NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Ford EcoBoost 400
Topics: Ford EcoBoost 400
November 18, 2012
KERRY THARP: Our second and third place finishers in today's race here at Homestead Miami Speedway, Clint Bowyer. Clint also finishes second in points. Ryan Newman, our third place finisher. Let's hear from Ryan, third place finish out there today. It's got to be a good way to finish out the 2012 season for the No.39 Chevrolet.
RYAN NEWMAN: Yeah, just a really great team effort today. We were probably one of the worst cars when it came to the short run and one of the best cars when it came to the long run, and we knew that going into the race.
But just really proud of Matt Borland and all the guys. These last four races have been a lot of fun. They did an awesome job tonight in getting the right strategy and track position. Still really proud to represent the U.S. Army, to get them a top 5 in their last race. At least for a while in NASCAR, I think we did them pretty proud tonight.
Just a good way for us to end the season, and we get to stay home for the week when everybody is in Vegas, which is entirely fine with me because I'll be having fun back home and enjoying time with the family.
KERRY THARP: Clint Bowyer drove the No. 15 5‑hour Energy Toyota for Michael Waltrip racing.
Clint, you finished off second in points, had a great comeback today, second in this race. And I know at the beginning of the year you probably had to goal of winning the championship, coming this far for Michael Waltrip Racing. Your thoughts about maybe today's race and also look back on your year.
CLINT BOWYER: Yeah, today in particular, man, holy cow, started out really good, started off in the pits, trouble times, and one time it was catastrophic and kind of went to the back. I knew that I had to try to somehow beat the 5, and I knew in practice he was fast, been fast all year long, and he was leading and I think he was like 18th or something. It wasn't looking good for us. So to be able to battle back through all that and get ourselves back in position, you know, and finish second and I guess finish second in points, I didn't see that coming.
But just a great year, super excited about how far we've come in a short amount of time. My first year with MWR with this 5‑hour Energy Toyota. Just want to say thank you to Brian Pattie, everybody on the No. 15 5‑hour Energy Toyota. They've done a great job. We've learned a lot about each other, and I think we're going to be even better next year.
Q. When you signed the contract last year with Michael, did you ever think as disappointed as you are at not winning the championship, can you imagine finishing second?
CLINT BOWYER: No, I mean, when we made the Chase, my realistic goal was to be in the top 5. I thought that was a reachable goal for our race team the way we had been running leading into the Chase. And to be able to exceed that, I mean, we had a shot at it until last week. You just can't ask for more than that out of a brand‑new group like that. Just very proud of all their efforts.
I want to say, and I forgot to say, congratulations to Brad Keselowski. To see a new face in the sport, I watched that deal on him and his family with his parents, and a lot of people go through a lot of different roads to get to this level in this sport, and it's pretty neat to see the way they battled through everything and finally found themselves with a championship. It's pretty cool.
Q. Clint, with all the talk about the scenarios, he needs to finish top 15 and all this, how much in your mind this week was I can still catch second, and you seemed surprised when it was over that you did it?
CLINT BOWYER: To be honest with you, I had no idea. I didn't even think I could reach second. I was focused on two points behind the 5. That was my goal was we had to somehow beat the 5, and that's no easy task. They've been running well each and every week. Seems like Kasey will have a good day or a good weekend and then we have a good weekend and we never could really separate ourselves throughout the Chase. Seemed like one common denominator separated us for a few weekends and put us right back. Like I said, it's been a fun year, and I am glad that it's over. I am going to do whatever I want to do next week. Exactly whatever I want to do, whatever I feel like. Probably going to have some beers, yes, probably going to hunt something. (Laughter.)
Q. You can't do the what‑if game, but what if last week didn't happen. Do you let that go through your mind at all today?
CLINT BOWYER: No, I just really wanted to catch the 24. That was the only what if that went through my mind at the end. Probably went through your mind, too.
No, I wouldn't have took us both out. But just what an unbelievable way to cap‑‑ what the hell are we doing what ifs for? It's over. We could have done what ifs last week. I'm done with what ifs.
Q. Ryan, I just wanted to ask you about Roger Penske. You obviously know him well, just thoughts on his winning the championship and why it maybe took so long.
RYAN NEWMAN: Why it took so long? That's a very good question. I'm proud to have driven for Roger. I know what this championship means to him. Why it took so long is not even close to a fair question. That's asking a guy that's won multiple championships and all the things he's accomplished in racing. It's tough. It doesn't need to be any more difficult than that to answer your question. It's tough.
He deserves this probably as much as anybody else if not more because of what he's done for motor racing in general, NASCAR, his dedication to all forms of race cars is probably more than anybody else in the history of auto racing.
So I know this is probably one of the sweetest moments in his racing career.
KERRY THARP: Clint, Ryan, thank you very much for coming in, and have a great week.
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