Ford Performance NASCAR: Kansas 2 (Clint Bowyer Media Availability)

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Friday, October 18, 2019

Hollywood Casino 400 | MEDIA AVAILABILITY

CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Dekalb Ford Mustang — HAVING YOUR CONTRACT EXTENSION HANDLED AND GOING INTO THIS RACE SUNDAY, DOES IT MAKE IT EASIER THAT YOU AREN’T RACING FOR YOUR CAREER OR SOMETHING? “It is always a good thing. I don’t feel like I was racing for my career anyway. I race because I love to do it and I love to come back here and everything else. There is a lot of pride to be a part of a sport like this, something you grew up doing since you were a little boy. A great deal of pride that goes into being a part of this. As far as the aspect of doing it another year, yes, that is great and according to plan. Right now the plan is all about trying to stay alive in these playoffs and our quest for a championship.”

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JUST A ONE YEAR EXTENSION? IS THAT GOOD? “Yeah, one year. It is good for me. In today’s day in age there is a lot going on. There are a lot of moving parts in our sport. You talk about everything that is going to happen after that and there is just a lot of unknowns. There is a lot of positive vision and opinions on the direction and everything else but at the end of the day we have to figure that out. I am no different. I am just a competitor within the sport and you work for an organization that puts on a show. How all that is going to play out after the new car and everything happens, at this point in the game you aren’t in situations anymore where you put three years together or long term deals anymore. I am okay. I was fine with a one year deal. That is on my end of it too. I feel like that is where we are at in today’s day in age. I was 100-percent okay with that.”

DO THESE WEEKENDS AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY HOLD AN EXTRA SPECIAL PLACE IN YOUR HEART? “Coming back home is always meaningful and a lot of fun. I have a lot of pride in bringing partners like Dekalb this weekend. It is a great partnership and a great environment. I have been home in Kansas all week long and I have seen nothing but corn and bean fields being harvested all week long. I was around it. I roll in and get in the Dekalb car this weekend and it is pretty meaningful. I just feel at home.”

YOU HAVE BEEN SO CLOSE HERE AT KANSAS. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS TRACK OVER THE YEARS, KNOWING YOU WANT TO WIN HERE SO BAD: “For me, it is a mile-and-a-half track and I struggle on some of them. This is one of them. The weird thing is that I can come here and be just spot on and have a really easy weekend and be successful and other weekends I just feel like a fish out of water the whole weekend. You never do get comfortable. We got some work to do on our hot rod unloading it. In the grand scheme of things for the first practice I looked over and saw a lot of other teams that were struggling. Again, you come here and you practice in one condition. The wind – I am a Kansas boy so nobody understands and is bothered less than me for wind, but it is a problem we all had to manage getting into three and four. That being said, we have some work to do. I feel like it is doable. The next thing is you get into the race and for whatever reason it is always a little different than what you thought it would be in practice sessions.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Dekalb Ford Mustang — IS TOMORROW A MUST WIN FOR YOU TO ADVANCE? “A lot has to happen. There is something that happens in this sport that we don’t talk about a lot. If you don’t make that and you get kicked out, you get thrown back in the pot. Truth be told, you can end up fifth or 16th and they are both doable. I learned that last year the hard way of going for it and throwing all caution to the wind and really throwing hail mary’s out there at the end trying to stay alive in our quest for a championship and it bit us. I remember leaving Phoenix bummed out that we didn’t make the Championship Four and the next thing you know you look over and we are 12th in points. We were eighth and now we are 12th and you only have one race to make that up. You can’t lose sight of that. That is something that I will not make that mistake again. At the end of the day, this is our turn and opportunity to try to stay alive and it is right here at home, so of course we will do everything we can do to get every stage point and every position. Look how many wild things happened in the spring race. As a cookie cutter track, this has always been a track that some crazy things happen. Always. Always a points shakeup or a finish different that you didn’t expect all weekend long from practice. Fundamentally the norm race track as you go through practice sessions and qualifying, you kind of see the same things but there are always some things that trip you up in the race and change things in a big way.”

WHEN YOU COME HOME, THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE HERE ROOTING FOR YOU, BUT DOES IT TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR RACE WEEKEND ROUTINE? “Not really. You know, I am just proud of this race track. I am proud to be from here and growing up watching this track. Every single year I have come back here there has been something new here from its inception in 2001. People can say all they want about our sport or where it is at or an option here and there but there is not one person in this town or this city or this environment around here that will not tell you that the impact was a massive impact that the Kansas Speedway made in this county and this area over here. Dealerships, a shopping mall, go over there and eat. A sporting complex, big businesses, water parks, all of it because of this race track and the investment that was put forth. There is a casino on the back straightaway. A lot of change since 2001. It is all about putting the puzzle together and this was the first piece that set it all off.”

WHAT MEMORIES COME TO YOUR MIND WHEN YOU ARE DRIVING UP TO THIS TRACK? “You know, it is just the task at hand. I am not really somebody that thinks about the past. When I pull up here, I am thinking about how I am going to unload, what the balance will be like. Is the wind that is blowing 24 mph today going to affect things? What will it look like for Sunday or do I only have to worry about it today? Will it be something different on Sunday? I just don’t reflect on the past. It doesn’t matter to me. I have always been that way. The past is behind you and the only thing you can change is what is in front of you. Really, that is all I ever really focus on.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Dekalb Ford Mustang — YOU HAVE HAD A COUPLE GOOD RUNS IN THE PLAYOFFS. WHAT IS CLICKING RIGHT NOW? “We have a lot of positive mojo going on. That sucked last week. The thing that bummed me out the most was that I finally felt like we had some things going our way. All summer long it has been one crummy thing after another of just a let down. A strong run only to be let down with something crazy happening. I thought we had that shook off but I will be damned if I wasn’t stuck on the apron. I didn’t see that coming. Out of 1,000 things that I could have wrote down of possibilities of what could happen and keep us out of this thing at the Talladega wild card race, being struck in the apron – not in the grass – but on the apron would not be one of them. Then going two laps down because nobody could push me was another thing that wouldn’t be on the list. Yes, I am a little bitter about last weekend but there is nothing but pulling into Kansas Speedway and worrying about what is in front of us.”

CARL EDWARDS SAID THAT IF HE HAD WON HERE, IT WOULD BE AS BIG AS WINNING THE DAYTONA 500. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT? “Negative. No. No. And I don’t think he actually would have either. No. Nothing in our world the way we grew up chasing this dream, nothing is as big as the Daytona 500. If it is an auto race, nothing is as big. There is only one other one. It is the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 and that depends on where you grew up. In our world, I would much rather win the Daytona 500 than the Indy 500. There are a lot of people that is flip-flopped on that, but make no mistake, those are the two biggest races in this country.”

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