Richmond International Raceway September 11, 2010 An interview with: CLINT BOWYER KERRY THARP: Clint Bowyer has joined us, the 12th seed in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and Clint finishes a fine sixth-place finish tonight. You...
Richmond International Raceway
September 11, 2010
An interview with:
KERRY THARP: Clint Bowyer has joined us, the 12th seed in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and Clint finishes a fine sixth-place finish tonight. You said on Friday, yesterday, you felt pretty good about your situation and certainly ran well here this evening. Your thoughts about making the Chase?
CLINT BOWYER: Yeah, I'm very excited for our race team for making the Chase, very excited for RCR. After last year, to get all three cars in the Chase after none of us being in the Chase last year feels good. Very excited for RCR's chances and I feel like this is the best shot we've ever had since I've been there to win a championship.
You know from here, it's ten races and it's all in. That's the way you have to approach these races and have fun with it, and hopefully the cards will fall in our favor.
Q: The only major personnel change has been Scott Miller moving over from a pit box to an office; was that move significant? Has he been that big of a factor for this turnaround?
CLINT BOWYER: There's been a lot of things. I don't want to pinpoint it just to Scott Miller, but just the organization. When I went over -- I was able to go around and look at some other organizations a few years back and the one thing RCR didn't have was a competition director to help support the crew chiefs. It was a free-for-all as far as crew chiefs go. They basically ran the competition side of the company and to give them support and give depth to the organization, that's what people like Scott Miller did, is very ramp the engineering program and these are all things that contributed in a big way to our successes this year.
Q: For your team, given how you have performed in the last few weeks, to get to this point, and given your track record at New Hampshire and what you've been able to accomplish there, could there be a better place for you guys to start the Chase next week?
CLINT BOWYER: Well, I mean, the last month has been really good for us. We've had a lot of good runs. I'm excited. I'm excited to carry on, ride that wave. We are running well, and everybody is having fun right now; and to be a part of the Chase is just an added bonus.
You know, I want to win a race, and I feel like we keep getting closer and closer. We have to get better at closing this deal, just like tonight I was frustrated. As happy as I am with making the Chase, I was frustrated with the finish. Whatever happened that last run, we really fell off, we were a second-place car and made an attempt to pass Denny a couple of times and slipped clear to sixth.
We have to get better at closing them deals if we expect to compete for a championship with these guys.
Q: I mean, even saying that, you ran up front a lot tonight, you led some; in years past, the guys who have got in the Chase toward the bottom, a lot of those guys -- some of those guys would say, it's great we are in it but I don't know that we are truly competitive to win the Chase. I don't think any of the 12 of you feel that way this year. I think all of you truly feel you have a chance to win it. You've raced really well last couple of weeks and tonight; is there a feeling for you, even though you haven't won that you can actually win the championship, where in years past, maybe the guys didn't.
CLINT BOWYER: Absolutely. Superman has not lost his cape but it's shorter than it was in years past. So hopefully we'll all be able to give him a run for his money this year (chuckling).
Q: For as good as your car was tonight, were you ever at all nervous or points racing or watching where you are on the board?
CLINT BOWYER: I never was points racing, because that board is hard to read for some reason. I was trying to and I was having trouble under caution. I looked back a couple of times to see where the 39 and some of them guys were running. But you know, I was having fun. I was running up front. You're just trying to -- you know, the start of those runs, you've got to be pretty aggressive to get going, to get away from them guys. And I actually got into Jimmie one time, it was like, oops.
But you have to do that to get going and get away from the mess. Certainly I did not want to be in the middle of the mess.
Q: R.C. and Shane both said that they wanted you to be conservative tonight; how do you tell a racer to be conservative on the racetrack?
CLINT BOWYER: He did a good job of it. He did it every 20 laps, he told me, "Don't be nervous, don't be nervous, no big deal." Told me about 20 times before the race started. I said, who is nervous here?
You just have to be careful and luckily we were up front in clean air and not having to battle our way and beating and banging on each other and had a good car and was able to run a good race by ourselves most of the night.
Q: You said you were falling back toward the last part of the race. Were you able to isolate what those items were and is that something that will help you in the next one even though this is a short-track race?
CLINT BOWYER: We were in the wrong direction, and we were loosened off, that was the tendency of the tire or whatever the case may be, seemed like everybody thought that from time to time. We just went the wrong way at the end of the race and just have another shot at compensating for it. But, hey, our goal was to get in the Chase tonight and we did it.
KERRY THARP: Thank you.