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MAY 12, 2017 | Ford Performance Staff

Bowyer Looks to Break 159-Race Winless Streak in Kansas

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1 Annual Protection Ford Fusion, returns to his home track at Kansas Speedway looking to snap a 159-race winless streak. Bowyer, who has been knocking on the door discussed what a win here would mean and who would have the bigger celebration, he or Dale Earnhardt Jr.

YOU SPENT YESTERDAY WORKING WITH YOUNG DRIVERS FOR THE B.R.A.K.E.S PROGRAM, WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? “You know, Doug Herbert started that program years back and I was always a big fan of his. He was always a lot of fun. He tragically lost his two sons in an accident and I just love his message and love the program that he is pushing to keep these kids driving safe and keep them focused on safety behind driving and it starts at an early age. I appreciated Mobil 1 and their annual protection program they are pushing to sponsor that event for those kids. We had a lot of fun. It works. The program really works. Here are these kids that had to have 30 hours of driving and already have their license and they put them through a few courses and threw some things at them. Driving down the road and all of a sudden there is a surprise like maybe a tire blows out in the road or someone runs in front of you, we did exercises like that to see how they react. Then we had a slalom course set up to dodge stuff as they come through and all of them ran over the cones. We had a little old man set up that you had to stop for and we ran over him a lot. By the time it was all said and done they got better at it and I wouldn’t let them out of the car until they had it perfected. It was pretty gratifying really.”

IT HAS BEEN 159 RACES NOW SINCE YOUR LAST WIN. HOW IS THAT GNAWING AT YOU? “It is but to be honest with you, you don’t even think about that. You think about winning. I never think about how long it has been. I think about how you are going to get it done. You have that thought process through the week as you are going through competition meetings starting Monday and your conversations with the crew chief all week long. The biggest thing is you are lined back up with an organization that is capable of doing that. That is item number one. You are with a manufacturer that is capable of doing that and is winning races and competing at the highest level. Each and every week you go to the race track knowing you have a chance to win the race. All the past that has happened is the furthest thing from my mind because you are back to sitting in equipment capable of winning these races and competing at the highest level.”

DID THAT STUFF WITH THE KIDS GET YOU PREPARED FOR WHAT IS COMING DOWN THE ROAD WITH YOUR OWN? “Yeah, it gives you a different outlook on that stuff having kids of your own. Reading about those programs and understanding them and then watching those kids go through it, being a parent myself now it definitely changes it.”

WHAT ARE THE MOTHER'S DAY PLANS FOR YOU AND YOUR LITTLE ONES FOR YOUR WIFE LAURA? “That is a little different caveat than I am accustomed to. It is always Ma Bowyer that I have always thought about and now you have mom that lives with you. We had a great week though. I think you could call it a Mother's Week. We took the family and road tripped in a bus. Stopped in Memphis and went to the zoo which I am sure she wanted to do. I think that is exactly what she wanted to do. Then we went to Big Cedar Lodge and swam in the pool for Cash and that is, I am sure, exactly what she wanted to do. Then we had a cabin where she slept in one bed with the baby and I slept in the other with Cash. So surely that is what she had in mind for a Mother's Week. That is family living at its finest, right?”

HOW CLOSE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE TO WINNING? “Well, you look back and California has always been a good track for me and we ran third there, showed some potential. In Bristol, had I got out in front of the 48 I would have won the race. We are knocking on the door. We aren’t knocking enough but last week we led some laps and showed potential again. It takes the total package. You have to put it together. It all starts with consistency, running up front on a consistent manner week in and week out. We have a good baseline established and that is with no notes or nothing to work with. No experience with one another. No communication. We are learning all those things and you can see it getting better each week. Where you get excited is going back to these tracks a second time and having a notebook established and line of communication down where you know what to expect and capitalize and better your position. Some of those races, better would be a win.”

SINCE DAYTONA YOU HAVE FINISHED EVERY SINGLE LAP IN EVERY RACE. HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT? “Again, you have to start that baseline and get that established. I feel like we have that and now it is time to better that and get into the top fives and get more stage points and lead laps. You have to lead laps to win these races. You can’t just be an eighth place car. You have to get up and lead laps and we need to get a couple stage wins. We have to have that going into the playoffs. Do I think we are going to make the playoffs? Yes. I am not saying that arrogantly or to be cocky, I just feel like we are a team that is going to be in that one way shape or form. Whether we race our way in or win our way in. I feel we are capable of doing either.”

WHAT IS IT ABOUT KANSAS SPEEDWAY THAT HASN’T BEEN ONE OF YOUR BEST TRACKS. IS IT THE PRESSURE OF YOUR HOME TRACK? “Well, a mile-and-a-half repave has never been my strong suit, it just hasn’t, no matter where it is in the country. The last year or two it has really widened this track out. The outside groove has come in and the racing has been a lot better since that first race. It always gets better. I am looking forward to that. The biggest thing is that you don’t even think about that anymore. you don’t think about your past. It is a clean slate every time I go to the track with Mike and the guys on the 14 car, everybody at Stewart Haas, it has been better. There is no reason to think it won’t be better this week. I know Mike was excited about the car and he knows that this is an important one for me. He knows that I need to run better on these types of race tracks. Looking back at Vegas, that was solid. Texas was solid. Atlanta was solid. We can better that and be a part of the show here at Kansas.”

TO END THAT WINLESS STREAK HERE, WHAT WOULD THAT BE LIKE? “Mother’s Day … she wouldn’t be proud of me (laughter). If that was to happen, I probably wouldn’t be in very good shape for Mother’s Day. We would probably have to postpone that to Monday. It would be huge to win at home and finally seal the deal after all this time. it would be ultra-special. I don’t know that it would be any more special than the first time I raced here though. It is one of the tracks I have always wanted to win at. All my family and friends and people that helped me get to where I am today all live here in the area and it would be cool to celebrate that with them.”

DO YOU THINK WE WILL GET SOME OF THE OLD CLINT BACK? THAT GUY THAT LIKES TO HANG OUT, HAVE FUN AND ENJOY WHAT HE IS DOING ON THE RACE TRACK? “Lee, have you been gone? Have you been missing? I have been having a hell of a good time. I started in Daytona having a good time. You gotta get on the fun bus. That is where we are at. Yeah, last year sucked. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t fun for anybody, especially me. It is by us. The good news is the bus picked us up and we jumped on the fun bus clear back in Daytona. I don’t know how you missed it. It is a big ass bus. You have clearly missed it. When I walked out of one building and got into the other one it was a fun time, trust me. it was overnight. I woke up one morning as a Stewart-Haas employee. That was a good time.”

THERE WAS A LOT OF DISCUSSION ON THE RADIO THIS WEEK DEBATING WHO WOULD HAVE THE BIGGER PARTY THIS WEEKEND IF YOU WON OR DALE JR. WON. WOULD YOUR PARTY BE BIGGER? “What is he gonna have, a bike riding party? What has happened to this guy? I so hope that you write that and he reads that. No man, it is just all about cherishing that moment and reliving it. That is what it is all about. But yeah, we would have a large time. I know the hot-spots around here and he doesn’t. I think probably everybody would have an open invite. I have a sponsor with a hell of a product, a teammate with a hell of a product sponsor, so St. Louis isn’t very far away either. We will be fine.”