NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Aaron's 499
Topics: Aaron's 499
April 17, 2011
KERRY THARP: Clint Bowyer, you won last fall here, you were all of strong here again today. Talk about this race here this afternoon.
CLINT BOWYER: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. You know, the whole race was fun. BB&T Chevrolet was fast all weekend, the same hot rod that we won with in the fall, and just proud of the guys and everybody at ECR Engines. You can't say enough about their efforts and the job they have done. We didn't sit on the front two rows, but we were up front -- all six engines were up front pretty much all day long. So, proud of their guys. Proud of their efforts and just come up short.
Man, what a bummer. Man, I saw them coming, and the 24 and I were, you know, trying to suck off each other and break each other's momentum and drag racing each other so much, I was like, oh, no, block 'em, block 'em, block 'em. I knew if he dipped down to block them, that we had the race won. But we just come up short. It's frustrating. I know the importance of getting a race win right now is big.
You know that win -- if I would have won right there, it could have put me in the Chase. I was thinking about that. That's going to be important throughout the year, and you know, that was a good shot at it. It just slipped through our fingers.
Q. Could you speak about how much you were able to work with Kevin today, how much you were compelled to work with him and how different it is finding partners and staying with partners in this type of racing than it was in the big pack racing?
CLINT BOWYER: Well, start to with that, it's very difficult to stay with a partner all day long. My partner is Jeff Burton. I hated that we got separated there. It happened -- you know, when the caution that didn't happen; when Ryan Newman spun, everybody lifted. Everybody thought the caution was coming out, and looked out the side mirror and he gathered it up and I looked up and it was still green.
So, I was like, oh, man. Jeff and I were way separated and luckily Kevin had got separated from his guy and still had the momentum I did. We hooked up and were able to go on. I hated that for Jeff; that very spot right there put him back in the field, and I don't know where he finished, but it separated us.
So it was very difficult to keep together. But like I said, when Kevin and I got hooked up, we were able to work well together. We were talking amongst each other. We were down and out -- you know that was the biggest thing about Kevin and I. I was pushing him and his car wouldn't lead at all. We were bad. We went all the way back to 17th there I think with four to go and I was like, we've got to switch, we've got to do something. Everybody was blowing by us and we switched there on the front straightaway and drove all the way back up through them and had ourselves in position. So, we tried.
Q. Throw out the weekend and I guess since Daytona too, there's been mixed reactions about the two-car draft. Junior said all weekend he hates it and drivers that got spun out today said they didn't like it. After that finish, I mean what do you think's going to be the general reaction in the garage?
CLINT BOWYER: Here is the thing. It doesn't matter what happened throughout that race or what your thought was. If you didn't like that finish and it didn't make you forget about the race, you're crazy.
Something about that, it just makes you forget about it and makes it -- if it was a problem, it ain't a problem anymore. You know, it always seems to fix itself at the end of these restrictor plate races. It doesn't matter who is up there.
You know, whether it's ten cars or 43 cars left, it's always a hell of a finish at these plate races, and always comes right down to the wire for whatever reason. You know, that wasn't a green-and-white checkered; you thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be, and it never presented it receive. But it was still, you know, an unbelievable finish.
Q. Any satisfaction to know that your name is NASCAR history is losing by --
CLINT BOWYER: Hell, no, that sucks (laughter). It's never very good to know you made NASCAR history by losing. Sooner or later I need to start making history by winning. That guy's won enough (chuckling).
The only thing that bums me out about that is those guys lagged back all day long. That's what makes it tough, losing by somebody that did that. We were up front for our sponsors and our team and digging all day long. When you get it taken from you at the end by somebody who lagged back all day, it's hard to take.
Q. How much deliberations was put into swapping?
CLINT BOWYER: It really just depended on your temperatures. You know, how you were able to manage that, and once you got together, if you were three-wide, you couldn't manage it anymore. You couldn't duck out. You couldn't get air. As long as you were two-wide and out front, you know, Jeff and I were able to manage it and pretty well push each other the whole time. No different than Michael and I did at the beginning of the race. He never did, you know, switch.
So if you were able it to manage it and your car would do it, if it was capable of it -- the guys have worked hard on making sure that it does that. And some instances, it wasn't even necessary.
Q. I know, but that last swap that you talked about. Did y'all talk --
CLINT BOWYER: It was necessary. No, we got passed -- we found ourselves 17th from the lead. And when that happens, something's wrong. We've got to switch something up.
Q. Do you think you would have been any better at the end of the race with Jeff?
CLINT BOWYER: I don't know. Like I said, it was a shame that we got separated. We worked well all day together. Jeff is a great teammate. Like him a lot. I appreciate everything he's done for me and that's just one of those situations where it sucks. You know, you wish that the guy that helped you get there was a guy that, you know, got the reward and unfortunately he did.
I don't know where he even finished. I don't know, but it is -- that's the frustrating part about it.
KERRY THARP: Clint thank you very much. Great show out there. See you at Richmond.
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