Ford Performance NASCAR: Clint Bowyer Talks Brickyard

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Ford Performance NASCAR Notes and Quotes

Brickyard 400 Advance – Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford Fusion, is 10th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series point standings going into tomorrow’s Brickyard 400.  He stopped by the infield media center after final practice to talk about this weekend’s race.

CLINT BOWYER – No. 14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford Fusion – HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE CAR FOR QUALIYFING?  “Obviously, being 14th you wish you had more speed.  Unfortunately, this track is one of those tracks where if that baby doesn’t run right off the box at the top of the sheet where you want to be, it’s a long road to hoe from then on out for the weekend.  It’s a downforce and horsepower race track.  Obviously, balance is a big thing as you go through the long runs of the race, but that front side of the speed throughout a run is very, very important because it is hard to pass here and everything in between.  Hopefully, we’ll get qualified decent  You need to be better than 14th.  You need to be able to have the advantage of that clean air and stuff we talk about, which you enjoy up front, so qualifying is going to be a premium and if it isn’t meant to be, we’ll race our butts off tomorrow.”

DO YOU EXPECT A SIMILAR KIND OF RACE IN CUP THIS YEAR?  “I guess my answer is I’m looking forward to watching this XFINITY race.”

DO YOU BELIEVE THERE’S A CORRELATION BETWEEN INDIANAPOLIS AND POCONO?  “I hope not.  I crashed in Pocono.  I hit the wall.  I don’t want to hit the wall here.  They’re both flat.  They’re both big.  This one is a square and that one is a triangle.  I’ve never been able to put a triangle in a square peg, but I guess the correlation is there.”

HOW DO YOU LIKE THE SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEKEND?  “I was freaking out all day yesterday.  I literally kept looking at my phone.  I looked at it in the morning and I looked at it at about lunch.  I was over at the lake this week with my family at a family vacation at the lake – the whole family was there and I looked at my phone at lunch and I’m like, ‘This doesn’t feel right.’  I looked at it again at about 3 o’clock and I’m like, ‘It’s Friday.  We’re missing something,’ so, yes, it is drastically different.  It is welcomed.  As far as I’m concerned they all need to be this way.  There’s no reason to string them out three, four days – sometimes a week.  We have events that are a week long or even long – two weeks long at a race track.  In today’s day and age I just don’t see a need for it, especially when you can do it in two days like we’re doing this weekend.  But what a neat deal.  I think it’s been 12 years I’ve been doing this and I’ve never been home on a Friday.  There were actually people out.  People went to dinner.  There were normal, living things going on while I was still at home.”


WHAT ABOUT LIKE POCONO AND WATKINS GLEN WHEN YOU QUALIFY ON RACE DAY?  “Yeah, looking at Watkins Glen.  We were talking about that.  If you were to miss a gear and blow your engine up like we’ve seen in qualifying, you only have a couple of hours to get that back-up car out, get an engine in that and get it on the race track.  Your back is gonna be up against the wall.  That’s gonna make doing your job as a driver in qualifying a premium when we go there, but it’s doable.  At the end of the day, if we need to work on anything and a two-day show is not possible, we need to work on our tech procedures.  Allowing that much time for tech is crazy in my book.”

IS THERE ANOTHER WAY TO DO THIS WITHOUT HAVING A 6-7 HOUR BREAK LIKE YOU HAVE TODAY?  “I sure did enjoy those six or seven hours yesterday.  I’m gonna go for a jog, I think.  It’s actually cooled down a bunch.  Let me tell you something, I’ve been out in the Midwest all week long and it was hot.  Yesterday, it was stupid-hot.  Wednesday and Thursday were crazy-hot.  This cloud cover is certainly a blessing for all of us.  It’s gonna be a much more enjoyable two days for sure, and that goes for our fans too.  That’s not just the competitors.  That’s not just the teams and everything else.  Our fans are in this with us.  We need to take care of them and we need them at the race track and I think taking some steps like this could lead to that.”

DOES THIS TRACK STILL CARRY SOME MYSTIQUE?  “This place will always be Indianapolis.  There’s only one in our world that means anymore than this and that’s just because it’s our world.  In the world of motorsports, Indianapolis and this race track is the most prestigious race there is.  In our world of NASCAR it’s not – the Daytona 500 will always be.  That being said, it’s always an honor to come here.  Is it one of my favorite race tracks?  It’s probably not even on the podium for that, but it is an honor to come here and to be able to compete here.”

DO YOU FEEL THE AERO DUCTS COULD WORK ON CUP CARS HERE?  “I think so.  That’s why you have that XFINITY Series, to be able to build and develop a lot of different things on a lot of different fronts, whether that’s a driver, a crew chief, an engineer or certainly a package in our race cars.  I hope that it works.  I think they’ve put a lot of thought into it.  A lot of work went into it and I believe it will work.  I don’t think this is something they just tip-toed into and just stumbled across on a whim.  It’s a thought-out process and a package that they put on these XFINITY cars.  I remember watching the Indianapolis 500 and it was pretty boring until a few years ago and now all of the fans are crawling back in here and everything else and it’s a pretty damn good show.  They’re drafting well and doing a lot of things that I think this package should do for our cars as well.  It’s not gonna lend to that side-by-side racing that everybody kind of uses as a phrase is good racing in our world, but it didn’t for them either.  It creates those moments and those opportunities to be able to pass and be able to draft up on a car.  When two cars get side-by-side as you’ll see today, I think that third car behind them will be able to draft even more so and create a moment, and those moments are what capture an eye of an audience, in my opinion.”



Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.