CLINT BOWYER, DRIVER OF THE NO. 07 JACK DANIEL'S IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Kansas Speedway and discussed his opinion on Kansas getting a second date, how the Car of Tomorrow will drive at Kansas, running for two championships and...
CLINT BOWYER, DRIVER OF THE NO. 07 JACK DANIEL'S IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Kansas Speedway and discussed his opinion on Kansas getting a second date, how the Car of Tomorrow will drive at Kansas, running for two championships and more.
YOUR THOUGHTS OF COMING AND GOING RACING AT HOME. "It's so much fun to be back here at Kansas. It all comes back to this race track. Everything it's done for my career, everything it's done for Kansas City. There's just so many good things and wonderful things, memories of racing in Kansas City with the guys down on Lakeside and everywhere, I-70. It's just fun to come back here and compete at the premier level of all of motorsports and coming off of two good runs in the past. These are the tracks that we've been struggling at this year. It's a challenge for me. Nerve-wracking to come back here this time knowing that we've got to pick up our program. Can't wait to get in the car and see what we've got."
ON THE PRESSURES AND HAVING FUN WITH RUNNING FOR BOTH CHAMPIONSHIPS. "You try to have fun, when it gets to being pretty serious it takes the fun out of it. It is fun. This is an opportunity of a lifetime to make a living at what we've dreamed of doing our whole lives, but its fun. To be able to compete for two championships is fun. It reminds me of back in 2002 when I was racing here in Kansas City. We won both championships, one on asphalt and one on dirt. That meant a lot to me and it meant a lot to my career too. Looking back on things and building a resume for myself, that did a lot for me. If you can ever win two championships at this level it would be huge."
I'M GUESSING YOU'RE ONE OF THE GUYS THAT'S IN FAVOR OF RACING HERE TWICE A YEAR FOR SOME OBVIOUS REASONS, BUT WHY SHOULD WE RACE HERE TWICE AS OPPOSED TO TRYING TO GO TO IOWA OR KENTUCKY, WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE? "I think Iowa you're so close to here anyway. That's not too far from here. I feel like we can get the draw here in Kansas City and a better draw here than we could in Iowa. Now, does the Nationwide Series or Truck Series something like that need to be Iowa, I absolutely think so. What a wonderful facility, awesome. I'm partial to Kansas City. I think this is steadily becoming a hot spot, a favorite for all of us teams to come to. This is a fun city. There's so many happening things going on in the Kansas City area right now. A lot of it is surrounding the Kansas Speedway. I feel like Kansas Speedway is the latest and greatest, state-of-the-art everything, that all the years of NASCAR come together with this track. It all starts with traffic, getting in and out of here. It's a fork of two major highways rolling through Kansas City. There's shopping within walking distance of here. There's just so many things to do for our fans. Introducing the new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, there's going to be a casino here on the grounds. I just think that needs to set the mold for race tracks in the future. That's why I feel like they can hold it. The crowd, every time you come here and I'm partial to Kansas, you're right, but when I look up there in the stands at driver intro's it's a packed house."
YOU HAD TALKED ABOUT WHEN YOU COME HERE, YOU HAVE HEARD THE FANS SCREAM FOR YOU WHEN YOU'VE TAKEN THE LEAD BUT IT SEEMS LIKE EVERY TIME YOU COME BACK, YOU'RE IN MORE AND MORE DEMAND. YOU TALKED ABOUT THAT THERE'S A LITTLE MORE PRESSURE HERE BUT IS IT GETTING TO THE POINT NOW WHERE IT'S EVEN BIGGER THAN ITS EVER BEEN AS YOU GO FOR TWO DIFFERENT CHAMPIONSHIPS? "Well absolutely. The better you do the more you do. It's not necessarily just here. If we were leading the championship right now, we'd be doing media whether we were at Kansas or where ever we were going. Competing for two championships you're gonna get in the spot light and you're gonna be busy. It is a lot more busy this year than it was the first year when I came. Obviously there's a lot of people in this area that help me, whether it be on my dirt team or a lot of different areas of my racing career. This is the one and only time I have a chance to go there, do an appearance and give back to them for helping me out. So this is an important weekend for everybody, my sponsors and a lot of things. This is an opportunity to get everybody's name out there and showcase what we do."
THE FIRST 26 RACES, IT SEEMS THAT IF YOU'RE RUNNING AND YOU'RE RUNNING IN THE TOP-10 THAT'S ALL YOU NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO GET INTO THE CHASE, IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE IF YOU COME IN 10TH OR IF YOU COME IN FIFTH. I WAS JUST WONDERING IF THAT MADE THE 26 RACES LESS SIGNIFICANT THAN IT USED TO BE WHEN YOU WERE RUNNING FOR POINTS EVERY WEEK AND THAT COUNTS TOWARD YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP, WHERE HERE 26 RACES AS LONG AS YOU'RE IN THE TOP-12 THE SLATES CLEAN AND THEN YOU RUN AGAIN? "Definitely. I think Kyle Busch is a prime example of what you're talking about but it's no different than any other sport. A football team they can be undefeated and get to the playoffs and go out first round. No different than drag races, they can set fast time, be top qualifier go out in the first round and be out. That's what makes this sport competitive. Those 26 races, yes they are very important. You have to be in that Chase and obviously if you are one of those twelve drivers that's all that matters in the grand scheme of things but there's a lot of money to be made in those 26 races for yourself, for your team and a lot of points and a lot of prestige. We're out there to win races and you travel all the way across the country you're not going to lose. You're not going to just say I got to make part of the Chase and lets go home, you're going to win and there's a lot of people that come watch us put on a show and you want to be the man for them."
ON HOW THE COT WILL PERFORM AT KANSAS WHEN IT MAKES ITS DEBUT THIS WEEKEND. "I think it'll be better than we've seen at some of the other race tracks. I think that Kansas has really matured and the track surface, as it has aged we're able to move around. I can remember the first few races that I came here watching everybody was right around the bottom and it was kind of boring. You used to hear us complain about aero tight with the old car, these things are really bad too.
"These cars feel the affect five cars out where with the old car you could at least get up to the bumper and then couldn't get them passed. It starts way earlier than that, but you're able to move around. I think it will start in the Nationwide race. You won't see it in practice much I wouldn't say. Starting in the Nationwide race is where we'll get the track really rubbered down. You'll see people starting to move around and try different possibilities."
-credit: gm racing