TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS)
Clint Bowyer — Notes & Quotes
Dover International Speedway – May 31, 2013
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Do you enjoy racing at Dover?
“It is fun, but I’m telling you, you are going to work hard for it. You’ve got to fight this ‘monster’ every lap. I won a couple of Nationwide races here — haven’t won a Cup race — but love this race track. It’s very demanding and (we’ve) been getting better as a team I feel like each and every week. We’re getting closer and closer to where we need to be to win a race. So hopefully we’ll inch in on that and maybe get us one here at Dover.”
Are you confident heading to Pocono next weekend?
“When you are with a team like I have, with Brian Pattie (crew chief) and everybody with this 5-HOUR Energy Toyota, it’s fun to come to any race track knowing that you’ll have a shot at it. You’re going to have a good car and everybody is ready to go to battle, so it’s just another race in the schedule for me. I’m ready to go there and I think we can run well.”
How would you describe Michael Waltrip Racing general manager Ty Norris?
“A great guy and a great leader — a huge asset for everybody at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing). He was a big role in me moving out to MWR. I mean, he put the pitch on and he sold MWR and everything that he said came true. So, I believe in him. He’s just a great guy and a fun guy to be around. He spotted my first win at Sonoma with MWR, so we’ve got a lot of history in a short amount of time.”
Has Ty Norris ever given you any insight on this track having gone to college across the street?
“I didn’t have a clue that he grew up over here. So — no — He’s from here? Huh. Well no wonder he likes this place so much. No, I didn’t know that. Well, I’m glad he’s home and hopefully we can win one for him.”
What leads to success on high-banked short tracks?
“I think its comfort level and having a good package for these short tracks and a good base starting ground as far as the setup goes, but more so I’ve just always run well on short tracks. I don’t know why. Again, when I unload I’m comfortable and find decent speed and good balance on my race car relatively easy and usually get a decent result.”
Where is your team at this point in the season?
“Well, again, going to this car and trying to figure the car out and battle through all of the adversity. We’ve had — I know one DNF when we blew up in California, and crashed out at Talladega. We’ve had some bad races, so to be fourth in points and where we’re at with the bad runs that we’ve had I’m actually pretty surprised. It just shows you I’m not the only one in that boat. Everybody has kind of had their bad day and used their ‘mulligan.’ With that being said, hopefully all of that is behind us. It looks like we’ve been on a roll here lately getting our feet underneath us and catching stride.”
Are you comfortable with your current position in the point standings?
“Right now it’s all about the status quo. We have to continue to improve on our program and we need to get closer to leading more laps and obviously winning — that’s what we’re here for. If you can win, by all means, damn sure do so. But, right now fourth in points, it’s all about maintaining that points base, continuing to improve and getting closer to that Chase at full stride. I can tell you this, just from history if you look back at all of my records — the month of May has always been one that’s rough on me. It seems like I always get started off pretty decent, get to the month of May and trip up and spend the rest of the summer making up for two or three bad races in May. We got through May relatively good, obviously not great, but it was very important to me to make sure that I got through that month and not cause myself to have to worry all summer long and not be able to race for wins, which is what we did last year. We were able to race through the summer months, got us some wins, got us some confidence and rolled into that Chase ready to rock.”
Do you feel confident going into the month of June?
“That’s what I’m saying, I think we’re quite a ways ahead of where we were. Any year that I’ve ever been in the sport in the Cup Series, I’m happy with where we’re at and certainly higher in points than I’ve ever been right now. Things are looking up.”
How important is experience at Dover?
“I’m telling you this is one of the toughest tracks I went to the first time I came, but it’s a demanding race track. Here’s the thing about this track, it’s hard enough to get around here by yourself then you get to racing somebody and now you get frustrated and it’s so easy to get yourself in trouble on that race track. That being said, I think younger drivers get themselves in trouble in racing conditions on this demanding race track.”
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing (continued)
How do you see the new car performing at Dover?
“I think it will be more of the same and I think it’s going to be good racing. We’ve got more downforce and more grip and on a track like this I think that’s just going to make us race closer yet and be a better show for our fans.”
Why have there been so many more cautions this season?
“We’ve had crazy things happen. We’ve had cameras fall out of the sky. We’ve had a lot of things that have caused cautions this year. The car — we’re racing closer and we’re putting a better product on the race track for the fans and that means we’re putting a show on. We’re racing close, we’re racing hard and when you do that sometimes you slip up and you get into each other. However, unfortunately for us and in the fan’s eyes, that’s a good show. Man, I’ve been to races all my life and that’s a good show.”
Do drivers enjoy short runs during races compared to long runs between cautions?
“I’ve got attention problems anyway — so I love it. Them long runs — you get spread out 150 or 200 laps on a big race track and it’s time for a caution. I don’t care what causes it. I don’t like mysterious debris cautions. If we get to a point in this sport where we need cautions, I wish they would make it a rule some way shape or form where I don’t care what it is — quarters, if we go more than 120 laps on a green flag run on a mile-and-a-half race track, it’s a mandatory caution. That way you can plan, you can strategize and make the most of it. Those mysterious debris cautions sometimes they will either help you or really, really hurt you.”