CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 BB&T CHEVROLET met with media and discussed the new spoiler, last week's engine failure at Bristol, pressure to win, racing at Phoenix, and more. GO AHEAD AND GIVE US AN OVERVIEW OF YOUR CHANCES THIS WEEK "Well, hopefully...
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 BB&T CHEVROLET met with media and discussed the new spoiler, last week's engine failure at Bristol, pressure to win, racing at Phoenix, and more.
GO AHEAD AND GIVE US AN OVERVIEW OF YOUR CHANCES THIS WEEK "Well, hopefully the chances are better than they were last week. Didn't make it very far but looking forward to it and we have put a lot of work and a lot of dedication into getting better at Martinsville. You know we have been to that little Rockingham track several times trying to get better here and this is a track where I have..........you know, if there is a track in my career that I have struggled at the most in the Cup series.......it was here. So I feel like we have gotten a lot better here and we closed that gap a bit and I feel like we could be strong.
"We have to get things turned around and bounce back from engine failure last week and get ourselves a good finish."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE WE HAVE COME FULL CIRCLE NOW WITH THE SPOILER AND ALL THE RULE CHANGES THAT YOU HAVE SEEN? DOES IT SURPRISE YOU THAT IT'S WHERE IT USED TO BE? "I am a fan of the spoiler and I never really liked the wing and I don't really think it fit NASCAR if that makes any sense. We have always had a spoiler and that is the way our cars have always been and the spoiler certainly looks a lot better on the car in my opinion. These things are race cars and we want them to look racy and fast, and look fast. They are just a little too boxy and that wing just didn't look right on them.
"I think it's good and there are some things that only time will tell. I think Martinsville is a good track to get it put into place for the first race out, but I am looking forward to getting to a 1.5 mile track and getting to Texas and seeing how it's going to react behind cars and things like that but so far so good."
LOOKING AHEAD TO PHOENIX IN TWO WEEKS, THAT LOOKS LIKE THE KIND OF TRACK THAT WOULD FIT YOUR DRIVING STYLE. THOUGHTS ON THAT? "Yes, it's a very fun racetrack and I have always liked Phoenix. Actually my first race as an RCR employee was at Phoenix and that was where I got my first start in the Cup series, I won a Nationwide race there, so the track has been good to me. I enjoy it and can't wait to get out there. It's always a racy little short track that we all love."
YOU GUYS, ALL THREE CARS HAVE HAD A REALLY GOOD START THIS YEAR, POINTS ETC. YOU WANT TO WIN, BUT IF YOU GUYS DON'T WIN IS IT A MAJOR ISSUE AS LONG AS YOU KEEP DOING WELL? "Well, you start out the season to win races and the second goal is to be a part of that Chase so that you have a chance to win the championship. You can't win the championship without being in that Chase and you have to be in it. So much goes into being in that Chase for your sponsors, for your outlook of the future, and everything. You have got to be in that Chase to be recognized, to be noticed, to be somebody in this sport so consistency along the way, not having engine failures like we had last week. You have got to be able to put that stuff behind us early and be able to string together a long run of some solid top-tens and top-five finishes.
"If you run in the top-five long enough, you are going to get yourself a win. Probably multiple wins. We have got to get a little bit better. We have closed the gap a quite a bit from last year and we are really excited about the rest of the season. I feel like we have some good direction and have some good things coming in the future that will be even better this year."
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT NOT TO GET UPSET WITH THE ENGINE DEPARTMENT LIKE YOU DID LAST WEEK, AND YOUR TEAMMATES DON'T LOSE ONE? IS IT EASIER TO DEAL WITH THAT NOW RATHER THAN GOING INTO RICHMOND OR SOMETHING? "First things first. I'm a racer. I spend a lot of time in the engine shop. It's unbelievable to me that these things are doing what they're doing. You're asking so much out of these engines; turning them over 9,000 rpm for 500 miles, it's just incredible. If you could see the moving parts inside of an engine at that rpm, it is unbelievable. You wouldn't think it would make it one lap. It's just awesome. Our engine shop has done a lot over the last few years of getting to be one of the premier engines in all of the sport. So I'm very happy with ECR. Five years of racing and that's (only) the second engine failure. I think that speaks volumes. We have the record of the longest run without a DNF and it's because of our engine department and things like that that don't give up and don't give us failures. Richard (Childress), I met him in the engine shop first thing Monday morning. It was just a part failure. It wasn't anything a human did wrong or anything else. Flat out, it broke a rod. That happens. Unfortunately it happened for us. It was a big hit in the points but fortunately it was early in the season and we've got plenty of time to rebound and bounce back."
WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT YOUR FIRST RACE WITH RCR AT PHOENIX? "Well, he (Richard Childress) used to have an alliance with Bill McAnally and it was in one of McAnally's cars. It was actually pretty interesting. Me, and his full-time driver, who was beating and banging on each other for the lead and I think Bill was getting pretty nervous. He was starting to say some things on the radio. But I've just enjoyed working for Richard and being a part of RCR and everything that they've given me and my family is just a dream come true. I appreciate it. You think about old races like that. I didn't win it but I think we finished second. The one thing that I have to get better at is winning races. I think we're pretty good at consistency. Us as a group and me as a driver have to get better at winning races. You have to be able to run up front and win races to be recognized to be solidly in what I consider a premier level of auto racing. I feel like we're with the right organization. Richard has always given us everything we've ever asked for and we've just got to look at ourselves and get that little bit more."
ON THE SPOILER, DO YOU THINK IT'S INTERESTING THAT THE DRIVERS ARE TALKING MORE ABOUT HOW IT LOOKS THAN HOW IT DRIVES? "I don't think so. We're all car guys, you know? You haven't been racing your whole life and not be a car guy. We've always been very proud of our race cars because there's a lot that goes into building them. And when they look racey, they look fast and you're proud of them. And I think going back to the spoiler, the car just looks like a race car again. I'm a huge fan of this new Nationwide car that's coming out, the front ends. You can recognize a lot of the factories original look. I think you'll like the way they look and I hope they'll implement some of those things into the Cup cars because they just look cool. They look racey and fast and everybody is pretty proud of them. So, I think we've come a long ways with this Car of Tomorrow. We've learned a lot about it. The safety aspect was number one on the to-do list, and they've certainly done that. We've seen some horrible wrecks in the last two or three years. If it had been the old car, I mean Keselowski's wreck where it smashed the roof down, that roof was four to six inches higher from your head than it used to be. What would that have done? So, there are just a lot of things. You can look back over the last couple of years at some of the wrecks that we've had and credit that Car of Tomorrow and them doing their homework and research and building us a safe car and saving people's lives."
GOODYEAR HAS PROMISED ANOTHER NEW TIRE COMPOUND. HOW MUCH OF A FACTOR DO YOU THINK THAT WILL BE ON SUNDAY WITH THE BRAKES AND EVERYTHING? "I think it'll be fine. Goodyear does such a good job. We're asking a lot. We're leaning on Goodyear a lot. I think they can be credited for some of the better racing that we've had this year because we have a little bit better tire to race on. No different than anybody else, they're learning what this car needs to put on a good show and we learn each and every week. But whatever compound is good with me."
-source: gm racing