Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Impala SS, met with members of the media at Talladega Superspeedway and discussed the finish at Kansas last weekend, the "big one" at Talladega, drivers making their NASCAR debut here, this track being a part of...
Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Impala SS, met with members of the media at Talladega Superspeedway and discussed the finish at Kansas last weekend, the "big one" at Talladega, drivers making their NASCAR debut here, this track being a part of the Chase, how he feels about his position in the Chase, racing at Charlotte, being upside during the Daytona 500 and teammates helping each other out during the Chase.
Full transcript of interview:
SO WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO WIN TWO RACES IN A ROW? "(Laughs) You know we didn't deserve to win that race by any means. (Greg) Biffle was the faster car just something happened there at the end. Had I known that I would have been saying 'Boy, there's plenty of daylight out there' but hindsight is always 20/20."
DID YOU GET AN EXPLANATION FROM NASCAR ON THE FINISH OF THE RACE? "No. I assumed that they were going to give him the win but it sure would have been nice to have it handed over."
HOW WORRIED ARE YOU ABOUT THE BIG ONE HERE? "It's gonna happen. I don't know how big it'll be and when it will be but I'd say it's definitely going to happen. I mean you can just race so close. I was able to push the 48, come off the side, drag across his bumper and suck by him on the outside and just do things that you shouldn't be able to do (laughs) and I did. It's always kind of a recipe for disaster here I think we just kind of built a little bit better recipe."
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO TO CHANGE HOW YOU APPROACH THIS RACE? "You just got to use your head. You got to make sure you're not the one that causes the wreck. If we all do that maybe we'll get through it. But everybody's going to get antsy out there. You're able to maneuver around and make things happens and everybody wants to lead so it's going to be interesting."
ON IF HE FEELS TOO COMFORTABLE OUT THERE TO DO THINGS LIKE THAT: "Yeah, you're comfortable but if the car is darty it's hard to steer around and you're doing things, you have to be aggressive at times that you just assume not be to stay in the position you're in and that's what I mean by recipe for disaster. You just happen to be a little bit too aggressive at times to keep your track position that you don't necessarily want to do."
ON DRIVERS MAKING THEIR NASCAR DEBUT AT TALLADEGA: "There's two sides to every story. I'd like to see him have to earn it a little bit but then again they have earned it in other forms of auto racing and certainly their name helps. It's bringing a lot of attention, a lot of exposure and a lot of positive things to the sport but I'm not too sure Talladega is the best place to be grooming these people. I know it took two or three races before I was OK to run even on a mile and a half race track and to be OK the first race out at Talladega, I don't know if I'd have that happen."
ARE YOU NERVOUS ABOUT RACING WITH SOME OF THESE DRIVERS SINCE THERE WON'T BE ANY DRAFTING PRACTICE WITH IT BEING AN IMPOUND RACE? "Really? Great (laughs). It's just going to be that kind of deal. If they get in the show they're going to have to learn a lot. They're not dumb racers. They've won in their form of racing so they're going to sit back and learn and watch and hopefully put it to good use and when it comes time maybe they can do something with it but I know they're going to use their head and do the right thing. It does concern ya but the bottom line is if they do what they're supposed to do everything will be fine."
HOW EXCITED ARE YOU THAT TALLADEGA IS PART OF THE CHASE? "(Laughs) It's a thrill. It's going to be interesting. I mean everybody is worried. I was just talking to Jimmie a little bit ago and I'm like 'Man, you get away with some crazy things out here.' It's a very intense part of our season right now and to come to a place where it's kind of a crapshoot. I've played it both ways. I've tried to play conservative and tag along at the back and kind of do the Dale Jarrett approach and the one car that was behind me ran me over when the wreck happened so it can happen anywhere. Luck's got to be on your side. You got to control that luck a little bit and put yourself in the right situation and if you're in a situation you don't want to be in, you got to be smart enough to get out of it."
ON HIS POSITION IN THE CHASE: "It's just so neat to be able to get in the Chase and be part of such an elite group. We knew going into it we'd kind of have to step up our program in a big way and just being able to answer that call. I'm really, really fortunate that the guys on my race team we did it and we are doing it so it feels good. It's all about parking spots here in the Cup deal. If it's easy to get to your truck you know you're doing something right and it's just around the corner today."
YOU ORIGINALLY WERE SEEN AS A LONGSHOT TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP. HOW DO YOU ASSESS YOUR CHANCES NOW? "Well, I'd probably think that you're still thinking that they're going to bobble and that we're going to make mistakes and we're going to prove you wrong."
HOW DO THE MAY AND OCTOBER RACES AT CHARLOTTE DIFFER? "I don't know. I was reading in the headlines that Bruton (Smith) might be moving the place. My track record's not the best there. I'm all for it (laughs). Move it. Move it to the other side of Charlotte."
ON WHAT IT FEELS LIKE IN THE CAR WHEN YOU'RE UPSIDE DOWN LIKE HE WAS DURING THE DAYTONA 500: "It's pretty wild, pretty intense. There's so many things that are going through your mind and so quick. First thing you think you're fine and all the sudden out of nowhere you're upside down and I never even saw the car hit me. You get that breath and then you're sliding upside down and you're thinking 'Man, there's a lot of cars behind us. When we hit the grass are we going to start flipping?' That's the ones that will hurt people when you see the guys hook the grass and start barrel rolling and tumbling end over end. Those are the ones that people get hurt in."
ON THE VISABILITY IN THE COT "You got to just rely on and trust that guy in front of you. You can't pull out of line with these cars. It's really scrubs off speed if you get out of that wake and it's such a more fine wake it seems like behind these cars is they're so square it seems like the air that comes off of 'em is real defined to a pretty fine point. You just got to trust that guy in front of you and time it to where when you do have help you can pull over and make the pass. You're going to have to be careful. You're going to have to be smart and wise about picking and choosing your battles and when to go and when not to go because it seems like if you get the wrong car behind you you're in trouble."
IS IT OKAY TO RIDE AROUND IN THE BACK UNTIL THE END AND MAKE A MOVE? "Yeah, definitely and that's just what's so hard about this race is you have to be aggressive when you'd just as soon not want to be. Track position is going to be important but it ain't worth wreckin'. It ain't work crashing half-way through the race is over. Just kind of have to use your head and if we all do that we'll be just fine."
DO YOU APPROACH THE CHARLOTTE RACE DIFFERENTLY BEING A NIGHT RACE? "Kind of. Lowe's always seems to be doing the same thing so hopefully the sun will be down and we'll be able to not go through that transition with that track. It seems like it's so temperature sensitive, that race track, and as we go through that I think that will be less because it's a night race and will start later."
IS JIMMIE JOHNSON A FAVORITE FOR CHARLOTTE? "Well if you're a gambling man I'd be willing to bet on him."
ON MOVING UP IN THE SPORT: "Well, it's all about how big this sport is and all where you're parked. Being down here third in line, that's where the exposure (is). The media want to talk to the people down there so we just got here. We got to keep doing our job, doing the things that we've been doing.
"I'm just really proud of our race team being able to step up our program and answer that call. We all knew going into this we had to and it feels good to be a part of that."
ARE YOUR TEAMMATES ALL HELPING EACH OTHER OUT RIGHT NOW? "I don't think any more than normal. You always want to help your teammates out. I think together that's how you get better. There's no single car teams in the top 12 right now. It's all multi-car teams and everybody working together and the teams that do that the best are the ones that are up front. We're gaining on it. We're getting better at that at RCR and as a whole at RCR. I'm very fortunate to have two good teammates and as you said, definitely they help me week in and week out especially being a part of this Chase now. They've both been here, done that and it's a big help to have them on your side."
ON THE UPS AND DOWNS OF CUP RACING AND THE DIFFERENCES FROM WHERE HE CAME FROM: "That's the biggest thing. That hasn't changed. I've won seven features in a row and backed up with a DNF. It's just a very humbling sport. It can show you the highest of highs and drag you down to the lowest of lows the next day."
WILL GUYS SHOW PATIENCE IN SUNDAY'S RACE? "As far as racing on the race track, yeah, you don't need to do that until the end of the race but the mile and a half tracks that we were at in Kansas, patience is a virtue at a track like that. Where this is going to make or break you is in the points. That's where a track like this can make or break you."
ON VISIBILITY ISSUES WITH NEW GENERATION IMPALA SS: "I was talking to Gordon. I think he's just too short. Must not be able to see over the car in front of you. He was telling me that over in the garage. Either I'm not smart enough to realize it or what but they're very square and they are hard. The thing is it's the same for everybody. You just got to rely on that car in front of you and if you're not comfortable with that car in front of you, you better be getting out of dodge especially where we're running in the Chase. That's going to be the hardest thing is putting yourself in the right situation and not being too conservative to throw yourself out of contention at the end of this race."
ON POTENTIAL OF NEW GENERATION CAR GOING UPSIDE DOWN IF IT SPINS BACKWARDS AND THAT ROOF FLAPS DON'T WORK: "I was listening to you talk about that on SPEED Channel and I just said 'lah, lah, lah, lah.' I don't want to hear about that (laughs). I don't plan on being backwards and darn sure don't plan on being upside down again."
ON THE FINISH AT KANSAS CITY: "I could see it and I knew what happened. It was pretty obvious what happened but I knew that he was going to roll across the finish line. That's a hard situation. Put yourself in NASCAR's shoes and have to throw the guy out that did cross the finish line. I anticipated what the finish was going to be. It was frustrating. You want to win in front of your hometown crowd but I just didn't win at all."
-credit: gm racing