No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry
Bristol Motor SpeedwayCORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry driver Clint Bowyer heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for this weekend’s 500-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup race with a 113 point lead over 11th place in the championship standings with three races remaining before the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Bowyer needs to finish 12th or better with no laps led, 13th or better with one lap led or 14th or better with the most laps led Saturday to clinch a berth in the NASCAR playoff. The Emporia, Kan. native has never finished outside the top-10 at Bristol since joining MWR in 2012. Bowyer also finished in the top-five in two of the last three race scoring the most points of any driver.
BRISTOL: “It’s just one of my favorite racetracks – it always has been. Whether you get caught up in something or not, whether you get a bad finish or a good finish – it’s just a coliseum. There is no better way of displaying our product of racing then they do it at Bristol. Period. It’s the best you can ever have of our kind of car racing – on a short track in that bull ring like that. For a fan you don’t get a better bang for your buck anywhere.”
DO YOU LIKE WHERE BRISTOL IS ON THE SCHEDULE: “It’s a game changer. Everybody can complain about the schedule, and there is definitely it seems like places on the schedule where you might like to see some change, but every time you take something out it takes away from somewhere else. Certainly if you put a Bristol in the Chase to try and shake things up then you don’t have that race leading in to the cutoff. This is typically kind of a down time of the year for us and it’s not right now. The race for the Chase is on in a big way and could be shook up in an even bigger way at Bristol.”
ON POTENTIALLY CLINCHING A CHASE BERTH: “Right now it’s nothing more than a little bit of a pat on the back for being able to accomplish the consistency it takes to run up front during the regular season. In a few weeks’ time the points are going to reset and it’s not going to matter where I am in the standings at that point.”
· Chasing the Chase: The No. 15 team is in second place with a 113 point lead over 11th place in the Sprint Cup Series championship standings with three races remaining before the Chase for the Sprint Cup cutoff following Richmond. He’ll clinch a top-10 spot by finishing 12th or better, or 13th and at least one lap, or 14th and most laps led.
· Walgreen’s Appearance: Bowyer will sign autographs at Walgreen’s, 2340 Highway 394 in Blountville, Tenn., on Thursday at 3 p.m.
· Testing: Bowyer, along with MWR teammate Martin Truex Jr. and test driver AJ Allmendinger, tested at Richmond International Raceway on Tuesday and Wednesday as the first of their four NASCAR allowed test dates.
· Let’s Go Streaking! Since joining MWR, Bowyer has three straight top-10 finishes at Bristol, including two top-fives. He has finished sixth or better in the last two weeks, including a fifth place finish at MIS. Bowyer has finished 20th or better in every race since Fontana – a streak of 18 races. The next longest top-20 streak by any other driver is 13 by Kevin Harvick.
· Chassis: Primary chassis 773 finished eighth at Charlotte in May. Backup chassis No. 727 has served as a backup several races in 2013, but not raced.
· Teammate News: MWR announced on Monday that Brian Vickers will drive the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine in 12 of the final 13 races of 2013. Michael Waltrip will drive the No. 55 at Talladega Superspeedway. Vickers also will drive the No. 55 in all 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2014 and again in 2015.