CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET met with media to discuss all of the variables in this week's race--the impact of the green/white/checker rule, the longer race and qualifying at Phoenix, plus much more. ON HOW HIS TEAM...
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER CHEVROLET met with media to discuss all of the variables in this week's race--the impact of the green/white/checker rule, the longer race and qualifying at Phoenix, plus much more.
ON HOW HIS TEAM MEASURES UP TO THE COMPETITION: "Everybody's pretty close and we need to get a good chain of top-10s and solid runs to get a good pad in the points. We blew an engine 50 laps in at Bristol, and really set us back in the points. So far so good, but we need to get some good runs here and hopefully a whole string of them."
ALL THE VARIABLES HERE--THE SPOILER, THE GREEN/WHITE CHECKER, THE LONGER RACE--HOW MUCH DOES THAT REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE HERE?
"This track has always raced well. I don't think there's anybody in the garage that doesn't love coming here for a race. It's very racy; it's fast--its short track racing at its best. Long runs here are a premium, so you have to be able to handle it, but you have to be able to get up on the wheel and make things happen early in the run too. I don't think you can screw this place up. I don't care what variable you throw at it. It's always going to race well. We're always going to be able to put on a good show for the fans, and that's what most important. Obviously, the spoiler at Martinsville didn't seem to make a big difference at all. Here, probably not as much either. I think we're all looking forward to getting to Texas and seeing what we all have as far as our programs are concerned."
CARL EDWARDS IS GOING TO RIDE HIS BIKE FROM HIS HOME IN COLUMBIA TO THE RACE TRACK IN GATEWAY. IT'S ABOUT THE SAME DISTANCE FROM YOUR HOME IN EMPORIA TO THE TRACK IN KANSAS CITY AS IT IS FROM COLUMBIA TO KANSAS CITY. HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT RACING HIM TO THE TRACK? "Yeah, I'll probably do it on my Harley. It seems a lot smarter, and I can listen to a radio and enjoy the benefits of cruise control. I can just kick back, relax, and look good doing it. I don't know that you're going to look too good after riding a bicycle two-and-a-half hours. Everybody just thinks you're a little bit crazy. We've had a lot of fun with that--I pick on him quite a bit for doing that. He couldn't walk for like a week after doing that, and I'm like, "Gee, Carl, I wonder why?" Obviously, he's going to do that again. I guess he forgot how sore his rear-end was. I'd do it on a Harley, not on a bicycle."
YOU ARE COMING OFF RACES AT BRISTOL AND MARTINSVILLE WHERE THE WINNERS CHOSE TIRES OVER TRACK POSITION. DO YOU SEE THAT TREND CONTINUING THIS WEEKEND? "You always have to be careful with that trend. About the time that you think you're on to something, the exact opposite will win the race. I think it has to do with that particular scenario and the chain of events that happen in that scenario. Denny moved a lot of people, and he probably upset a lot of people. He won the race, but he had to get rough to do it. The end of that race was crazy, everybody was pushing everybody.
"You had people on tires that were completely worn out at the end of the run, and people that were on new tires trying to get through those guys. At Bristol, I didn't even get to participate enough to pay attention. I was fueling my truck up at a Flying J, and the cashier looked at me and said, "What the [heck] are you doing here?" I had to explain and that wasn't much fun. It is what it is. Three attempts at a green-white-checker, that's the tricky thing. You can usually hold those guys off for one, but when you have three attempts at it and you have to use those, your hands are full of those guys if those guys have tires."
SPEAKING OF DENNY ARE YOU CURIOUS TO SEE HOW HE DOES THIS WEEKEND COMING OFF THE SURGERY? ANY CONCERNS ABOUT HIS REACTION TIME, OR HIM BRAKING AND ACCELERATING WITH A BAD HINGE? "Well I hope it doesn't give out with me in front of him! I never really thought of that. It is what it is. He had to have the surgery and it sounds like it was successful. We'll see how it goes. I don't know any differently than you do as far as how he'll be able to handle it. It's a little bit longer of a race, so that doesn't help anything. He's a tough kid; he'll be alright."
CAN YOU TALK US THROUGH QUALIFYING HERE TODAY? "Yeah, qualifying is a premium everywhere we go, but it seems like at these short tracks with the clean air it's very hard to pass. These cars are very even anymore. What separates a good car from a bad car is a tenth, or maybe less sometimes. It's very, very difficult to pass, you have to be able to qualify up front to enjoy the benefits of clean air, and not only that but to be able to have a good pit stall too."
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO QUALIFY HERE WITH TWO SEPARATE CORNERS? "This track with the two separate and different corners, with one and two being tight and three and four being an open, sweeping corner, you really have to compensate. There is no perfect setup; you have to be able to get up on the wheel and qualify. You have to hustle the car, which you have to have a car that is capable of doing that and acceptable of doing that. You have to have your car a little bit snug; you don't want a car that's too loose because you can't get up on the wheel and make things happen and in qualifying you will ultimately be a little slow."
-source: gm racing