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NASCAR Cup: Clint Bowyer gives explanation for Talladega outburst

Clint Bowyer (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Clint Bowyer (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

During Clint Bowyer’s media availability at his home track of Kansas Speedway on Friday, ahead of the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the track on Sunday, the driver answered questions about his heated exchange with his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford team and, specifically, crew chief Mike Bugarewicz, during the Alabama 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Oct. 22 after his early retirement from the race as a result of wrecking out on lap 155.

Bowyer yelled at his crew on pit road, climbed from his car, and yelled at Bugarewicz before heading to the garage.

Bowyer attributed his outburst to the pressure-packed nature of racing at Talladega and his frustration from not getting to victory lane in so long. He last won in 2012.

“Oh God, it’s been a long time,” Bowyer said. “We’re hungry, and we’re trying. That’s that’s the frustrating thing about looking back on the year. We’re getting close the end, and it’s just been that way all season long. When you look back and I look back at my history, consistency has always been what got me and kept me in the running. And this year has been a really solid run. A second or something, followed up by two steps back. It seems like you get on a roll. I think the biggest roll we got on was like three or four races. Back in the day, we could click off maybe as much as 10 and really march up through the points and gain that confidence and everything that goes with it. These stages have put a really big role in that. Qualifying is so important. You have to be able to get out there in that clean air and use that to your advantage. You just can’t race that way anymore. You can’t race your way up like you use to.”

As for racing at Talladega:

“It’s just a frustrating race,” Bowyer said. “It’s extremely nerve-wracking. To be dead honest with you, when I’m at home, there are only two tracks that I’m scared, only tracks in the back of my mind that I could lose my life, and those are the only two. When things get out of control, you have to remember that. We’re still out there risking our lives. There’s a lot at stake. That’s behind us. It seems like it was a month ago.”

Bowyer wouldn’t speculate on who his teammates would be next season (Danica Patrick already has announced she wouldn’t return to the team in 2018 and SHR didn’t pick up the option on Kurt Busch’s contract) or if there would be crew chief or other personnel changes on his No. 14 team.

“I don’t know,” Bowyer said. “It’s not time; it’s time to start thinking about that. At the end of the day, it’s about depth in our organization and building and organization. We just talked about teammates and things. Who knows? There could be a lot of different things that happen in the off-season for Stewart-Haas. You don’t know that. I don’t know that or anybody else. Time will tell and paint a lot clearer picture.”

Teammate Kurt Busch drove Bowyer’s car in a Goodyear tire test at the new Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway “roval” last Tuesday and Wednesday. According to Bowyer, that driver change came because he had to tend to a sponsorship commitment in New Mexico and he would be driving in Busch’s place in an upcoming test.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on October 22, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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