BUSCH: St. Louis: Clint Bowyer preview

CLINT BOWYER Closing the Gap on Truex, Jr. Huntersville, N.C. (July 26, 2005) -- With ACDelco driver Clint Bowyer's second place finish last weekend at Pikes Peak (Colo.) International Raceway, he shaved 20 points off of series leader ...

Closing the Gap on Truex, Jr.

Huntersville, N.C. (July 26, 2005) -- With ACDelco driver Clint Bowyer's second place finish last weekend at Pikes Peak (Colo.) International Raceway, he shaved 20 points off of series leader Martin Truex, Jr.'s lead. He maximized the bonus point system by leading a lap and the most laps after he led 152 of the scheduled 250 laps. Even though the Emporia, Kan., native would have been much more content with a win, he can't ignore the fact that he still had a good points day in an already intense NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) championship chase. He went into last weekend's race 142 markers behind Truex, Jr., but now heads to Gateway International Raceway for the running of the Wallace Family Tribute 250 on Saturday night, 122 markers behind the 2004 NBS champion.

"I was beating myself up tremendously after I let that win slip away from me last weekend," said Bowyer. That was a tough pill to swallow after leading that many laps and then giving up the most important lap. For whatever reason it wasn't meant for me to win, but I realize how important every point is in this close championship battle and at least we still were able to get a good points day out of it."

The Real Car Guys couldn't be happier to have the short-track in St. Louis, Mo., next on their schedule. After all, they did test at Gateway the week prior to the Pikes Peak race and are taking their best short-track car to the 1.25-mile oval this weekend. If everything falls into place, count on Bowyer to continue making his presence felt this Saturday night under the lights.

"We recently tested for this race and took down some good notes that we plan to put into place this weekend," he added. My guys have been giving me great stops and after last weekend I owe them one. We are taking our best short-track car this weekend, so I am really looking forward to it. If we can put together another good qualifying run and stay out of trouble, then I don't see why we will not be up front fighting for the lead when it counts."

Points of Interest...

* Runnin' It...The Real Car Guys will take chassis No. 027 to Gateway Int'l Raceway this weekend. They have run this chassis five times this season. It brought home a ninth place finish after starting second and leading 63 laps in Richmond, Va. It followed that run up with a win in Nashville, Tenn., starting fifth and taking the checkered flag after leading 70 laps. It soared to a third place finish in Sparta, Ky., after starting 16th, then went on to run at The Milwaukee Mile where it brought home a 10th place finish after starting sixth. The last time it ran in Loudon, N.H., it brought home a 16th place finish after starting eighth.

* Track Stat...Bowyer has raced once at the 1.25-mile oval. That start came last year in the No. 21 Reese's Chevrolet, where finished 12th.

* Testing 1,2,3...Bowyer tested at Gateway Int'l Raceway on July 19th prior to the Pikes Peak race. Both crew chief Gil martin and Bowyer feel they had a successful test and are more than ready for this weekend.

* ACDelco Stat...ACDelco has experienced great success at Gateway Int'l Raceway. They went to victory lane four years in a row from 1998 to 2001. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won in 1998 and 1999, then Kevin Harvick followed that feat up with wins in 2000 and 2001. In the last three years, the closest they came to revisiting victory lane was last year with Ron Hornaday behind the wheel. Hornaday started sixth and finished second after leading 52 laps.

* NBS Points...After 21 races in the 2005 season, Bowyer sits second in the points standings. He's now 122 markers out of the lead with one win, six top-five and 13 top-10 finishes.

* Gateway Grizzlies...Bowyer will be making an appearance at the Gateway Grizzlies baseball game on Friday, July 29th to watch the Grizzlies take on Chillicothe Paints. Bowyer will help the Grizzlies' celebrate their "Salute NASCAR" night by signing autographs, broadcasting, and taking part in activities between innings.

* Start time...Saturday night's Wallace Family Tribute 250 is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. EDT. TV coverage of the 200-lap event on TNT begins at 8:00 p.m., with live radio coverage also beginning at 8:00 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 Gateway Int'l Raceway...

Talk about your run there last year.

"It was an alright day for us. I started 12th and finished 12th. Last year I was just concerned with finishing races. Now I get frustrated if I finish outside the top-five. We have a good short-track program and are taking our best short-track car. If all goes well, I don't see any reason we will not be running up front."

What do you think about the Wallace brothers and their dedication to this race?

"I think it's great for everyone involved. The Wallace name is legendary in our sport and to have the three brothers coming together for a good cause and sponsoring this race is great. I can't wait to compete against them and hopefully finish ahead of all three."


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Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Clint Bowyer