Clint Bowyer looks for win number three of the season in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.
Bowyer took his second checkered flag of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series campaign at Michigan International Speedway two weeks ago. Understandably he comes to the first road course race of the year with a great deal of confidence and optimism.
Bowyer is a former winner at the 1.99-mile circuit and came home second a year ago to teammate Kevin Harvick. It’s no surprise then he is counting down the days to this weekend’s race weekend.
“I don’t want to jinx myself, but Sonoma is my favorite racetrack,” said Bowyer, who has scored six top-five finishes in the last 10 Sonoma races.
“I love that weekend. It’s a vacation for everybody involved. It’s a challenging racetrack. I’m good at it. You always look forward to going to tracks you’re good at. We’ve gotten this wave of confidence going at the moment. Hopefully, we can ride off to Sonoma and enjoy some success there, as well.”
There are several keys to performing well at Sonoma and Bowyer says it starts with the person behind the wheel.
“You have to get yourself right,” he said. “That’s the most important thing to get right. Mental attitude is everything. You have to manage that racetrack, that racecar, and manage traffic, make no mistakes, hit your marks, go easy on your throttle and brake pedals. You really have to take care of those four Goodyear tires because those are what are going to take you to victory lane if you take care of them.”
Bowyer’s two wins this season are part of a total of eight victories for Ford drivers in NASCAR’s top series, including five belonging to teammate Harvick. It’s been a dramatic increase in performance and one Bowyer believes is easy to comprehend why.
“It is all about people,” he said. “I am at home here with Ford. It is a family atmosphere. It literally is a family with the Ford family. It is all about people. The Ford Performance organization and program are a ton of fun to work with.
“They are all in. You want to be with the ones who are investing the most and pushing the hardest to get the results, and I don’t think anyone is doing more than Ford these days.”