BUSCH: Nashville: Clint Bowyer preview

CLINT BOWYER Real Car Guys Searching for a Strong Rebound in Nashville Huntersville, N.C. (March 22, 2005) -- Everyone knows that there are racetracks along the NASCAR Busch Series circuit that drivers just love to visit. Whether it's...

Real Car Guys Searching for a Strong Rebound in Nashville

Huntersville, N.C. (March 22, 2005) -- Everyone knows that there are racetracks along the NASCAR Busch Series circuit that drivers just love to visit. Whether it's because they've won at the venue in the past, excelled there over a certain number of years, or it brings back memories of races that helped launch their career, these are the times when you see these drivers really stand out and make the most of their trip.

ACDelco driver Clint Bowyer would definitely name Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway as one of his favorite stops on the 35-race schedule. This Saturday, March 26, 2005, the 1.333-mile oval plays host to the Pepsi 300. Even though the Emporia, Kan. native has raced there three different times and led a number of laps, there is one particular race that stands out in his mind more than the others.

"My first trip to Nashville was with the ARCA Series," says Bowyer. "That was an important race for me because that is the race that basically got me the job with RCR. I almost won it and led the most laps, but it came down to a caution at the end where other teams came to get tires and we couldn't. We had to stay out because we didn't have anymore and couldn't afford to buy them."

In Bowyer's first career ARCA Series start in 2003 during his first trip to Nashville Superspeedway, he led for 47 laps and finished second. He followed up that impressive finish when he revisited Nashville Superspeedway in 2004. Driving RCR's No. 21 Reese's Chevrolet, he picked up a fourth place finish in April followed by a third place finish in June.

It's not only the legendary Gibson guitar - the most coveted prize on the circuit - that has Bowyer yearning for a win, but it's because he's always been competitive there no matter what he's driving. Bowyer plans on taking advantage of this favorable relationship to rebound from last weekend's 21st place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and hopes that he can play a little music for crew chief Gil Martin in Victory Lane.

"A win this weekend would be really neat for both of us," adds Bowyer. "It is Gil's hometown and he has been there a lot and never won there. That guitar is a pretty unique trophy. I have been there three times and haven't been able to capitalize on the win yet, so it would be a big weekend for both of us if we could capitalize on it and come out of there with our first victory. We need to rebound well this weekend from our disappointing finish last weekend in Atlanta, that's for sure."

Points of Interest...

* Runnin' It... The Real Car Guys will take chassis No. 037 to Nashville Superspeedway this weekend. It was a brand new chassis before it ran last weekend in Atlanta. This is one of two chassis used in the pre-season West Coast tests that took place at California Speedway and Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in February.

* Track Stat... In 2003, Bowyer made his first career ARCA Series start on August 9th. He led for 47 laps and finished second. In 2004, in only his second career Busch Series start on April 10th, he led for 104 laps and finished fourth. He went on to follow that run up with a third place finish on June 12th.

* Laps complete and led... In three races on the high-banked concrete oval, Bowyer has completed all 601 laps and led a total of 151 laps. That's over a quarter of total laps he has been out front.

* Points... After five races in the 2005 season, Bowyer sits third in points, 119 markers out of first with one top-five and three top-10 finishes.

* Start time...for Saturday's Pepsi 300 is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. EST. TV coverage of the 225-lap event on FX begins at 3:30 p.m. with live radio coverage beginning at 3:30 p.m. EST on your local MRN 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 Nashville Superspeedway...

To come so close three different times to capturing a win, you must be pretty excited to be heading to Nashville?

"I have been anticipating this one for a while now. I have raced there three times and come really close all three times to getting that guitar. Hopefully the fourth time is the charm. I have led a lot of laps, but different circumstances have prohibited me from closing it out at the end. We are definitely looking to bring a guitar home with us. I know my crew chief Gil Martin is. He is from Nashville and it would mean a lot to me to get our first win right there in his hometown."

Talk a little bit about your two Busch Series races at Nashville last year.

"My first Busch race at Nashville was actually my second Busch Series start in my career. And it was close to becoming a record for capturing the fastest win by anybody in a Busch car, but unfortunately an accident kept us from going down in the record books. We ended up finishing fourth after that big wreck. My second trip to Nashville in a Busch car we had another great run and ended up finishing third."

Looking back on Atlanta, what was the biggest thing that went wrong?

"I wish I knew. In my mind I think it was pure luck. Those guys were two laps from running out of gas and having to pit under green, but they caught that lucky caution that kept them alive. It is just one of those deals. But, it is behind us now and we are focused on Nashville."


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Drivers Clint Bowyer