CLINT BOWYER, DRIVER OF THE NO. 07 JACK DANIELS MONTE CARLO SS, TALKED WITH MEDIA ABOUT RESTRICTOR PLATE RACING, THE NEW GENERATION RACE CAR, AND HIS PROGRESS AS A DRIVER HOW DO YOU AVOID THE 'BIG ONE'? "You can do things. It's no different than...
CLINT BOWYER, DRIVER OF THE NO. 07 JACK DANIELS MONTE CARLO SS, TALKED WITH MEDIA ABOUT RESTRICTOR PLATE RACING, THE NEW GENERATION RACE CAR, AND HIS PROGRESS AS A DRIVER
HOW DO YOU AVOID THE 'BIG ONE'? "You can do things. It's no different than driving on the interstate. If people are driving crazy or erratic, get away from them. Back out and get out of that situation. If they're putting you three wide or four wide and you're not comfortable with who you're around and your surroundings, well, you've got the wheel. Get out of that situation. It comes a time at the end of the race where you can't afford to back out. You can't afford to get back up through there and get the run."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE PLATE CHANGE ON THE BUSCH CAR? WHAT DIFFICULTY DOES THAT PRESENT TO THE ENGINE BUILDER? "They've worked all winter long on getting those motors to run on that particular plate so anytime you change that they've got to tweak their setup around a little. I was kind of expecting it. They did it to the Cup cars. We went out there and we were running really fast right off the bat. I kind of expected it. I don't think it will affect the race one bit; it's just kind of a pain in the butt. You're out there chasing gears, chasing your setup. If it's going to draft well it's going to suck up well and if they switch that, you've got to go all the way back and start over again. On the second practice you didn't have a lot of time to work on other things that would help the car suck up a little bit and work better in the draft because you were chasing gears again."
HOW DO YOU THINK THE NEW CAR WILL DRIVE AT RICHMOND? "I just think the grip level is way down on those cars. They're so even. What we've got now you can race door-to-door. They're comfortable. With that thing you're racing your environment. You're racing the track and your lap times. You're not really racing the cars around you. If somebody comes up on you you've either got to hit them, move out of the way or they've got to let you go. It's almost impossible to pass."
HAS YOUR TEAM CAUGHT UP TO HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS WITH THE NEW CAR? "I certainly hope so. Obviously the Gibbs cars and Hendrick cars are running a little bit better in that thing but I can assure you that our engineering and our crew chiefs are working hard on figuring out what we were behind on and what we were ahead on.
"And we were ahead on some areas and behind in some areas and we've just got to get those things evened out and I think we'll be just fine."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TONY STEWART'S COMMENTS? "I don't care. That's what I thought. I really don't care."
HOW MUCH DIFFERENT OF A DRIVER ARE YOU NOW THAN YOU WERE A YEAR AGO? "I think I'm a smarter driver, I think I understand a little bit better what I need to be doing and where I need to be at and my surroundings. Coming to Talladega you've got to be conscious of your surroundings. You can't put yourself in situations and be in a wreck. You can control your destiny sometimes but sometimes you just can't. Sometimes 10 cars in front of you get together and crash and you're going to be in the middle of it. There's just nowhere to go. This track is really wide, really big but there's still situations where it's just unavoidable."
HOW MUCH HAVE HARVICK AND BURTON HELPED YOUR GROWTH? "Oh, a lot. I owe a lot to them. They've been a really good part of my career and my learning curve is being able to work with drivers like Kevin and Jeff. It's been a huge help."
-credit: gm racing