CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and discussed the start of the Chase, momentum and consistency, his home track of Kansas Speedway and other topics. Full ...
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and discussed the start of the Chase, momentum and consistency, his home track of Kansas Speedway and other topics. Full transcript:
TALK ABOUT YOUR OUTLOOK AS THE CHASE STARTS THIS WEEKEND: "I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited to be in the Chase. Our team is excited. It's just a whole new rejuvenation for our race team. We're starting over. When we went into this thing, if you think about it, we were 500 points out. And we're 60 points out. That's a big change in one race time. So, ten races to go. This is a fun atmosphere to be in. We're excited about it. There are good race tracks for us. There are ten tracks that are really good for me. I think we'll be good."
GOING BACK TO KANSAS IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS, CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO US THE FIRST TIME THAT YOU KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO RUN THERE? AND DO YOU STILL GET BUTTERFLIES GOING BACK THERE? "It all started driving down the road to Lakeside (Speedway in Kansas City, KS); I remember when it was a housing development. Never in a million years would you have looked at that area right there going down 435 and said this is going to be a huge racing complex with a shopping mall and everything that's over there. It's unbelievable how much that race track has brought to that area and Wyandotte Country. When it was being built, to drive by it when it was being built, and when it was, to go to the first race and be in the infield hanging out with your buddies and watching a race and dreaming of racing there. To go back there and compete, not only compete, but to compete at the top level of motorsports, it's a pretty neat feeling."
YOU HAD TO FOCUS SO MUCH ON MAKING SURE THAT YOU GOT INTO THE CHASE, ARE THERE ANY CONCERNS THAT YOU DIDN'T HAVE ADEQUATE TIME TO PREPARE FOR EVERYTHING ONCE YOU GOT INTO IT? "No, we had a brand new car ready for it, the first race of the Chase. It wasn't like we weren't prepared. It's not like you work so hard to get in the Chase and your fizzled. Everybody's excited. Like I said, this is a whole rejuvenation for our race team. Just the sheer excitement of being in the Chase is worth something. And then if you go back and look at our record, my record even before these ten races, these are good race tracks for us. We've never finished outside the top five when we've been in the Chase. Go back and look at last season even when we weren't in the Chase, those ten races were my best races of the year. And I think we can improve for sure off of where we're at right now."
DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE AT AN ADVANTAGE BY NOT BEING CONSIDERED A TOP CONTENDER FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "Yes, absolutely and that is what I am looking most forward to is being the underdog and being that afterthought. Everybody puts the pressure...I mean, did you hear how many questions Jimmie Johnson just answered? And that was all pressure-related. How are you going to handle the pressure? What are you going to do this time to win your fifth championship? My teammate Kevin Harvick, I was in New York listening to him answer those same exact questions because of the way he has run all season long for 26 races. We haven't answered one of them. The only thing you guys want to know from us is how do you think you can do. That is great. It reminds me a lot of 2007. The same scenario. We came and won the first race and kind of set the tempo for the Chase and for our race team as well. I hope that I can back that up. I think that we can run at that level. I think our cars are good enough too. Probably better than they were. We've got some room to improve and we need to improve if we are going to win a championship and compete with these guys for 10 races. The way our cars have run all year, Kevin has done a good job of showing our potential at RCR. If we can match that for 10 races like he has for 26, somebody at RCR should win."
YOUR TEAM HAS BEEN ONE OF THE MOST CONSISTENT IN RECENT WEEKS. NOW THAT YOU HAVE QUALIFIED FOR THE CHASE, WHAT KIND OF ATTITUDE DIFFERENCE IS THERE WITH THE TEAM, YOU USED THE TERM REJUVENATING AT RICHMOND, HOW PALPABLE IS THAT? "I think it is everything. Confidence and momentum is everything in any sport I think. They both feed off of each other. The last month has been a lot of momentum and has brought a lot of confidence to our race team. I think, hopefully, we can continue to ride that wave as long as we can. If we could carry that throughout the Chase, we can be a force to be reckoned with, just like we were in 2007. That is the thing about my Chase, in my opinion, that is different from any other years. You don't have that dominate organization. You have got every organization in it that is very strong, very capable of winning racing and we have seen it all year long. Everybody has had their time in the sun. I think it is going to be the same thing. I think you are going to go into Homestead with anywhere from three to six cars with a shot at winning the championship. I think that is going to be big for our sport."
WE'VE SPENT WEEKS DEBATING WHO IS IN THE TEAM AND WHO HAS THE BEST CHANCE TO WIN, SOME SAYING THAT OUTSIDE DISTRACTIONS SUCH AS RUNNING THEIR OWN ORGANIZATION WILL BE AN ISSUE, DOES ANY OF THAT REALLY MATTER? "I really don't think it does. The only one with a sheer advantage, in my opinion, is Jimmie Johnson. He's won four in a row. Everybody is chasing after him and there has got to be a level of intimidation there. Everybody else, all it is, you have to be able to get on that roll, get on a rhythm and find that mojo. If you can carry that thru 10 races, you are going to find yourself a champion. That is how close the racing is. I think the one that is the most consistent always wins the championship. If you have a bad race, as close as this racing is, I don't think there is time to make for."
AS CLOSE AS THE FIELD IS, WOULD IT SURPRISE YOU IF SOMEBODY BROKE OUT EARLY AND STARTED WINNING RACES AND GETTING A BIG LEAD? "I just don't see the way Jimmie Johnson won four out of the 10 races or whatever he did to dominate a Chase. He surprised us all before, and he may. But I just don't think that any one team is going to break out and be head and shoulders above everybody else."
-source: gm racing