This Weekend's Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet Impala at Richmond International Raceway ... Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis No. 303 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new in 2010, Bowyer drove this...
This Weekend's Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet Impala at Richmond International Raceway ... Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis No. 303 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new in 2010, Bowyer drove this Chevrolet to seventh-place finishes at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May and New Hampshire Motor Speedway in June. Most recently, the 31-year-old RCR driver piloted this No. 33 Impala to a fourth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway in August.
Richmond Stats ... In nine NSCS starts at RIR, Bowyer has one win and four top-10 finishes. He visited Richmond's Victory Lane, the site of his most recent NSCS win, on May 3, 2008. Additionally, Bowyer has completed all 3,610 laps contested and has earned a 10.2 average finish, third best among active drivers, at the three-quarter mile Virginia oval.
Crunching Chase Numbers ... Bowyer currently sits 12th in the NSCS point standings and holds a 117- point advantage over Ryan Newman in 13th.
Double Duty in Richmond ... In addition to driving the No. 33 Chevrolet in the NSCS race on Saturday night, Bowyer will pilot the No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet Impala in Friday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The race will be broadcast on ESPN2, the Motor Racing Network and SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
What is the No. 33 team doing differently to deal with the pressures of being on bubble? "You can freak out about it, you can worry about it and everything else, but that's going to hurt you. The No. 33 team needs to go out there and make sure everyone is having fun. You need to pick on each other and lean on your buddies. These guys are the only friends you bring to the racetrack when the race is on the line. We need to make sure we're having fun and enjoying this time together."
What is your mindset as you're heading into Richmond? "I need to make sure I don't screw up, first and foremost (laughs). In the end, you need to make sure you don't beat yourself. I've been in this situation before. Even though there is a lot of pressure, we need to go out there and do what we've been doing all year long. I need to stay focused at the task at hand, but also remember to have fun with it. As a driver, I'm kind of like the quarterback of this deal. I need to make sure everyone is upbeat and having fun, no matter what's going on this weekend."
With the lead you have, do you think you guys are locked into the Chase yet? "By no means is it locked up yet. We aren't looking at it that way either. I do feel better about our situation with the padding we have over the guys behind us. It's a good feeling to have, but we know we still have a job to do this weekend in order to be able to contend for the championship."
Do you feel confident racing at Richmond, compared to other tracks, in order to lock yourself into the Chase? "Richmond is definitely the place I feel the most comfortable laying it out on the line. It's one of my favorite race tracks where I've won at in the past, so gives us an extra boost of confidence."
Is Richmond the most important race of the season for you and the No. 33 team this season? "I have a lot of confidence going into this race. I'm going to have to lean on this race a lot. This will be the race that gets us in or keeps us out of the Chase. We know that. Hopefully, we can run well and take care of business. Even though it's an important point race for us, it's also a place where we can go out and win."