CORNELIUS, N. C. – Brakes will be needed this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to one of the shortest tracks on the circuit, Bristol Motor Speedway. Clint Bowyer also could use a break after having one of the fastest cars last weekend at Michigan International Speedway, only to finish 41st after being tangled up on a restart trying to avoid another competitor.
The finish tightened up the points battle in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Bowyer currently occupies the final spot in the 16-car field. He is 23 points ahead of 17th place and 47 points out of 12th.
He knows he needs to keep his No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota up toward the front this weekend if he wants to maintain his spot in NASCAR’s post season. And while Bristol can have a high attrition rate, with 43 cars vying for space around the half-mile bull ring, it’s one of Bowyer’s favorite tracks.
That bodes well for the 5-hour ENERGY team, which has been on somewhat of a momentum swing with six top-10 finishes in the last nine races. Who knows, if Bowyer gets some of those breaks this weekend, he may find himself putting the brakes on Saturday night in victory lane at Bristol.
What is your outlook with just three races left before the Chase?
“Well last weekend wasn’t the result we wanted but I had one of the best cars I’ve had all year. I’m just proud of all my guys. We’ve been working hard to get better and it’s paying off. You can see it on the race track. We aren’t out of this thing and we aren’t giving up. We have three more races to get ourselves into the Chase and they are three race tracks that I like.”
Do you like going to Bristol?
“Heck yes, but it can be a tough one. Someone usually loses their mind because someone tries to get through a hole that’s obviously not big enough. That’s why it’s one of the races I recommend to people. There’s always something happening on track and when that person loses their mind it usually means it’s entertaining for the fans. I just hope this weekend it isn’t us. But we were decent earlier this year so we’ve got a shot to get ourselves where we need to be to make sure we make the Chase. That’s the goal.”
NO. 15 CREW ROSTER
Front Tire Changer
Front Tire Carrier
Rear Tire Changer
Rear Tire Carrier
· Five top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 19 starts
· Completed 8,945 of 9,527 laps (93.9%) and led 137 laps
· Average start 20.7 and average finish 15.8
· Two DNFs (Did Not Finish) – March 2011 and March 2010