Loudon, NH - Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Impala SS, scored his career-first NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) win in dominating fashion leading six times for 222 laps in the Sylvania 300. Starting from the pole, Bowyer was clearly the class...
Loudon, NH - Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Impala SS, scored his career-first NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) win in dominating fashion leading six times for 222 laps in the Sylvania 300.
Starting from the pole, Bowyer was clearly the class of the field in his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet scoring the 20th win for Chevrolet in 2007 In addition, Bowyer's victory is the 10th win for Impala SS in 2007.
Bowyer was 12th in the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship coming in to the second race of the season at New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS). Following collecting the points for winning the race, plus the bonus points for leading a lap and leading the most laps, Bowyer now sits fourth in the order, just 15 points behind the leader.
Team Chevy drivers claimed all top-five finishing positions in the round one of the Chase and the 27th race of the season. Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS finished second followed by Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Impala SS in third. Kyle Busch, No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Impala SS and Martin Truex, Jr., No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Impala SS finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Four more Impala SS drivers captured top-10 finishes with Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS in sixth. Casey Mears, No. 25 National Guard/GMAC Impala SS came home in eighth and J.J.Yeley, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Impala SS in the 10th finishing position.
Johnson and Gordon leave NHIS tied for the top-spot in the Chase for the Cup standings with 5,210 points each. Stewart sits in third spot with 5,200 points followed by Bowyer. Busch sits fifth to give Team Chevy the top-five spots in the standings with nine rounds remaining in the Chase.
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 07 JACK DANIELS IMPALA SS - Winner
YOU WALKED TO VICTORY LANE. WHERE IS YOUR RACE CAR? "Well, it must have been the burnout. I think I blew it up. That's what it's all about."
WHAT A GREAT RACE CAR. YOU HAD 300 GOOD LAPS. TALK ABOUT THAT "Absolutely. And it all starts back at the shop and with everybody back at RCR. I wish they were all here with me. This says a lot about our race team and the Jack Daniels Chevrolet."
IT TOOK 64 RACES TO GET HERE. HOW DOES IT FEEL? "This is unbelievable. I can't believe it happened here. This has always been a good track us. We just could never get the finish. I'm just so excited to celebrate with all these guys. They deserve it."
UNOFFICIALLY, YOU HAVE MOVED FROM 12TH TO 4TH IN THE POINTS. WHAT A GREAT WAY TO START THE CHASE "That's what you've got to do. You've got to start off on the right foot. I knew this was going to be a good track and to be able to get out of here with a good finish is really great."
CHAD KNAUS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS:
YOU FINISHED 6TH. ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THAT? "No, not really. We set goals to finish in the top five. We're a little disappointed with finishing sixth. But the guys did a good job. Jimmie (Johnson) did a good job. I just didn't do a very good job of adjusting the car today. So we weren't able to get that top five. It feels good to be able to come out of here a lot better than we have the past couple of years at this point, coming into the Chase; and we're looking forward to Dover."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT IMPALA SS - Finished 2nd:
"It was a real good day. I'm so proud of this race team. That was a great effort to come from 18th and fight our way up to finish inside the top five. I know this DuPont Chevrolet is absolutely worn out. We drove the brakes, the tires, and just everything completely off this thing. Clint Bowyer, my congratulations to him. He was the class of the field today. And we just lost track position. We were very good on new tires or cold tires I should say. And that one group of yellow flags just really got us behind so we had some catch up to do. We had great pit stops. I'm very happy to set the Chase started off like this."
ON RACING WITH TONY STEWART "I was just having fun racing with Tony. He's a great driver and a class act and we were mixing it up for sure there a couple of times. It was a good race."
TONY STEWART, No. 20 HOME DEPOT IMPALA SS - Finished 3rd
TALK ABOUT THAT LAST GREEN FLAG RUN "We got going there. We really just got settled in and we got by Kyle (Busch) and we could close in on Jeff a few times and then he would get away from us. But we can't be disappointed with a third place run here today."
YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE FACT THAT THERE WERE TWO GUYS IN THE CHASE THAT FINISHED AHEAD OF YOU "That's why they got in the Chase. It doesn't take much rocket science to figure out why they're all there. The top seven (finishing) drivers are all Chase drivers. It doesn't take much to figure out why and how they all got here."
KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S /CARQUEST IMPALA SS - Finished 4th:
"It was a good day. This CARQUEST / Kellogg's Chevrolet bunch of guys did an awesome job for me and gave me an awesome race car to keep up front with these guys today. We got back a little bit there in the beginning part of the race which just wasn't the best thing but we kept getting better and better and making more and more adjustments to where we could get up front and we did a pit deal there so we could keep it up front."
WE SAW YOU GOING SIDEWAYS A COUPLE OF TIMES TODAY. DID YOU HAVE TO WORK ON THE CAR VERY MUCH OR IS THAT JUST NEW HAMPSHIRE? "That's just the COT. They're always evil. We were still trying to make it better. I guess it just doesn't fit my driving style or whatever. But I'm trying to get accustomed to it and we're trying to get it accustomed to me. To come out of here with a fourth place effort today definitely means a lot to these guys and this team and myself and being able to hopefully go to Dover next week and have another good run and go on to Kansas and then to Talladega and see what it brings us."
MARTIN TRUEX JR., NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS / TRACKER IMPALA SS - Finished 5th
ON YOUR TOP FIVE FINISH AND GETTING THE FIRST CHASE RACE BEHIND YOU? "I wish the race was longer. I usually don't say that. But we had a good car at the end of the race. It just took us a while. We started the race real, real tight and it took us pretty much all day to get the car working where we needed it to. It was a great day for the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet though to come home fifth at one of my favorite tracks. We love coming up here to New Hampshire. I'm just proud of my team. They did a good job. We did what we needed to do. We didn't have the best car today and we got a great finish."
ON GOING TO DOVER NEXT WEEK WHERE HE WON IN THE SPRING "We're looking forward to it. We're hopefully taking the same car and hopefully have the same results. But I know everyone here is better then they were last time. We're going to need to get better too. The guys have been working hard. They've been working all weekend getting ready for Dover still. So we'll see what we got when we show up there on Friday."
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS - Started 8th, Finished 17th. 10th In The Chase Standings:
"We really had a decent car, started out tight but Todd (Berrier, crew chief) and the guys had a good adjustments and we got better and better. We just couldn't come back from two flat tires in one race. So we go on from here to Dover."
DALE EARNHARDT, JR. NO. 8 BUDWEISER IMPALA SS - Started 19th, Finished 16th:
"We had a really good car at the beginning of the race then we kind of out thought ourselves on the adjustments and car just went away, it got it so loose I couldn't hang on to it and I spun it out. We got it a lot better toward the end, but there was just too much track position to make up and not enough time. I am real proud of my guys cause no one on this Budweiser team has given up at all."
CASEY MEARS, NO. 25 NATIONAL GUARD/GMAC IMPALA SS, Started 15th, Finished 8th:
"It was a good day, we needed a run like that. Kinda of struggled the last couple of weeks and didn't get the finishes we needed. Fortunately there, we led a lap or two and got some points for that and finished in front of everybody. That is the biggest thing we needed to do is to continue to finish in front of everybody we are racing up to 13th position in the points and hopefully get that 13th spot by the end of the years. That is definitely our goal and I th9ink it is a very realistic goal. We keep closing ground and to come back from 35th at some point in the season to rally back to where we are at now and have a shot at getting 13th is a really good job for this team. We just struggled a little bit too much at the beginning of the season but we definitely could have been in this Chase if we hadn't."
J.J. YELEY, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES IMPALA SS - Finished 10th:
TALK ABOUT YOUR SECOND TOP-10 FINISH IN A ROW "It's just a lot more fun running up front. Obviously you are racing with the better guys and they're a little more courteous and the car runs better because you are running towards the front. All the Interstate Batteries guys did a really good job. We were on the right pit sequence for the good part of the race and made the right decisions. There was a point there where could have come in and were worried about a tire going down, but we stuck it out and it turned out it wasn't and all was well. It was definitely a good run and happy to log two top-10 finishes in a row, but you always wish you could have been better.
DO YOU WISH THAT MAYBE YOU WOULD HAVE HAD A CAUTION NEAR THE END TO CLOSE UP TO THE GUYS IN FRONT OF YOU? "I didn't want to see any cautions. The car was really good but it was so hard to pass. I watched the 12 (Ryan Newman) car trying to wreck the 25 (Casey Mears) the last 10 laps and I could see Jamie McMurray was catching me when I was trying to get through lapped traffic. There are so many things that can happen. I had a fast race car but having a open track versus trying to pass everyone was another story. I'm happy with 10th and this is what we need. We want to win a race before the year is out, that's the main goal. But at the same time if we continue to finish in the top-10 we'll peck away at the guys in front of us in points and it would be cool to get back into the top-15 in points before the year is out."
-credit: gm racing