SONOMA, Calif.— Clint Bowyer is living proof that NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers read each other’s press clippings.
Scarcely had Marcos Ambrose left the interview room Friday at Sonoma Raceway when Bowyer, during his own interview session, jokingly took issue with one of Ambrose’s comments.
“If you look down the sheet of people who can win, there’s at least 20 drivers that could win,” Ambrose said, talking about the competitiveness of Sunday’s Toyota Save Mart 350. “Would you have put Clint Bowyer on that list last year when he went around here?
“Probably not, so it could be even thicker than that. It could be thirty-odd drivers that have a chance to win.”
Bowyer, who had three fourth-place finishes in six starts before winning at Sonoma last year, countered by citing Ambrose’s miscue in 2010, when the Australian driver shut off his engine under caution while leading, trying to save fuel, and couldn’t get the car re-fired in time to keep up with the pace car.
“I read (Marcos) Ambrose’s quote–that was kind of mean,” Bowyer quipped. “Who would have thought he’d have shut his car off leading and not win the race with a dominant day. So, bam–make sure you post that quote right back at you, Ambrose.”
Bowyer, however, didn’t hesitate to express his admiration for Ambrose’s well-documented ability on road courses.
“He is amazing,” Bowyer said. “To watch him, last year I remember, his car was terrible and he had that thing hung out driving absolute daylights out of it. And you see that and you’re like, ‘Man, I hope (he doesn’t) ever get that thing pointed in the right direction and rolling good, because he’s going to be a handful.’
“And he usually is, and I think he will be this year.”
In fact, Ambrose qualified second for Sunday’s race during time times on Saturday. Bowyer will start fifth.