BUSCH: Bristol: Clint Bowyer preview

CLINT BOWYER Bowyer Anxious for Debut at Bristol Huntersville, N.C. (March 29, 2005) -- ACDelco driver Clint Bowyer has never raced at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, but don't think he see, that as a disadvantage. The Emporia, Kan., native...

Bowyer Anxious for Debut at Bristol

Huntersville, N.C. (March 29, 2005) -- ACDelco driver Clint Bowyer has never raced at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, but don't think he see, that as a disadvantage. The Emporia, Kan., native has seen only one race there as a spectator, and the only track time he has at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile" is from the Bristol test he participated in a week ago. As the NASCAR Busch Series circuit heads to the bullring for Saturday's Sharpie Professional 250, Bowyer looks to reach into his memory bank and reflect on his days at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Mo., to give him some guidance.

"The only track I have ever been on that I can even closely relate to Bristol is I-70 Speedway," says Bowyer. "I grew up with I-70 Speedway in the Kansas area, and that is kind of famous for being a fast half-mile track. But it's nothing like Bristol, I can guarantee you that. I-70 is high banked and a half-mile, but Bristol is an animal of its own."

Even though he sees Bristol as an animal of its own, Bowyer's experience on I-70's half-mile is impressive and hopefully will come into play during this weekend's 250-lap event. Bowyer's Late Model title there in 2002 helped him capture the crown as the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Midwest champion for a second straight year.

"I came to Bristol last year to watch Kevin race when we were splitting driving duties in the No. 21 Chevrolet, but I had never been on the track until we pulled into the gate last Wednesday morning to begin our test. Kevin runs really well at Bristol, so watching him and getting tips from him definitely helped me out. Bristol is the short track of all short tracks, and I have been anxious for a long time to make my debut. I can't wait for this weekend."

That is exactly what the Real Car Guys on the No. 2 ACDelco Chevy team want to hear, as they prepare to help him get his first taste of victory lane at one of the most exciting tracks on the circuit. It would be just what the team needs to keep them tight in the points race.

Points of Interest...

* Runnin' It...The Real Car Guys will take chassis No. 043 to the .533-mile oval this weekend. While not a new chassis, it has been redone for the 2005 season. It is the same chassis that was tested last week in Bristol and crew chief Gil Martin feels it adjusted well to the changes. "We feel pretty good going into this weekend after our test last week," says Martin. "The car seemed to like the changes and Clint got a good feel for the track as well. We are definitely looking forward to the race."

* Testing 1, 2, 3,...Bowyer participated in a two-day test last week in Bristol to gain valuable to seat time. "I went there to learn the track and gain seat time," says Bowyer. "A lot of seat time is crucial for me."

* Track Stat...This is Bowyer's first start ever at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile." Prior to his Bristol test last week, Bowyer had only witnessed one race there as a spectator.

* NBS Points...After six races in the 2005 season, Bowyer sits third in points, 124 markers out of first, with two top-five and four top-10 finishes.

* Start time...for Saturday's Sharpie Professional 250 is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. EST. TV coverage of the 250-lap event on FOX begins at 2:00 p.m., with live radio coverage also beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST on your local PRN Radio affiliate and on XM Satellite Radio -- channel 144. Remember times and dates of the race may change so check your local listings.

No. 2 ACDelco driver Clint Bowyer on Bristol Motor Speedway...

What are your thoughts since you tested at Bristol?

"You hear so much about Bristol and how narrow and fast it is. After my test, I can assure you that everything you hear about the place is right on the money. You are constantly up on the wheel and the room for error is minimal. One minor slip and you are done. Bristol is treacherous. There is potential for a lot of problems, so we have to make sure the balance on our car is good."

You have witnessed a race as a spectator, so what do you think of the atmosphere that Bristol provides?

"It's unbelievable, just mind-boggling all the people that are packed in there. You can hear the roar of the crowd over the cars. That's impressive. I think our fans are awesome, loyal fans and what better place to have them at than Bristol. When the checkered flag falls and the winner pulls up on that building and the people go nuts, that's what it is all about."

How do you plan on using Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton's Bristol test notes to help you out?

"We can look at the notes and telemetry from Kevin (Harvick) and Jeff's (Burton) test and compare to ours. Kevin runs really well at Bristol, so I know our cars will be solid. It is just a matter of getting acclimated to the track and establishing some confidence."


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Drivers Jeff Burton , Kevin Harvick , Clint Bowyer