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NASCAR Nationwide Series: Camping World 300 presented by Chevrolet

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Camping World 300 presented by Chevrolet

NASCAR Nationwide Series: Camping World 300 presented by Chevrolet

Bryan Clauson
February 16, 2008


HERB BRANHAM: We're ready to start our post-race interviews for today's Camping World 300 presented by Chevrolet. Sixth-place finisher, top Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year candidate, Bryan Clauson, driver of the No. 41 Texaco/Havoline Dodge.
Tell us about that run out there and we'll go to questions.
BRYAN CLAUSON: You know, we started off the race a little loose, kind of fell back there. Kind of having a hard time hanging on.
We decided to kind of go back into the -- fall to the back drafting, kind of wait it out for a couple pit stops till we got it right.
The next to the last pit stop we kind of hit on something, found the right adjustment. We were able to kind of start positioning ourselves for the end there.
Fortunately enough on that restart we picked the right guy to go with in Matt Kenseth. We just kind of tried to wedge ourselves between a couple good cars, push 'em as far as we could.
HERB BRANHAM: We'll take questions for Bryan Clauson, our highest finishing rookie.

Q. As far as momentum goes, not all drivers believe heavily in momentum, yet you've done well on this track, done well at Talladega. How do you think that's going to help your confidence going forward?
BRYAN CLAUSON: You know, it's a big confidence boost. Any time you can run well with as many Cup guys as there was in the field today, you know, it's a big boost going into California next week.
It was a great run for us. We really needed a good run. We had Texaco/Havoline on board this year. We're still searching for sponsorship the rest of the year. This race was a big, big race for us, and trying to get some momentum, you know, going into California and beyond.

Q. What were you thinking in those closing laps? Were you really trying to improve position or stay out of trouble?
BRYAN CLAUSON: I was thinking, Whoever is behind me, push! (Laughter).
No, our car was really good at the top all day. We kind of hoped that we'd get enough guys out there that we could kind of go there. That was sort of our plan pretty much all day, was to ride around the top and hopefully we'd get enough guys there at the end and we'd be in a position to push a couple guys there on the top lane.
We were able to get behind Kenseth. We really worked good behind Kenseth. We were a little tight behind a lot of guys, but we got behind Matt there. For some reason, it just seemed to work right. So we were able to, you know, kind of get up behind him and push and get that top lane rolling.
Luckily we were able to kind of clear everybody there and make a run at the finish.

Q. What was kind of your approach to this race overall? Were you going to come in and take it conservative or just go all out?
BRYAN CLAUSON: You know, obviously the No. 1 goal was to finish and get laps and kind of gain respect. But we knew we had a good car, so it was a little bit of both. The first half of the race we just wanted to stay out of trouble and try and gain some friends as much as we can with that yellow stripe down the back of the car.
We just kind of wanted to sit in a good position, keep ourselves out of trouble. Come 10, 15 to go, we were going to save our stuff until then. Once that time came around, you know, get ready and go.

Q. What happened on that restart that made you drop back so bad?
BRYAN CLAUSON: You know, I think we just kind of picked the wrong line. Early on in the race we were really loose. We were just -- you know, it was a learning day all day. There were several times I kind of hung myself out to dry, going to the bottom, trying to make moves that really weren't there.
So it was a big day for us in gaining patience, just kind of sitting back and watching, you know, Dale, Jr., Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, matt Kenseth, how they approach the race, trying to learn from that, come up with the best finish we could.

Q. Talk about the race from a personal satisfaction standpoint, the fact that this is your biggest race of the year and you finished top 10 amongst all these Cup guys.
BRYAN CLAUSON: It's awesome. I told the guys, you know, as much as I loved running sixth, I would have liked to have won. I was ready to do a burnout if they would have let me (laughter).
It was a big day for us. Just like we talked about earlier, just getting momentum going into California, have as good a weekend as we did here, kind of gain the respect that we did this week was really big for us.

Q. In the last few laps it looked as if Stewart's car was shot out of a cannon on the backstretch, sometimes without that much help. Had you noticed that at all during the race or were you surprised at how fast his car was on the backstretch?
BRYAN CLAUSON: You know, to be honest, I was so far back for most of the race, I really couldn't see Tony. I knew both Tony and Kyle were going to be good. They qualified good. Usually that's a good sign of how they're going to be out front. We were just doing our best to try and get to Tony and push our lane by him, but it didn't work out for us.
HERB BRANHAM: Great run, Bryan.

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