CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER IMPALA SS met with media and discussed racing at Texas Motor Speedway, the early progress of his team this year, seeing his face on a box of Cheerios, being second in the points standings, and ...
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 CHEERIOS/HAMBURGER HELPER IMPALA SS met with media and discussed racing at Texas Motor Speedway, the early progress of his team this year, seeing his face on a box of Cheerios, being second in the points standings, and more.
ON RACING AT TEXAS "Texas is great. The race is exceptional. The race track is fun and fast and it's starting to widen out a little bit. It's a lot of fun to race on. It's challenging. The speed here is definitely challenging, and the momentum you carry off the corners, the cars tend to try to get tight on you up off. And it seems like with this new car it's even opened up a little more of a challenge. It's a lot of fun to race here. We've had some success here and we're looking forward to capitalizing on that and having more."
THE GUY WHO RUNS GENERAL MOTORS IS NOW THE GUY IN THE WHITE HOUSE. WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON THAT? YOU'VE GOT A VESTED INTEREST IN WHATEVER OBAMA DOES WITH GM AND CHEVROLET, WHAT'S YOUR GUT FEELING ON ALL THAT? "General Motors and all the auto industry is obviously hurting. And they have a lot to do with this sport. So we have to make sure that we go out there and do everything that we can do to help the auto industry. They're going to figure it out. This country can't survive without the auto industry, you know. It's like I've said before, if they go under, we're walking (laughter). We don't drive, you know, we walk. They'll figure it out and we have to stay positive about this. I think that's the key thing about everything in the economy. You hear the media all the time. When you turn on the news, all you hear about is how negative it is. And when the stock market did go up, you didn't even hear much about it going up there the few days that it went up. You've just got to make sure that they talk positives as much as they do the negatives."
SINCE RUNNING ON SHORT TRACKS FOR THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, IS IT A CHANCE FOR YOU TO GET TO TEXAS AND LET YOUR HAIR DOWN A LITTLE BIT? "Yeah, well you definitely get back on the throttle and not as much break, that's for sure. The short tracks are always fun. They kind of get you back to your roots and what you grew up racing on. But Texas, this is, this is time to let your hair down and get after it, you know. You've really got to get up on the wheel and make things happen and get the guts up and bury it off in the corner and hope she sticks."
ON HIS EXPECTATIONS ABOUT STARTING WITH A NEW TEAM IN '09 AND HOW THINGS HAVE PROGRESSED THUS FAR "I feel like we've just done a very good job of getting the thing started off right and keeping that momentum going and keeping that excitement. I think that's so crucial with a new team, to get that thing started off right at Daytona, and then to keep that. That way everybody has that momentum and everyone has pep in their step and everybody doesn't get down. It's so easy for a new team to get down before they ever even get a chance and I'm excited about getting the year started off right and with the success we've had. It's just been good, it's been fun, and it's been easy. It's almost effortless. It' always seems to be that way with racing. It's easy to run good and it's hard to run bad. It seems like the worse you run, the harder you work and you don't seem to make up the difference. And then all of a sudden you just hit on something. It's like, you know, the light bulb switch is back on our something, you know. I'm excited. Shane Wilson (crew chief), has been doing such a good job of building race cars and the work in the shop is why we're coming to the race track and having speed."
ARE YOU SURPRISED AT HOW WELL YOU GUYS HAVE DONE? "Not really. And I know that's probably funny to hear me say that, but over the off-season as I saw the team and it was being built around me, this is a n all-star team from the ground up. We've got guys from a Nationwide Championship run last year. We've got guys we brought in from other teams. There were a few teams that went under and a lot of good personnel in those teams and we were able to capitalize on some of those misfortunes and get a lot of good people. So we've got a lot of depth on this team and I think that's a huge reason why we're seeing the results that we are."
YOU USED THE WORD EASY, WHICH IS UNEXPECTED AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON. IT SEEMS LIKE A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T EVEN REALIZE YOU ARE SECOND IN POINTS. "That's good. Keep not noticing. Hopefully we'll be leading this thing when it's time. That's just the way I've always been it seems like since I started racing in NASCAR, is just kind of under the radar and you know, I'm a racer. I still race for a living, but it was a lot more crucial back when you were racing. If you didn't run good, and crashed your race car, you couldn't afford to fix it. And then you couldn't afford to go racing the next week. I learned a long time ago you've got to take care of your equipment and show up when the money's on the line. I really don't care about the flash and everything else, we've just got to make sure we get the job done when the money's on the line."
ARE YOU KEEPING AN EYE ON JEFF GORDON SINCE HE'S NEVER WON AT TEXAS? "Well, you have to look at places where you can hopefully gain ground on the guy in front of you. In our case, there's only one and that's Jeff Gordon. And this is a place where if we go off of history, that I could stand to gain some ground if I can get a good run here. So I'm looking forward to hopefully capitalizing on that. I think this is the only track he's never won on (laughs), so that gives me a good feeling that maybe I can gain some ground on him."
ON HIS ROLE AS A SPOKESMAN AND GOING FROM JACK DANIELS AND BARS TO CEREAL AND GROCERY AISLES "The time frame is definitely a lot bigger It's a lot different. It used to be where you'd start at 9:00 p.m. and get off at midnight. Now we start about 9:00 a.m. and get off about 10:00 a.m. instead of at night. But it's been a lot of fun. The activation has been a huge shock to not only myself, but to our race team. They started the season off by putting my face on 30 million packages for General Mills. That was a huge activation for myself and for our race team. And then our commercial already this year, and an episode of the Biggest Loser we were on this year. There are a lot of things that they've done that I have never done before. I owe a lot to them."
IS IT WEIRD TO WALK DOWN THE AISLE OF THE GROCERY STORE AND SEE YOUR FACE ON A BOX OF CHEERIOS OR HAMBURGER HELPER? "I hate to say this, but I haven't been in a grocery store in probably a year, so I don't know. My grandma calls and says, 'Oh, I saw you on a Cheerios box,' so she's excited."
ON NOT GOING TO A GROCERY STORE: "When you work at a dirt shop and you work at the shop and that's what you do for fun, you usually get done anywhere from nine to midnight and you stop at a fast food on the way home or you just don't eat. If you can't talk somebody else into cooking it for you, you just don't eat."
WHEN YOU FIRST CAME HERE, THERE WAS A SEA OF ORANGE IN THE STANDS AND YOU KIND OF HAD A BAD DAY. NOW, YOU'RE RUNNING WELL. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS TRACK AND HOW YOU'RE PROGRESSED SO FAR? "This was my race that I ever ran in the Nationwide Series a few years back. A lot has changed since then. Being comfortable and knowing what not to do. I learned that the first day on the job. Richard (Childress) came up to me and said, 'Now you know what not to do; don't do that again.' So I'm trying not to do that here anymore."
-credit: gm racing