NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400
Topics: Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400
May 3, 2008
KERRY THARP: We will go ahead and start with our race winner, race winner tonight is Clint Bowyer of the No. 7 BB&T, and team owner Richard Childress, crew chief GIL MARTIN, congratulations, super finish, and you gave us a lot of excitement out there today.
This is Clint's second career NASCAR Nextel Cup, his first victory at Richmond, and, of course, he won that first Chase race last year at New Hampshire.
Clint, your thoughts about getting that victory tonight here at Richmond?
CLINT BOWYER: First off, qualifying, I really messed up to the guys and didn't give a good qualifying effort on my end and we started in the back. I knew we had a better race car than we qualified, and I knew we would be -- I thought we were a Top-10 car, and then we became kind of a Top-5 car.
You know, you're not always -- the fastest car does not always win, and that was the case with the BB&T. We were fast all night, and once we were up there, we were able to run a lot better. You know, you've got to be able to be there for the taking, at least, and we were close enough to do just that. It was pretty wild out there. I think it was bound to happen. I think, you know, I was watching it and Richard was on the radio saying, "It's going to happen," and sure enough, it did happen.
KERRY THARP: Clint has moved up into fourth place with his victory tonight. Richard, your thoughts about getting to victory lane again with this RCR program.
RICHARD CHILDRESS: It feels good. It's when you have good preparation -- (stream pauses) -- means opportunity, and he was prepared tonight, and the opportunities was there. If that's what you want to call it, he won by being there, and it was just a great race and I was just happy to be there. I'm happy for Jack Daniels and DIRECTV, both are great supporters of ours, and all the fans.
KERRY THARP: We are also joined by crew chief GIL MARTIN. What did you see up there tonight atop the box?
GIL MARTIN: I saw a car that -- a lot of people may say we backed into the win when we started 31st and drove our way up to 17th, 16th on the first stop. We were coming all along and we just needed track position. And once we got up in clean air with everybody we could run with them different stages of the run.
Like Richard said, we had to capitalize on the situation, and I'm just glad we were there.
Q. Would you describe the incident that put you into the lead when Junior and Kyle got together.
CLINT BOWYER: Yeah, they were putting on a show for a while; I thought so, anyway. They were racing hard. That's what racing at Richmond is all about in my opinion. It just didn't work out. I told the cops, I don't know why they were escorting me in here. I told them, they better get on and escort Kyle Busch out of here. (Laughing.) It was meant to be, I guess.
Q. Congratulations. Might this be the most wide-open season we've had in a while? We've got the same top three or four teams are fast, but it seems like a lot of unpredictable things are happening. Is it about as wide open as it's been in recent years?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: I just think it's been some great racing this year, and I think this new car that we are running today, if you want to call it Car of Tomorrow; we like to call ours the Impala, but I think that probably plays a little role in it.
But it's just great racing, and Kyle and these guys, what they are doing is putting on a show, and people shouldn't be upset, because that's what they pay their money for is to see a great race.
It was just a great race tonight and we were able to capitalize. And just proud of the BB&T for team for what we did. Tonight Clint drove his butt off, and coming up the field, I've watched a lot of racing at this place and watching him be patient for the time he's driven; and for the way he was able to handle the car and be put in a couple of positions, he's just done a great job tonight, and I was really proud of him.
Q. How do you pace yourself starting 31st to being able to work your way all through the field and make yourself a contender? Also, Richard, you have three cars in the top five in points; how do you maintain that momentum going through the rest of the year and into the Chase?
CLINT BOWYER: You just have to be patient. We had a fast race car, but you know, you can -- too many times, I've seen people, and I've done it myself, push too hard, and spin their tires, and sooner or later deep into a run, you're really loose and don't have any forward drive and can't pass anybody underneath of them. That's the hardest thing.
Once you get going, you need all the track, especially like off of two, and you can roll under them, but when you're trying to hold the car off on the outside of you, you tend to spin the tires. Just being patient early in the run for it to be good, and deep into a run, that's something I've learned over the years here helping drive up through the field.
KERRY THARP: Your thoughts about having three cars in the top five and how you're going to be able to maintain that throughout the rest of the season.
RICHARD CHILDRESS: It's real early in the season. Everybody just worked so hard at RCR this winter and we knew what we had to do, and we are still not where we really want to be with our program. And to be there right now feels good and to have them all up there.
You know, we know we have more work to do, and these guys, all our crew chiefs and drivers, everybody, just work their tails off every week to try to get better. Just proud of the whole organization for having us there.
Tonight watching Clint drive that car, a lot of it I think comes from his dirt track experience. I've got to say a couple of things. We had three winners, Shannon Babb won a big dirt race tonight, and Clint my grandson won and Clint won tonight, really three --
CLINT BOWYER: We may get a fourth.
RICHARD CHILDRESS: Yeah, could be a big day.
Q. Do you consider this night to be another step in the evolution of this team during a long race career; you're going to have wins where you are the most dominant car or where you are not the most dominant car, but generally you have to be there at the end to have the opportunity to take advantage of these?
GIL MARTIN: I think so. Everybody doesn't win by leading laps all night. Things happen. It's a 400-lap race and from the beginning of the race, as far as the evolution of this team, I mean, I can't be more proud of this guy and how far he's come.
Tonight was a perfect example. At the start of the race we didn't have an ideal pit situation. We were having to come around the 84 and line up and stop short from the 6. He did a great job getting into the pit box and coming off pit road; that's little things people don't see during the race and how far he's come. You see what he's doing on the racetrack but just the little things that makes up the time, he's done that.
I think everybody in the shop has been supportive of him and our team. It's just we're such a tight group that, I mean, I expect a lot more of these to come, and if you're running up front, things like this will happen for you.
CLINT BOWYER: Yeah, it's certainly the case, last year we were the odd man out and getting into the Chase, we won that race and it just did so much momentum-wise and confidence. It doesn't matter what you do in life, if you have a little confidence and momentum on your side, the sky's the limit and that's certainly what it did in the Chase. I think it's going to do that same thing now.
KERRY THARP: Congratulations on the win tonight.
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