Huntersville, N.C. (Aug., 23, 2005) -- As far as ACDelco driver Clint Bowyer and the Real Car Guys title hopes are concerned, must win-situations are upon them as the NASCAR Busch Series unfolds this Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway for the...
Huntersville, N.C. (Aug., 23, 2005) -- As far as ACDelco driver Clint Bowyer and the Real Car Guys title hopes are concerned, must win-situations are upon them as the NASCAR Busch Series unfolds this Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway for the running of the Food City 250. Last weekend at Michigan International Speedway, Bowyer, who led 62 laps, seemed poised to cut into Truex's lead, but a late-race penalty coupled with fuel filling problems relegated him to a 30th-place finish -- his second-worst finish of the season. Bowyer is 204 points behind Truex heading to Bristol, the biggest deficit he's faced all season.
"We have definitely dug ourselves a deeper hole after last weekend," said Bowyer. "We may be down, but we are definitely not out. We have a strong task at hand now in terms of closing the gap on Truex, but it can be done. I have every bit of confidence in my guys and know they are going to give me great cars that can get it done. I am really looking forward to Bristol and getting back in a car that almost won there earlier in the season with Jeff Burton behind the wheel. We just raced this car at IRP as well and finished second."
Bowyer's debut at "The World's Fastest Half-Mile" back in April was anything but rookie-esque. He had tested there, but never raced there. Bowyer started third due to qualifying getting cancelled for rain and the field being set by the Owner's Points. After the green flag waved, the 26-year old looked like a seasoned veteran until miscommunication caused him to give his third place position up in the closing laps. In fact, most veterans can't escape Bristol as unscathed as Bowyer did. He ran in the top-five for the majority of the race, but dropped to 13th on a split-second decision to come to the pits for four new tires. Bowyer didn't have enough laps left to regain track position and had to settle for 13th.
"We didn't wreck and that's a lot more than most of the other drivers can say," said Bowyer. "Bristol is known for its multiple car crashes and we were able to keep our nose clean. Hopefully we can do the same thing this time around, only finish up front where we should have. It was early in the season, and I was put in a situation where I wasn't used to making big split-decision calls. As the season has gone on now, I have learned from it."
Points of Interest...
* Runnin' It...The Real Car Guys will take chassis No. 019 to Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. This is the same chassis Jeff Burton drove to a second place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway in April after starting second in the No. 21 Reese's Peanut Butter Lovers Chevrolet. Burton led 93 laps. Most recently, this chassis was used at Indianapolis Raceway Park where Bowyer finished second after starting eighth and leading 40 laps.
* Track Stat...Bowyer made his debut at "The World's Fastest Half-Mile" earlier this year in the No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet. He started third when qualifying was cancelled due to rain. The starting line up was determined by Owner's Points. Bowyer went on to finish 13th after he decided to make the call to come to the pits when he shouldn't have. The misunderstanding caused Bowyer to go from third to 13th.
* NBS Points...After 25 races in the 2005 season, Bowyer sits second in the points standings. He's now 204 markers out of the lead with one win, seven top-five and 15 top-10 finishes.
* Start time...Friday's Food City 250 is scheduled for 7:50 p.m. EDT. TV coverage of the 250-lap event on TNT begins at 7:30 p.m., with live radio coverage also beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT on your local MRN Radio affiliate and XM Satellite Radio. 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 were your thoughts going into your first Bristol race?
"I don't really know how to describe it. I'd tested there the week before we raced, but I'd never raced on the track with 42 other drivers. I was excited though. I knew RCR (Richard Childress Racing) had given me a great car. I knew racing there was going to be a lot different than practicing there."
Was your experience better or worse than you expected?
"Both. There were a lot of good things. We had a really good car and ran up front a couple of times, and we managed to stay in the top-five for the majority of the race. But it's nearly impossible to pass at Bristol without touching someone else. I know a lot of drivers come here and have a terrible experience because there are so many obstacles. We overcame some. We didn't hit anything or anyone, and we didn't go home with a DNF (Did Not Finish). But we couldn't overcome them all."
What were some of the obstacles you couldn't overcome?
"There were some circumstances we couldn't control, and then there were some plain old errors. There were a ton of cautions and since the cars are all racing so close together, when they all slow down for a caution flag, they tend to pile up. I got caught up in one of those situations and had to check up. I spun and flat spotted my tires. Then I made a bad call to come to the pits when I shouldn't have. That's how I went from third place to 13th. The whole thing was a misunderstanding, but it really bummed me out. In the end it caused the RCR team a 1-2-3 finish."