Phoenix II: Clint Bowyer preview

* This Weekend's Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express Chevrolet Impala SS at Phoenix International Raceway ... Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis No. 081 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable in this weekend's Able Body Labor...

* This Weekend's Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express Chevrolet Impala SS at Phoenix International Raceway ... Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis No. 081 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable in this weekend's Able Body Labor 200. This is a brand new Chevrolet Impala SS that will be put through its first paces when it hits the track this weekend.

* Statistically Speaking ...

* Bowyer Overall ... In eight NNS starts at Phoenix, the reigning series champion has earned one win (April 2007), and one pole (November 2007) to go along with five top-five and six top-10 finishes. In addition, Bowyer is tied with Brendan Gaughan for the best average finish (seventh) among drivers entered for this weekend's 200-mile event.

* Rankings ... Bowyer is one of 11 drivers to earn a victory at Phoenix. He is fourth all-time in top-fives finishes (five), fifth all-time in laps led (214) and is tied for fifth all-time in top-10 finishes with Ron Hornaday Jr. and Kyle Busch (six) at the one-mile Avondale facility.

* Bowyer's 2009 NNS Recap ... In 11 NNS starts this season, the eight-time NNS winner has earned two wins, one pole and five top-three finishes. He boasts an 11.3 average start, a 9.9 average finish and has completed 2,095 of the 2,098 laps contested (99.9 percent).

* RCR at Phoenix ... In 32 NNS starts at PIR, RCR-prepared Chevrolets have two wins (Kevin Harvick -- April 2006 and Bowyer -- April 2007), 15 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. The Welcome, N.C.,-based organization boasts a 13.8 average start and a 12.4 average finish. Additionally, RCR has led 406 laps and has completed 6,297 of 6,413 (98.2 percent) laps contested.

* Rearview Mirror ... Last weekend, Casey Mears, subbing for Jeff Burton, finished second in the O'Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway. The strong performance advanced the No. 29 team one spot, to fifth, in the NNS owners' point standings. With two races remaining, the RCR team is 74 markers in arrears of Kevin Harvick Inc.'s No. 33 entry in fourth and 41 points forward Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 20 entry in sixth.

* Holiday Inn Racing's Last 19 ... The No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet has finished in the top 15 in 18 of the last 19 NNS races. During that span, Bowyer, Burton, Stephen Leicht and Mears have combined to earn two wins, four top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. Their only showing outside the top 15 came after Bowyer's left front tire was cut down while running third on a late-race restart at Auto Club Speedway, resulting in a 29th-place finish.

* Double Down in the Desert ... In addition to his NNS duties, Bowyer will pilot the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet in Sunday's Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil. The 35th points-paying race on the Sprint Cup Series schedule will be televised live on ABC beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The race will also be broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.


What makes Phoenix so racy?

"It's just the right size. Aero is definitely a big part of it, but not as much as getting into the corner at 200 mph at a track like Texas. You have to have car turning good in the center of the corner, but then again, you have to drive the wheels off it, too. Another thing I like about Phoenix, and race tracks that are like it, are the difference between the corners. Turns 1 and 2 are tight and Turns 3 and 4 are long and sweeping. You're not going to find a perfect setup and go out there and wax everybody. You have to carry the car in one corner to be good in the other. As a driver, you have to find a happy medium there, which allows you to have a little more control over your destiny."

You've had strong runs in your last five races at Phoenix. Is this a track you made sure was on your limited schedule in the Nationwide Series this season?

"I knew I wanted to run there at least once this season. Phoenix seems to fit my driving style well and I think that's what adds to my success there. Everyone at the shop circled this race and we're bringing a new Chevrolet with us this weekend. The guys have worked hard over the last three months preparing this car and I'm excited to get out there and race it for the first time."

Dan Deeringhoff:

You've had success at Phoenix in the past with Clint. What can you attribute that success to and what are the challenges you might face this time around?

"Clint knows how to get around Phoenix and the cars we've built for this track in the past always seem to run well there. This weekend, we need to get the car to turn well enough through the corners so that three will be enough bit as Clint exits the turns. Because phoenix is an odd-shaped track, more often that not, you have to give up on Turn 1 in order to perform better in Turns 3 and 4. The setup we won with was balanced enough through both ends of the track and we really didn't five up too much. This new chassis we've built should be no different. Hopefully, we nail the set up, like we did back in 2007, and have another strong run."

-credit: rcr

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About this article
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Casey Mears , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Brendan Gaughan , Clint Bowyer , Stephen Leicht , Kyle Busch
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing