Better Days for Bowyer
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on April 27, 2011 | 9:44 A.M. EST
"It feels good to be able to get on a little bit of a roll here, and hopefully we can continue to ride that wave." (Photo: Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer has jumped to 10th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings after a string of solid finishes including a pair of runner-up finishes in the last two races.
Bowyer has come home second both in Texas and Talladega to help him climb from as far back as 24th to inside the top 10 as the series heads to Richmond International Raceway Saturday night.
The Richard Childress Racing driver has a simple explanation for his ascension in the standings.
“Just ran well,” Bowyer said. “I mean, that's all it takes, to run well and bring good equipment to the racetrack and do a good job on race day. I mean, very proud of our race team to get things turned around.
“The first four races were just terrible, and we dug in deep and got things turned around and had a decent run at Martinsville and just kind of continued to build on that and get that ball rolling, get the monkey off your back, and the last two races we finished second.”
After getting out of the gate slowly Bowyer says there was never any panic with his team but that doesn’t mean some worry began to set in especially in light of the new NASCAR championship point system in place this season.
“A month ago I was worried, very much so,” he said. “But at the end of the day the reality was it's still way early in the season, still is even today. But with the new points system and everything that's happening around that, you really don't know where you're at. You think you do, but things will shake out. I think the cream is going to rise to the top, no different than it ever has. It's still early in the season, but it feels good to be able to get on a little bit of a roll here, and hopefully we can continue to ride that wave.”
The series now heads to Richmond the sight of a Bowyer win back in 2008, when he sped to victory lane after a late race tangle between Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. knocked both drivers from the top two spots.
It was a satisfying night for Bowyer but one that he says even today was a surprise ending.
“Well, it was probably the biggest thing, and to be honest with you, it was a surprise,” Bowyer remembered. “Kyle got into Dale Jr., and it opened the door up for me to win that race. Usually I don't ever get one -- the first race that I would say that I got handed to me. Usually, you know, you have a good feeling throughout the race, you have a good feeling the night before, things went your way, you were faster than the field, with 30 to go you were maybe a second ahead, and that's how the normal win happens is that you feel it, you know it, and you make it happen.
“That one was just completely -- shocked me, and it was out of the blue, and it was one that was so much fun to celebrate because it was such a surprise.”
Some are surprised that Bowyer hasn’t signed a contract extension with RCR especially on the heels of his teammate Jeff Burton recently getting a deal done.
But Bowyer isn’t worried about the future.
“Yeah, we haven't -- I've talked to Richard a couple times, and hopefully we're getting close object that,” said Bowyer. “I've just been having fun at the racetrack, focusing on what I can do. I haven't won, but we've been running well. The last four races have been really solid for us. If you go have fun at the racetrack then I feel like the rest will come. We've been doing that and doing a good job at that, and hopefully we can get our sponsors locked in and get everything put in place and not have to worry about it.”