Clint Bowyer has the scenarios lined out for him clinching a Chase position this weekend at the Bristol Motor Speedway. That’s the easy part, the hard part is being able to finish the races and stay clear of someone else’s mess.
“It’s just one of my favorite racetracks – it always has been. Whether you get caught up in something or not, whether you get a bad finish or a good finish – it’s just a coliseum. There is no better way of displaying our product of racing then they do it at Bristol. Period. It’s the best you can ever have of our kind of car racing – on a short track in that bull ring like that. For a fan you don’t get a better bang for your buck anywhere,” said Bowyer.
He needs to finish 12th or better without leading a lap, finish 13th or better with leading a lap, or finish 14th or higher and leading the most laps during Saturday night’s race. Statistically that should be a slam dunk since Bowyer hasn’t finished outside the top-10 in his past three starts, including two top-5 finishes.
Clinching a Chase spot isn’t everything for Bowyer this weekend. “Right now it’s nothing more than a little bit of a pat on the back for being able to accomplish the consistency it takes to run up front during the regular season. In a few weeks’ time the points are going to reset and it’s not going to matter where I am in the standings at that point.”
The placement of Bristol, three races before the start of the Chase, puts teams in a unique position. “It’s a game changer. Everybody can complain about the schedule, and there is definitely it seems like places on the schedule where you might like to see some change, but every time you take something out it takes away from somewhere else. Certainly if you put a Bristol in the Chase to try and shake things up then you don’t have that race leading in to the cutoff. This is typically kind of a down time of the year for us and it’s not right now. The race for the Chase is on in a big way and could be shook up in an even bigger way at Bristol.”
Bowyer and the rest of the Sprint Cup Series drivers get underway at 8 PM EST on Saturday night. Fans can check it out live on ABC.