYTHING. GIVING THERE'S NO SCOUTING, NOTHING LIKE WE SEE IN THE NFL, HOW MUCH OF MAKING IT IS TIMING AND LUCK AND JUST BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE? "It is a lot timing and luck. You only get one shot at it unfortunately. I've seen a lot of guys get an opportunity that I thought they're going to set the world on fire and for whatever reason didn't rise to the occasion and racing late models or dirt cars whatever their background was they were the heat. Then it got to that opportunity to where maybe it wasn't the right opportunity. Things went wrong. It's seems like if you're not running good in those first couple of races you're pushed by the wayside pretty quick. It's unfortunate. Sometimes guys come in so far behind in experience they don't even get a chance to showcase their talent. Unfortunate but it is a very competitive, very close form of racing in any sport. It's hard to get inside and then we get so much experience, so much seat time inside the car with testing, practice, racing Nationwide, racing cup you're just in the car so much a new kid that grew up racing late models, it's hard for him to catch up to that."
COULD THERE BE GUYS WHO ARE RACING THE SHORT TRACKS TODAY WHO MAY BE ABLE TO COMPETE UP HERE BUT WILL NEVER GET THEIR SHOT BECAUSE THE RIGHT GUY NEVER SAW THEM? "Absolutely. It's just unbelievable that Richard just happened to be watching that race that day and we caught his eye. There's so many kids across the country that deserve the opportunity and given that opportunity could be the next cup star."
YOU ARE 13TH RIGHT NOW, BAD LUCK IT SEEMS, ARE YOU HURTING REALLY? "We're not running well. We took a step backwards. We really did. We started out this season with seven straight top-10's, more than anybody at the time. We won at Richmond and then the bottom fell out. The short tracks have been well for us. We're running good. It's the 1.5-mile tracks that have really, really been the dagger right now and we're trying to figure it out. We're working harder than we ever have testing. We don't have the answer right now. It doesn't fall in your lap. It's due to hard work, what got us here and the hard work is going to get us out of this slump. It's definitely crunch time, we've got to get going. Top-10's are what will put you there, but we need to start running in the top five and contending for wins. At the beginning of the season I was happy with the way that my team was running. We've answered the call and been doing the things that we need to do to get things turned around."
THE 07 HAS BEEN IN THE MEDIA RUMOR MILL FOR MONTHS, DOES THAT CAUSE A DISTRACTION FOR YOUR TEAM? "Richard and I were talking about that. It doesn't help anything. When everybody's wondering is the driver going to be there and whatever else and we got that taken care of. I think it can hurt you a little bit but that doesn't make the car handle better. Still things have got to work, the car has to handle and you got to do your job inside the race car. It's not like I'm a distraction, I forgot how to drive. It's an unfortunate deal that we all have to go through. It's uncomfortable. Nobody likes going through that especially the people that have given you everything, given you the life and everything else. They are uncomfortable times and things I don't like to go through. Thank God you only have to do it every three years or so. I really enjoy this sport. I enjoy the challenge. It doesn't matter what kind of racing it is at what level there's always challenges. The challenge has presented itself, now we've got to answer the call."
HAS RACING HERE LIVED UP TO THE EXPECTATIONS YOU HAD WHEN YOU WERE FIVE YEARS OLD? "It does. This place could be absolutely the worst race track that we come to, which it's not but it could be and it wouldn't matter. The history and the tradition and what it means to everybody that's a part of this sport to come here and race. It's such a prestigious track that you want to be here and once you get here its so much fun. They've got a golf course in the infield of this place for crying out loud. It's awesome. It's the mecca of all race tracks. I was out there in an Impala giving rides today and it doesn't matter if you're driving a street car or a race car around here. It's neat to be on that race track."
DOES THIS RACE MAYBE MEAN A LITTLE BIT MORE TO WIN? "In my opinion, this is the granddaddy of all forms of motorsports. In our sport, in NASCAR I think Daytona is still the king of them but this is a close second. What this track means and to be able to have your picture on one of those flags pulling in here. That's about the neatest thing about this place is seeing those flags. I about rear-ended somebody yesterday reading all those flags and the history of this place. It's cool. From the time you get off the highway to the time you pull in the race track."
IS IT NICE HAVING A WEEKEND OFF BEFORE HERE SO YOU CAN KIND OF BUILD UP TO IT? "Yeah, I was able to go to Gateway and run the Nationwide car and didn't run very well so I was miserable the whole time there. But, yeah. Been working hard trying to figure out what the cup car is doing. It's been miserable, it's been fun (laughing)."
IS THIS YOUR LAST GO AROUND IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES? "I don't know. I'm going to run but don't know if I'll run for the championship. I had fun in St. Louis but its still working. Obviously its racing and I love to race. If I could have got in the dirt race in Nebraska Thursday night it would have been alright but it rained it out. Pretty much ruined everything."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE UPCOMING NATIONWIDE RACE? "First laps on the track are going to be dropping the green flag, looking forward to that. I guess they can probably just help me out. Rain and put me on the pole that would be even better. No pressure or nothing. If it rains out qualifying I will be in trouble. Just looking forward to it. It's an opportunity and you've got to look at that."
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO GET ALL THREE RCR CARS IN THE CHASE? "It's everything right now. With eight races to go it's everything. You've got to pull out all the stops and try to get it in there which is important to all of us. It's important to our organization and it's important. It's something you want to be a part of and if you're if you're not all you're doing is preparing for the next year."
YOU HAVE SOME TRACKS COMING UP THAT YOU'VE RUN WELL AT. YOU HAD THE ONE-TWO-THREE FINISH AT BRISTOL. "Yeah, it's an opportunity. Sitting 13th outside looking in we've got to use every track as an opportunity to try to gain points."
SINCE YOU HAVE HAD THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING IN THE CHASE, HOW DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR APPROACH THIS YEAR AS OPPOSED TO LAST YEAR? "I find myself in the same situation. A very nerve wrecking time right now, very worried about making the Chase and trying to be a part of it. It is what it is and you've got to make the best of it."
IS IT MORE NERVE WRECKING BECAUSE YOU'VE BEEN IN IT BEFORE AND YOU KNOW WHAT YOU COULD BE MISSING? "I think so. You've been a part of the banquet and everything else and seen all the attention and hype around that. You want to be a part of that."
-credit: gm racing