CHEVY NSCS AT RICHMOND ONE: Clint Bowyer NASCAR Weekly Teleconference Transcript
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 BB&T CHEVROLET, was the guest on the NASCAR Weekly Video Teleconference. Full transcript:
An Interview With: CLINT BOWYER
MELANIE VELISEK: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the NASCAR Cam video teleconference in advance of this weekend’s Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hanson 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Joining us now is Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 BB & T Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. He has risen to 10th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings, and this is big week for you. You’ll be making your return to prime time television tonight with a guest appearance on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” and you’re heading back to Richmond where you won in 2008. You’ve called this your favorite track. What are you looking forward to this weekend?
CLINT BOWYER: Well, hopefully more of the same. Our cars have been running well. We’ve been doing a good job at the racetrack here as of late, about the last month. It’s been really, really good for us, so just hopefully can continue to ride that momentum wave and get a good finish and win one of these things. I mean, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what we do this for.
Q. Can you describe how you went from 24th in points to 10th in four races?
CLINT BOWYER: Just ran well. I mean, that’s all it takes, to run well and bring good equipment to the racetrack and do a good job on race day. I mean, very proud of our race team to get things turned around. The first four races were just terrible, and we dug in deep and got things turned around and had a decent run at Martinsville and just kind of continued to build on that and get that ball rolling, get the monkey off your back, and the last two races we finished second.
My teammate won two races back-to-back. We finished second. But we’ve got to — we’ve got to win races. I’ve been saying that all the time, and it’s time for myself and our race team to prove ourselves this year, and hopefully we can win some more races.
Q. I mean, just mentally, is it a lot easier to — do you breathe a lot easier today than you did a month ago, or was a month ago just too early to start to worry about things?
CLINT BOWYER: Oh, no, no. A month ago I was worried, very much so. But at the end of the day the reality was it’s still way early in the season, still is even today. But with the new points system and everything that’s happening around that, you really don’t know where you’re at. You think you do, but things will shake out. I think the cream is going to rise to the top, no different than it ever has. It’s still early in the season, but it feels good to be able to get on a little bit of a roll here, and hopefully we can continue to ride that wave.
Q. I was watching the Texas race, and you ran real well there, and afterwards when you were doing an interview, you were sort of inviting other people, or companies, to come and sponsor your car. I just wondered if you could talk a moment about the landscape for getting sponsors, how difficult it is, how challenging it is, in these economic times.
CLINT BOWYER: Very challenging. It’s challenging for every race team. I mean, everybody is — haven’t been on easy street really, but for lack of a better term, things have been pretty easy to come by sponsors and things over the years. And through the economy the way it is and a lot of things happening, you know, it has made it a lot more difficult, and we do have some open races toward the end of the year. It’s important to me to make sure that I do everything I can possibly do, not only in the race car but like I did there at Texas outside the race car to make sure that I help Richard and everybody at RCR sell sponsorship. We’re as big a part of it as anybody, and if we’re not doing our job, it makes their job even more difficult.
Q. Have you guys been able to figure out at all really what the impact is of a bad finish? Seems like for a guy like Jimmie it took him longer to move up to where he is than you were able to do in four races. Is it that much harder to move up from a bad finish than it used to be?
CLINT BOWYER: Well, no, it’s still the same thing that’s going to get you there. We’ve been able to have four pretty solid runs; two of them were second place finishes back-to-back. My teammate was the same way; he didn’t necessarily get the year started off right, either, but he was able to get two wins and get himself pointed in the right direction and continue to ride that wave, as well.
But my other teammate, Jeff Burton, he’s had the speed. He’s had horrible luck. Brought good equipment to the racetrack and done a good job on race day, just things haven’t went their way, and he hasn’t been able to kind of shake that monkey off his back and kind of get on a roll yet, but he has got a couple solid runs and starting to get the ship pointed in the right direction, and I think that’s what it takes.
That’s what we did with our race team, and it’s really made the biggest difference, just making sure that — you’re the driver, just make sure that you’re doing as much as possible and work as hard as you can to make sure that you are pointed in the right direction and you get those good finishes. I mean, it’s very, very difficult to run up front in this sport right now. It’s so challenging, so demanding, so competitive that it’s just