Aug 18, 2013
Michigan Race Report
Clint Bowyer Race Summary: No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer finished fifth in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver started in the 11th position and spun in turn four on lap 1 of the 400-mile race. The No. 15 received no damage during the spin, but came to pit road multiple times to change tires and make adjustments. Bowyer restarted in 40th following the incident, but immediately began racing his way through the field. Bowyer raced up to 15th by halfway, but continued to battle a loose handling racecar. The No. 15 pitted for tires and fuel with 50 laps to go forcing Bowyer to restart in 24th position. He worked his way into the top-10 by a restart with 25 laps to go. With 15 laps to go the No. 15 raced its way up to sixth position and finished fifth in the closing laps. Bowyer remains second in points trailing Jimmie Johnson by 41 points with three races remaining before the start of the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup. The No.15 5-hour ENERGY team returns to action Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.
- Started 11th finished fifth
- Spun coming out of turn four on lap 1
- Raced his way up to 15th by halfway
- Restarted sixth with 25 laps to go
- Scored his eighth top-five and 13th top-10 of the season
- Remains second in points trailing Johnson by 41
- Leads 11th place in the standings by 113 points
BOWYER: How did you recover to finish fifth?
“Beats the hell out of me. Man, what a long day. Spinning out on the first lap I’m like -- I couldn’t figure it out -- a lot of times you just know that you’re hanging it out too much and trying to get too much out of it and you wreck on your own. I didn’t think that was the case. I was trying to get around the 2 (Brad Keselowski), felt good, wide open, good ‘ole girl stuck and all the sudden it wasn’t stuck and away I went. Hard fought battle for our 5-hour ENERGY Toyota. All these guys they just don’t give up. That’s what I love about this team, this organization. That’s why we’re where we’re at in the points. Obviously, we want to start winning races, but those days like that are what win championships. You’ve got to be able to make good out of a bad situation and certainly we just kept working and kept working and kept working to get better and better and finally ended up with a top-five. Unbelievable.”
Was your setup off for today’s race?
“Yeah, but what a crazy day. I spun out on the first lap and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, man. This is not good. This is not going good for our day.’ But it’s just a never give up attitude for everybody on this 5-hour ENERGY Toyota. We brought new cars here. We were fast all weekend long. We just missed it. I think the track was a lot slower, a lot slicker and a lot slower lap times and I think we missed our gaps on the front on the splitter quite a bit, which is just grip. We ended up taking packer out several times, which tells me we were way off and kept getting better, kept getting better, kept getting closer to the front and ended up with a top-five.”
Does your team need to change anything for the Chase?
“You’ve got to turn days like that into good and if you can continue to do that, it doesn’t matter if you have wins or not. Most of my wins have always come in the Chase races and hopefully that will hold true again this year, and if it does, it’s days like today that’s going to win us a championship -- not just one win.”
Are you pleased with your finish?
“Oh yeah, unbelievable after starting out the way our day started out. I’m thinking, ‘Man, this is absolutely not going to be good,’ and it wasn’t just that -- I regrouped and got calmed back down and about wrecked again several times and we couldn’t go anywhere. When it spun, I was trying to figure out was it me, was I trying to push it too hard on low air pressure or something or was our car just that bad? I didn’t really know until I went back out there and I figured out real quick the car was just that bad. Brian Pattie (crew chief) and everybody on this 5-hour ENERGY Toyota kept digging, kept working and we ended up with a top-five. That’s what you love the most about this race team is we can just always seem to make things happen.”
View photos from the race >