Bowyer Returns to Kansas Coming Off a Win at Charlotte Motor Speedway; Gains Ground on Leaders in Chase for the Sprint Cup
CORNELIUS, N.C. – Clint Bowyer’s No. 15 Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY Toyota returns to Kansas Speedway for Sunday’s 400-mile race – the sixth stop in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Bowyer, a native of nearby Emporia, Kan., considers Kansas Speedway his home track. He says that while returning to his home track is always good, the trip to Kansas coming off of last weekend’s win at Charlotte makes it all the more special … and adds a little pressure to perform in front of the home crowd.
GOING TO KANSAS: “Yeah, coming off of the win obviously rolling into your hometown is a lot of fun. A lot of confidence, a lot of momentum, everything that comes off of a win. But to be able to do it rolling into home, and Kansas is very special, a lot of testing over the next couple days, looking forward to getting there and seeing what we have for a race car and the new repave. My teammate Mark Martin was there, did the test for us, said our cars were really good. So just anticipating a good weekend.”
ADDED PRESSURE: “You know, it’s important to run good in front of your hometown crowd and in front of your family and friends and everybody that comes out there. It’s just an important weekend for Carl (Edwards) and I both. I mean, that’s our home track, and I’ve gotten close a couple times, he’s gotten close a couple times. Neither one of us has ever got the job done. So maybe this is the time.
“I mean, there’s pressure no matter where you look in this sport. It doesn’t matter what weekend it is, whether it’s the Daytona 500, the first race, or the fourth race, or the last race. I mean, there’s always pressure to perform, not only for your race team but for your sponsors and everybody involved. It’s a pressure-driven sport, and I think that’s why it’s watched and so important each and every week.”
TESTING AT KANSAS: “There’s definitely a lot more practice on the racetrack, but it’s because it’s a repave and nobody has seen it before. And more importantly, the track needs to get rubber burnt into it and get cleaned off. We kind of saw that at Phoenix where the track was dirty and it really took a long time, a lot more time than anyone expected to get the rubber burnt in, and once we did, we ended up seeing one of the best races I’ve seen at Phoenix in a long time.
“I went into that weekend thinking it was going to be a major bummer, and by the end of it, I came out of there super pumped up and excited about the racing surface and what we had.
“You know, so there’s a couple different purposes being served there this weekend at Kansas. But to be able to go through all that practicing and just making sure you go through all the things that you know work, things you want to try, this is an opportunity to get all those through the notebook, and that way the guys, the engineers can look at the simulation and see what all those changes did and make sense of it before you get to the weekend and down to the nitty-gritty. “
ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST
· PINK LEMONADE: Bowyer is racing the No. 15 Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY/Avon Foundation for Women Breast Cancer Crusade Toyota at Charlotte. In 2012, 5-hour ENERGY is donating at least $75,000 to the Avon Foundation for Women Breast Cancer Crusade in connection with its new Pink Lemonade flavor. But that donation can increase a lot. The more Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY sells, the more they will donate. Bowyer will also drive the pink paint scheme in the Kansas and Martinsville races.
· POINT STANDING: Bowyer is fourth in the point standing with 2186 points. Bowyer trails leader Brad Keselowski by 29 points. Bowyer entered the Chase with six bonus points for his wins at Sonoma and Richmond and has gained three bonus points for leading laps at Dover, Talladega and Charlotte. Bowyer gained three additional bonus points for winning at Charlotte Motor Speedway last weekend. Prior to 2012, the best season any driver in the history of MWR has finished in a season is 16th in the final point standings (David Reutimann, 2009).
· BOWYER AT CHARLOTTE: Bowyer started fourth and led 29 laps in recording his third win of the season. The win marked his first NSCS win on a 1.5 mile racetrack and his first win at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was the eighth NSCS win of his career.
· THE KANSAS KID: The Emporia, Kan. native grew up a little more than 100 miles southwest of the 1.5 mile track in Kansas City. Bowyer’s “Seventy-Nine Fund” donated more than $1 million to the construction of a multi-purpose community center to host events, concerts and activities for the residents of Bowyer’s hometown of Emporia, Kan.
· CHASSIS NOTES: Primary chassis No. 738 raced at Atlanta. Chassis No. 716 is the backup. No. 716 raced earlier this season in Las Vegas, Kansas, Charlotte, Kentucky and Indianapolis. Chassis No. 716’s finished sixth at Las Vegas.
· 2012 BOWYER vs. CAREER BOWYER: Bowyer has three wins (Sonoma, fall Richmond and fall Charlotte), eight top-five and 19 top-10 finishes and is fourth through 31 races of 2012. In his six previous seasons, Bowyer best ranking through 31 races was third in 2007, most top-five finishes was six in 2010 and most top-10s was 16 in 2010. See side bar for additional comparison.
· MORE ON 2012: Bowyer has led 229 laps – three at Las Vegas, two at Martinsville, one at Michigan, 71 at Sonoma, one at New Hampshire,19 at Michigan, 88 at Richmond, six at Chicago, one at Dover, eight at Talladega and 29 at Charlotte. At Sonoma, Bowyer scored his sixth career Cup Series win and his first on a road course. In Richmond Bowyer scored his seventh career Cup Series win and his second at Richmond. At Charlotte, Bowyer scored his eighth career Cup Series win and his first on a 1.5 mile track. He has an average finish of 11.2 and start of 13.7. Bowyer’s best average finish for a season came in 2007 when he averaged a finish of 13.8 and finished third in the final point standings.
· MWR IN 2012: MWR’s five Cup Series drivers have scored a combined record of three wins (Bowyer at Sonoma, Richmond and Charlotte), 21 top-five and 50 top-10 finishes through the 31 races of the season. Four drivers have recorded three or more top-five finishes – Bowyer has eight, Truex Jr. has six, Martin has four and Vickers has three. All five drivers, including Waltrip, have recorded a top-10.
· 900 AND COUNTING: Clint Bowyer led 29 laps and Mark Martin led two at Charlotte to give MWR’s Toyotas 939 laps led in the 30 Sprint Cup Series races of 2012. Truex Jr. leads the MWR charge with 423 laps led, Bowyer 229, Martin with 135, Vickers 131, and Waltrip with 21.