Pressure Cooker Turning Up for Bowyer

Clint Bowyer

"The pressure cooker is certainly turning up." (Photo: Getty Images)


Clint Bowyer is trying to nail down a playoff spot as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season winds down.

There are just eight races left in the 2017 regular season and Bowyer heads into Sunday’s Overton’s 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway battling for one of the six remaining spots in the playoff grid.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver hasn’t won a race so far this year and would like to erase the zero in his win column this week to punch his ticket into the playoffs.

“The pressure cooker is certainly turning up,” said Bowyer, who has posted four top-five finishes and seven top-10s this year.

As the end of the regular season comes into sight, Bowyer believes it will ramp up the intensity level on track in terms of the way drivers approach each race.

“There will be drivers who don’t have anything to lose,” Bowyer said. “They can’t make it in on points so they have to win. They’ll be willing to take more gambles. They aren’t going to wreck people and take chances that way. They’ll take chances on something like fuel mileage.”

For Bowyer he plans to do whatever it takes to get into the playoffs for the opportunity to run for a championship but says the main ingredient will be to have cars at his disposal that allow him to be competitive.

“It is all about the racecars and making them as fast as possible,” Bowyer said. “That goes for aerodynamics, having the right setup underneath with (computer) simulation and everything. Everything has to be perfect. It is so much more competitive than 10 years ago when I came into this sport. You can’t have a down area. You can’t have a weak link. It is all across the board that you have to be 100-percent perfect.”

Since joining SHR this year, Bowyer has enjoyed a renaissance season. While the last few years of his career were frustrating, it’s been anything but for Bowyer since coming on board to replace the retired Tony Stewart in the team’s No. 14 ride.

“The fit factor couldn’t be better for me going to Stewart-Haas Racing,” he said.  “I was friends with all of them and worked with most of them. If you had to look in a glass ball and make that perfect match-made-in-heaven-atmosphere, it was definitely there.”

Bowyer should be optimistic coming to New Hampshire, a track where he’s enjoyed past success. He’s a two-time Cup series winner in Loudon and has four top-five finishes and seven top-10s in 22 career starts.

“Those wins allow you to go into this race with more confidence than you would at a track where you haven’t won,” Bowyer said. “I feel like we can win again at New Hampshire this weekend. We really want to win, but we also want to make sure we don’t do anything that will knock us out of the points.”

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