Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Impala SS, met with members of the media at Infineon Raceway and discussed his thoughts on road racing, this season compared to 2007, returning to Loudon after winning there last year, goals for '08, and ...
Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Impala SS, met with members of the media at Infineon Raceway and discussed his thoughts on road racing, this season compared to 2007, returning to Loudon after winning there last year, goals for '08, and more.
WHAT IS GOOD, BAD AND UGLY FOR YOU ON A ROAD COURSE? "It can be all of them. This track has been good to us in the past. Fuel mileage is a big thing when you come out here, on any road course really. So you have to hone in and focus on fuel mileage here and be fast. You still have to be fast on these tracks. Like I said, this has been a pretty decent track for me. I really enjoy the technical part of this track, it is a little slower and a little more technical than maybe a Watkins Glen. Looking forward to see what we have."
DO YOU RACE THE TRACK HERE MORE THAN YOU RACE THE COMPETITORS? "Oh, absolutely. I think that any road course is that way. If you do that, if you race the race track, make good fuel mileage and if you make the right decisions, you will have a good finish. If you get caught up racing people, there always seems to be people on different agendas and stuff like that, new tires that come flying by you, you have to just keep racing the race track. You have to keep the big picture in the back of your mind and hopefully things will work out."
DO YOU ENJOY THIS TYPE OF RACING? "I do. It is just different. We only get a couple cracks at it a year. I like change. I think it is good for our sport. Certainly coming to a road course is part of that."
WHICH ROAD COURSE IS MORE FUN? I enjoy this one more than Watkins Glen. Infineon is a little more technical. It's a lot different than Watkins Glen. The Glen is real fast, wide open kind of, throw the car around and go. This one you have to really hit your marks and focus."
DO YOU VIDEO GAME THESE TO GET READY TO RACE HERE? "No. Kevin (Harvick) is our road course racer at RCR. I think we bank on him a lot to do some testing and make sure that our cars are going to be working good. I know have. Kevin and Jeff (Burton) both went to VIR and tested there. I made it to Mexico City and raced down there. So I have raced on a road course this year. I think everything we will be fine."
HOW DIFFERENT DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR SEASON THIS YEAR COMPARED TO LAST YEAR? "It has been a lot different. Making the Chase last year was a tough task and finishing third, a lot of things have changed. But still, it is the same thing, you have to be good week in and week out. We are focused on trying to bounce back from three or four bad runs this year. I know we are capable of getting the job done. We have had some bad luck, we have a part failure, I crashed out in Pocono and it just have us behind. It is just time to get back on track."
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THIS YEAR? "First and foremost you have to make the Chase. That is what this deal is all about. Making a Chase and winning a championship, that is what we are after."
WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE TO GO BACK TO NEW HAMPSHIRE AFTER YOU WON THERE? "It certainly is exciting going back there. It is where I got my first win; we were very good. A lot of things have changed; a lot of people have really worked hard and focused on this car. Where last year, you had both cars to work on. I think everybody stepped up their game with this car, so it will be a little bit different, but I am looking forward to. I know that has typically been a good track for us in the past and I can't wait until I get back there."
DO YOU PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT THE GUYS IN 13TH, 14TH, 15TH IN THE STANDINGS ARE DOING? "We fired off seven top-10s in a row, earlier in the season, we have just had three or four bad runs here. Two of them have been our mistake, we had a part failure-a shock mount break and then I crashed at Pocono. Both runs were looking to be top-10s runs for sure. Dover could have been a top-5 run. Take away those two runs away back-to-back, we would be plenty fine. But two 38th place finishes or worse, it has been a hard hit right here. I know we are capable of getting back on track. I mean we have proven that. Everybody that are in the Chase now, were in it last year and have been the teams to beat. I look to move forward, not worry who is going to catch me from behind."
IT SEEMS IT'S TOO EARLY TOO TO EVEN WORRY ABOUT THAT. "Yeah, it is but it ain't. I mean every weekend is a worry. It seems like it started off at Daytona trying to gain as many points as you can and be part of that Chase. I made it last year and I know how important it is."
NASCAR HAD SOME HEAT AND CARBON MONOXIDE MONITORS IN SOME CARS LAST WEEK, DID YOU HAVE ANYTHING IN YOUR CAR? "I don't know. My air conditioner quit. It was fine with me. I was so mad after running bad you could have pumped as much Carbon Monoxide as you wanted in on me, I wouldn't have known."
HAVE YOU AND OTHERS DRIVERS TALKED ABOUT THAT BEING AN ISSUE WITH THE NEW CAR, APPARENTLY SOME DRIVERS THINK IT IS. "I don't know same for everybody. You ain't gonna pass out. These cars are safe. Look at the cars back in the day, them guys they get out they looked like they were going to pass out. I don't think I've ever seen anybody get out of one of these and looking like they're gonna pass out."
HAVE YOU WORKED MUCH WITH AUSTIN DILLON? "Yeah. It seems like now that he's on the Camping World Series I haven't had an opportunity to but certainly when he started racing dirt, we raced together a lot. He's just a good kid. They both got good parents. Mike (Dillon) was my spotter and since day one at RCR I've been close to the Dillon family. My dirt shop is right next to his dirt shop and we have fun times back and forth from shop to shop. They're a good family, they're good kids. Both of them are good kids and good racers. Given their upbringing, the circumstances they're brought up in, they're good kids. I think they work hard for what they got. Hopefully they'll make something."
I'M SURE THEY HAVE SOME GOOD EQUIPMENT AND GOOD EQUIPMENT AT THAT LEVEL IS KEY TO SUCCESS, WHAT ABOUT HIS DRIVING? "I think his driving has honestly surprised everybody. Everybody knew that he was going to have good equipment. They're Richard Childress' grandkids. They're not going to have bad equipment. He hasn't torn things up; he hasn't crashed. He's been fast but he's taking care of his equipment and that's what's hard to do. That's what's hard to learn. And racing well, not only is he fast with that good equipment, he races well with it and he takes care of it and he gets it to the end of the race and that's the stuff you can't buy."
WILL YOU WORK WITH HIM IF YOU GET A CHANCE NEXT WEEK UP IN NEW HAMPSHIRE? "If he needs it; if he comes over. I certainly will be keeping an eye on him and be over there watching him."
THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF ATTENTION FROM FANS WHO BELIEVE TOYOTA IS DOMINATING THE NATIONWIDE SERIES BECAUSE THEY HAVE AN ADVANTAGE IN HORSEPOWER, DO YOU GET THAT IMPRESSION? "I don't know what they have. Obviously I wish I had it. Everybody that's been in that 20 car has won races. They've led for probably more than 60 percent of the laps. It's unbeatable right now, but what that is who knows. I mean we've had dominate cars over the last three or four years at RCR. It's hard to say, the shoe is on the other foot. We by no means feel like we have the best that we can possibly be right now. We got room to improve, room to grow and we need to step up our program before we can say they got something we don't have. They certainly have stepped up the program and are dominant. You can't take that away from them."
-credit: gm racing