CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 BB&T IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Richmond International Raceway and discussed racing at Richmond, finishing in the top-five in NSCS points two consecutive years and other topics. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO RETURN...
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 BB&T IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Richmond International Raceway and discussed racing at Richmond, finishing in the top-five in NSCS points two consecutive years and other topics.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO RETURN TO RICHMOND AND DEFEND YOUR RACE TITLE? "I'm excited, I'm ready. It's always fun to come back to a race that you won at. Richmond is one of my favorite race tracks. I like this little place. This is a fun weekend for me. I am looking forward to the night racing and hopefully the weather will stay away and we can get it all underway."
DO PEOPLE NOT PAY ENOUGH ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE TWO TOP-FIVE POINTS FINISHES THE LAST TWO YEARS? "You know, I don't know. I feel like it's something I'm proud of. We were the only ones other than Jimmie Johnson to finish in the top-five the last two years, but there are so many things that can happen that go into that. There's a lot of teams that had an unbelievable season and didn't end up very good in the 'Chase.' I would like to have a little bit better season than we had last year throughout the season and just like always, go for the championship in the 'Chase.' You've got to have yourself in position, in contention. Once you go into the 'Chase' anything can happen, but you need to have a race team that's capable of winning that championship. You don't want to make the 'Chase' and just be a part of it. You want to be able to earn a spot in there and there be a reason for that because you're out for a championship."
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE ON THE LAST LAP AT TALLADEGA IF YOU WERE CARL EDWARDS? "Same thing Carl (Edwards) did. You're trying to do everything you can, watch the mirror, block up or down, be ready for which ever way he goes. I talked to Carl (Edwards) said he saw him kind of jump high and then he saw him low and tried to come down low and it was just too late. Unfortunately that's just the nature of the beast. I don't think there's a rule change or there's anything you could possibly do to possibly fix that scenario. I think that if Regan Smith would have won that race instead of Tony Stewart the year before that wreck wouldn't have happened and Brad (Keselowski) probably still would have won, but maybe that would change that scenario someway or another. As far as being down to the last lap and down to the wire like that at a superspeedway -- that's just plate racing. If you're leading and you're trying to block and they're getting a run on you, they're trying to pass you, you know. It's just the way it is."
WHAT IS IT YOU LIKE ABOUT RICHMOND? "I just enjoy it. I think it's the perfect size race track. I would like to see more Richmonds throughout the country. I just feel like it's the perfect size. As a fan in the stands you get that sensation of speed. I think we still race tight, race close. You see two-wide racing and the track is starting to widen out and you see that outside line running. It races really, really well. You're always in traffic. It's a demanding race track. It's kind of hard to get around. It's just fun. It's challenging and everything you look for in a race you get at Richmond."
IS THERE A WAY TO POLICE HOW AGGRESSIVE DRIVERS GET ON THE RACE TRACK BECAUSE ACCIDENTS DO HAPPEN? "They do happen and they shouldn't happen. NASCAR shouldn't have to police that. It's up to us -- that's our job as race car drivers not to drive up and run into the guy hard enough in front of you that you crash him and 20 other cars. A rule change shouldn't be needed to fix that. It's in our hands and that wreck seven laps into the race is uncalled for in my opinion and should not have happened. It shouldn't have been three-wide let alone four-wide right there. It's too much racing too early. Everybody knows plate racing, restrictor plate racing gets down to the wire and its going to be three and four-wide racing, but you've got to get yourself to the end of the race to be in position to even possibly be ready for a win. When you crash out seven laps in -- that's uncalled for."
DO YOU THINK DRIVERS WITH SHORT TRACK EXPERIENCE HAVE AN ADVANTAGE AT RICHMOND AND WHAT DOES A REALLY GOOD SHORT TRACK RACER BRING TO THIS RACE? "I don't know. I don't know if short track racing or whatever else helped me. I only had a year of short track racing in a Late Model before I got my opportunity so I can't really say that short track racing helps me at Richmond. I think our equipment runs good here, RCR equipment runs good here and this is just one of those tracks where one corner is different. The entry is so much different than the other with the dog-leg on the front straightaway. There's compensation that has to be made at a place like Richmond. There is no perfect set-up. You've got to compensate a little bit in one end to be good in the other. You've got to keep fighting, you've got to keep digging and stay up on the wheel the whole race. That's what makes this place neat."
DO YOU LIKE TO FLY UNDER THE RADAR OR DO YOU WANT TO HAVE A HIGHER PROFILE? "I like it. I'm gone enough from home. I guess if you were too famous, if I was Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. I would have to make too many appearances everywhere. I kind of like making appearances at the home front."
-credit: gm racing