This Week's BB&T Chevrolet at Martinsville Speedway ... Clint Bowyer will race Chassis No. 327 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This is a brand new No. 33 racer that will be put through its first paces in this ...
This Week's BB&T Chevrolet at Martinsville Speedway ... Clint Bowyer will race Chassis No. 327 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This is a brand new No. 33 racer that will be put through its first paces in this weekend's 500-lap contest.
On the Home Front ... While none of the No. 33 crew members are natives of the Martinsville area, approximately half of them reside close enough that they will make the daily commute from their homes to the speedway.
Meet the Driver ... On behalf of Cheerios and Hamburger Helper, Bowyer will appear at Kroger Night with the Drivers in Roanoke, Va., on Thursday, October 21, from 5:15-7 p.m. in the Roanoke Civic Center Exhibit Hall. Doors open at 2 p.m., there is a live auction from 3-5 p.m., and the event will also feature racing simulators and show cars. Tickets are on sale now for $20.00 at area Kroger stores, through the Roanoke Civic Center ticket office, online at www.HomeTownBankTIX.com, or call 877-HTB-TixNOW. All proceeds benefit the Victory Junction Gang.
You've had top-10 finishes in five of the nine races you've raced at Martinsville. Is this a track you like?
"I do like it. It took awhile to learn it. I'll tell you what, it's very challenging and it's a lot of fun. You have to look at it like that - that it's challenging. It's one of those tracks that I feel like I could win a race."
Even though Martinsville is mentally and physically demanding, can you still have fun racing the race track?
"Oh yeah, it's a lot of fun. It's very intense all the time. You're always in traffic and there's no room to breathe, but that's what you grew up to do. It reminds me of the old short tracks, beating and banging on each other. You have to get up on the wheel and make things happen."
You are always on top of someone at Martinsville and your spotter is always telling you if someone is inside or outside because you can only really see directly ahead of you and directly behind you. How much can you tell when other cars are around you?
"You can definitely tell. If you don't, then you're not paying attention and you're going to get ran into and, potentially, knocked out of the race. To me, it's as much your job as it is your spotter's job to keep you out of trouble."
Scott Miller (interim crew chief) has won races in this sort of 'fill-in' position before. Has it been seamless with him stepping in? What allows him to do that?
"Yeah, it definitely seems pretty seamless with him filling in. He's done a great job, but I think it speaks for Shane's (Wilson, crew chief) plan and strategy. Going into this, he was ready, prepared and all the guys never missed a beat and did their jobs. They stepped up a little bit and filled in where needed. Certainly, Scott's credentials speak for themselves. I wasn't worried about Scott not being able to do the job. He was a crew chief before and is our competition director and probably the best person for that job because he's on top of everything that is going on. He's the most suitable person for that. Everything that happens on the engineering side at the shop, he's in tune with. He knows what is going on race day and listens to us every weekend on the radio. He's just a perfect fit there. Actually, after the race on my way home, I was thinking we could use this as an opportunity to better ourselves for when Shane and I get back together. Sometimes a change opens your eyes and trips that trigger a little bit, but there are some things that he does different that we could do better. There are some things that we are good at and we need to realize those things as your strong points and fix the weak points. I think that these next few weeks could be a positive for us."