Toyota's Clint Bowyer quotes about Phoenix 500

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

What is your biggest challenge this weekend? "Beating the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) and the 2 (Brad Keselowski) -- that seems to be the biggest challenge every week. We've been really close. We've done it a couple times, but not very often.

Clint Bowyer, Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
Clint Bowyer, Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Finishing the year strong -- be there for the taking if those guys have trouble. We've got to be there for the taking, but our car is fast. We're doing the right things. So far, so good for our 5-hour ENERGY Toyota.

It was right up towards the top of the board in qualifying trim and we've got to have a good lap and then work on race trim tomorrow."

What is the track surface like? "The track's slick. You get loose in and the car kind of wants to come out from underneath of you getting in.

We've seen several cars loose and hit the wall and that's a fine line because if you're secure getting in, you're too tight kind of rolling through middle and getting to the throttle.

You've got to be able to get rotated in the center and get going."

What did you say to Jimmie Johnson in the motorhome lot? "I called him a butthole. That would be the PG-13 point of it. He is -- he's just a pain in the butt. He won't go away.

We just have fun. I sent him a message after he won Martinsville and it was kind of similar along those lines. It's getting down to the end of the year and still having fun."

Do you think Brad Keselowski or Jimmie Johnson has the advantage currently? "Did you really just ask me that? Which one do you think? I would probably agree with exactly what you're thinking on that.

I would probably go with the one that's done that (Jimmie Johnson). Well, he's done that five times now and the other one hasn't (Brad Keselowski). The odds are in his court."

What does it take to win a championship in racing? "Just consistency week in and week out. Being there and having a good group around you, having a good organization. That's what it takes.

First and foremost, you've got to have great people around you and I've been fortunate enough over the years to have good people. But, man, I'm telling you really proud of Brian Pattie (crew chief) and everybody on this 5-hour ENERGY Toyota.

This is a good group. We keep getting better almost weekly and I feel like if we can't get it done this year our time is yet to come."

Has this season helped you to love racing again? "Yeah, it really has. Not to relearn to love racing -- just to enjoy it again. I've always loved coming to the race track, being around the guys in the garage area and having fun with this.

But when you face it, when you're not having success it's not much fun. We're all competitors. It's no different than a football player when they have a bad year -- it's just not fun.

I got to that point where I was miserable coming to the race track and to be able to be back running where I feel like we're capable of running how we used to run the first few years of me being in the Cup Series, it's a breath of fresh air to be with a group of guys that everybody is pulling in the same direction and, more importantly, enjoying themselves."

Do you think the Truck Series should run at Eldora Speedway? "I don't know. It would be neat. It would be something different. I'm also up for something different. I kind of stay in the different category most of the time.

To me, I'm afraid that it would be pretty slow, you know? I mean, we're so used to seeing 200 mph in NASCAR racing.

At Eldora Speedway, the late models get around there -- we roll around there -- and even that on television you don't always see the sensation of speed. So that being said, I don't know.

I know those trucks won't get around there nothing like the late models will, what that would look like on television or if anybody cares. There's a lot of people that come to that race.

I think that's what makes that race what it is -- not necessarily what you see on television."

Toyota Motorsport

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Jimmie Johnson , Clint Bowyer , Brad Keselowski
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing
Article type Interview
Tags bowyer, johnson, nascar-cup, phoenix 500, pir, toyota, waltrip