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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Shelby 427

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Shelby 427

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Shelby 427

Clint Bowyer
Jeff Burton
March 1, 2009


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined in the infield media center by Jeff Burton. Jeff, tell us about your day.
JEFF BURTON: We had a good day. Kind of after last week, that felt like a win. Got lapped three times last week and finished third this week and led a bunch of laps. I'm not real sure how we do that, but we did it.
You know, our struggle has been being able to go on new tires. We were pretty good on old tires; struggling on new tires. That continues to be our problem.
But I'm real proud of what we were able to do today. Obviously Clint and I had a good race there at the end, racing for second, racing for the win. It was a good day. After last week, we'll celebrate.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by Clint Bowyer. Clint, tell us about your day.
CLINT BOWYER: Like Jeff said, after last week, you know, it feels like a win almost.
But, you know, to overcome everything we overcame, went a lap down, got real loose early, got that lap back, got run into on a restart, 15-wide, whatever we were, fixed that, got going back again. Shane Wilson made a good call.
Got to hand it off to Shane. I mean, that's where he shines. He studies his pit strategy and works hard on it. I really felt like that was going to be an area that I could improve on. So proud of him, proud of his call, glad it worked out.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up to questions.

Q. Was there a point in the last two or three laps where you realized catching Kyle was not going to happen and you two were going to settle for second?
JEFF BURTON: I think for me, the hounds were coming. They were barking at the door. You know, I was trying to get going as much as we could, just so we could stay ahead of them.
But, you know, it's always fun. It's kind of nerve-wracking. I'm glad that we got that out of the way for the lead early because it's nerve-wracking when you're running door-to-door, trying to hold on it, trying to stay off your teammate. You get loose and wipe out both teammates, it's going to be an ugly Monday morning meeting.
CLINT BOWYER: I mean, we were racing for second, but we were racing for the win. I mean, if you put yourself in position, you never know what can happen. There one lap, he got pretty loose off of two, kind of reopened the door for us. I mean, I wasn't thinking about finishing third, I was trying to think about winning. But he was fast obviously. Passed both of us. But you never know what can happen.

Q. He passed both of you pretty quickly. Were you both surprised at the moves he made? How difficult is he once he gets that lead?
CLINT BOWYER: He just passed us. He didn't like make some magic move. I'm not trying to be -- I mean, you know, he just drove under us. We did what we needed to do to put ourselves in position to win the race. Their cars are really fast on new tires. That's where they've got us. We'll keep working and figuring out how to fix that.
But that's their strength, as it is with a bunch of teams, they can go hard for 20 laps. It didn't surprise me he was coming. Didn't surprise me he was coming hard. But, you know, again, they had the fastest car there at the end. They deserved to win.

Q. Given what all your teams had to go through to make the transition from last week to this week, flying out here early, this will be a good Monday meeting to talk about? For the big picture, this has to make you feel pretty well about your teams.
CLINT BOWYER: I spent the week with Richard. It took him at least a good two and a half days, probably the whole week, to get over it a little bit. I was trying to get him over it. But I stayed on the other end of the house and let him yell for a while, then we went back to business.
But that's what you got to do. Over the off-season, you got to work hard, got to try to improve, and we did. It didn't work for us. You got to regroup, got to be able to go back and make the right changes, the right corrections and get back to what was working for us last year.
I feel like our guys worked well together. The communication was good within the organization. That's why we were able to come out here and make the changes and make corrections.
JEFF BURTON: It was big changes, you know. I'm proud of our team for not just sticking their head in the sand and saying, It's going to be okay, but going out and try to make it okay. That's a sign of being aware of what's going on and not being afraid to admit, hey, we might have done something wrong. You'd be amazed the number of people in this business that will stick to something even though it's not working because it ought to work.
Our guys said, To hell with that. It didn't work. We got to start over. I'm proud of that attitude. That attitude is what will take us to the top. Without that attitude, we will be in trouble.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.



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