NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
NASCAR SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
MAY 20, 2011
Clint Bowyer Wins Front Row Starting Spot for Sprint All-Star Race
CONCORD, N.C. (May 20, 2011) – Clint Bowyer, No. 33 BB&T Chevrolet, will start on the outside of the front row for Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Mark Martin, No. 25 Farmers Insurance “Throwback”/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, was the second Team Chevy driver to secure a top-five starting position for the four-segment, 100-lap race.
A total of 10 Chevrolet drivers are qualified for the annual All-Star race that pays $1 million to the winner. Tony Stewart will start sixth in the No. 14 Burger King Chevrolet. Juan Pablo Montoya, No 42 Energizer Chevrolet, rolls off in eighth place. Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet is the ninth place starter and Ryan Newman will start 10th in the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevorlet.
Other Team Chevy drivers in the All-Star race will start as follows: Jimmie Johnson, No. 5 Lowe’s 5% Everyday Chevrolet-11th; Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet-12th; Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser-Realtree Chevrolet-14th and Regan Smith, No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet-17th.
Team Chevy has six drivers in the Sprint Showdown who will attempt to race their way into the All-Star Race. The top-two finishers plus the driver who wins the fan vote will be added to the back of the All-Star field.
Paul Menard, No. 27 Moen-Menards Chevrolet, will start third in the Showdown with Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, rolling off fifth. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 Dale Jr. Foundation/VH1 Save the Music/AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet is starting in 13th place.
Other Chevrolet drivers starting the Showdown are Landon Cassill-15th; J.J.Yeley-18th and David Stemme-26th.
The 20-lap Sprint Showdown will take the green flag at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday night. The All-Star Race is set for a 9:00 p.m. ET start. SPEED TV, PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90 will provide live coverage.
CLINT BOWYER, NO. 33 BB&T CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND: ON HIS QUALIFYING: “The lap was good. I think it was second quickest. Somebody ran an 18, that was a 25. The lap was good. The pit stop was good. Felt like I got in good, may have left a little bit taking off. So much goes into everything. You are thinking so much ahead and trying not to make a mistake. You have to charge as hard as you can coming in and then you have to get as much as you can getting off. It is a pretty intense ordeal, the whole thing. From the lap, to the entrance to pit road, the pit stop itself. Everybody has to hit their marks and we did pretty good.”
ON HAVING BB&T ONBOARD: “Just real proud of BB&T. What a great sponsor they’ve been to myself and RCR right there in our backyard in Winston-Salem. It is a lot of fun to have a sponsor that interacts as well as they do.”
ON STARTING SECOND: “Just real proud of all the guys on the BB&T Chevrolet. Just a total team effort. That is what today is all about. This is a lot of fun to be able to qualify for a race like that. Big race. $1 million to win. Qualifying is part of it. Now we have to race for the rest of it.”
HOW IMPORTANT WAS YOUR CREW IN THIS RUN TODAY? “They are crucial. Just like they were last night in the pit crew competition and the way they have been year in and year out. The key to our crew is togetherness. They’ve been together for several years now and very fortunate to have them.”
PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT: TALK TO ABOUT BEING ABLE TO START UP FRONT IN THE ALL-STAR RACE: “That Kyle Busch is a pain in everybody’s butt isn’t he? He’s pretty good. (LAUGHS). Our guys were good. Really proud of the BB&T Chevrolet pit crew. Today is so much fun. That is a fun, fun qualifying effort. I’m telling you, it is nerve wracking on everybody’s part. You’re trying to hit your marks right. Doing everything we normally do, but it is such a different format, it makes you panic. Coming on to pit road, you are like ‘man, don’t get too much but don’t stop too soon’. Just a fun, fun atmosphere to be involved in. Happy with our efforts, happy to be on the front row. Our car is night and day different from where we were a year ago here. We were miserable and didn’t even have a fighting chance. I think we are going to have a shot at it.”
WHO IS THE GUY TO BEAT TOMORROW? “With this format and this race, I’m telling you, as close as this competition is, it is as close as it has ever been. I think ever. I mean, there’s a ton. I think anybody in that race. Anybody that was practicing in the last session was there for a reason and it’s been back and forth it seems like ever since the beginning of the season. Even last year. Man, I’m telling you there are 10 or 12 guys that have a legitimate shot at winning this and that is no luck involved. That is just going out and getting the job done.”
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR TEAM? “I think the biggest thing that sets them apart is that they’ve been together for so long. That stems back to the No. 29 bunch, the old No. 29 bunch when Todd Berrier was leading the charge on the No. 29 car. Those guys have been together for a long, long time. That is where their success comes from. When they jump over the wall, they know exactly what to do.
“They know everybody’s moves and if there is a slight bit of hesitation, they know the correction to make because they have worked together so much. Very proud, very lucky to have them. Very fortunate to have a group like that because I know coming on to pit road, I’ve got as good a crew as anybody out there.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 5 LOWE’S 5% EVERY DAY CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 11Th
ON YOUR RUN, WHERE DID YOU DO THE BEST?
“I felt like it was a decent lap. The car was a little too loose, but it was still a decent lap. So I feel like we learned something; get the guys to get some rest. We had a great night last night at the Pit Crew Challenge. We missed it a little bit today but it’s all good. It’s tough for me to even remember sometimes (that he’s running the No. 5 Chevy). Luckily they didn’t change my pit sign.”
MARK MARTIN, NO. 35 FARMER’S INSURANCE “THROWBACK’/GO.DADDY.COM CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 5TH
“The car was good. The car was very good today. It was a good run and I’m looking forward to the All-Star race, man, it’s going to be great. A big shout-out to Sprint for having this race, and also a big shout-out to all our Farmer’s Insurance agents out there. The car looks great and the guys were awesome on pit road. They ripped off a great pit stop and made up for all the lost time I might have had anywhere else on the track. It was a great pit stop right there and it made up for the lost time that I had anywhere on the race track. Good run. Look forward to the All-Star Race. Man, it is going to be great. Racing never gets old, but this All-Star event is really special. The fans. Kudos to Charlotte Motor Speedway and the fans, they really make this special.”
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER/REALTREE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 14th
HAVE YOU GOT ENOUGH SPEED IN THIS CAR TO WIN THE ALL-STAR RACE TOMORROW NIGHT?
“I think so. Our Budweiser Chevy has driven well. I have to go back and see where we lost all the time right there. I know I didn’t do very good getting out of the pit box at the end of pit road, but the lap time was okay.”
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 BURGER KING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 3RD:
WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING TO DO NOW FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT, THE REST OF YOUR BIRTHDAY?
“Go to sleep (laughs) and get ready for the All-Star race tomorrow night. No, we take everything we do here really seriously so as much as I’d like to have fun tonight; my fun part was being here with my guys here today and that’s the best place to spend a birthday, for sure.”
TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING RUN
‘So far, so good. I’m really proud of what they did last night. Three of our guys got individual awards in the Pit Crew Challenge and we’re on top of the world right now. We just need some luck. We’ve had such bad luck this year with just little things going wrong that I’ve never even seen before so if we just have a decent night tonight, I’ll be happy. I want momentum for the rest of the year.
“You guys (local media) think about it this week because it’s where you guys are at, but we think about it for the whole season. We’ve got a whole season for this.”
NOT A BAD RUN FOR AN OLDER GUY “I don’t feel any different. You see, I’m working on averages and my body thinks I’m mid-fifties and my brain thinks I’m in my teens still, so I’m just working on the law of averages.
IN 2009, YOU STARTED 15TH AND WON THE RACE. CAN YOU DO THAT AGAIN TOMORROW?
“I hope so. I’m excited. We’ve got Burger King back on the car this year and we’ve had good luck with them. We need some luck for Mobil 1 and Office Depot. We haven’t had much luck for them this year. But we have a really good car I think, in race trim.
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 12TH
ON HIS LAP
“You’ve got to get pumped up for this for sure. You practice during the day and then the track cools down and there is a lot more grip out there, so you’re guessing on the balance of the car, which the DuPont Chevrolet is pretty good. I got a little loose in (Turns) 3 and 4, so that made it a little bit challenging, which it was also loose coming to pit road so that made it challenging as well. I got on pit road; and I think it was a pretty good stop. So all in all, it was a pretty solid run. Not our best effort, but not bad.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 10TH: ON HIS QUALIFYING: “I think the lap was good. I think the pit stop was okay, but I didn’t get off pit lane the way I wanted to, my launch. That is just a random launch. I was not the greatest. Just proud of the guys. We were struggling a little bit when we unloaded off the truck and that was a big improvement for the Haas Automation Chevrolet.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 ENERGIZER CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 8TH: ON HIS QUALIFYING: “It is always exciting. The first time we try it in practice, it is can we do it? It is actually pretty simple to do wide-open through one and two. But it is good fun.”
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