It's time to get back to racing. For Clint Bowyer' the sport's biggest race' the Daytona 500' is as good a place as any to kick off the 2014 season. The Emporia' Kan.' native has yet to win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway. He has come close in the 500 with two fourth-place finishes (2010 and 2009). He also finished fourth in the July race in 2013.
A quick look at his stats' however' suggests that Bowyer may not have to wait long to visit victory lane. In 16 starts' he has 10 top-10 finishes and has completed 2'857 of 2'874 laps' a respectable feat considering the high attrition rate at restrictor plate tracks.
DESCRIBE THE LAST LAP AT DAYTON:A "You've got to put yourself in the right situation. You've got to be a student while you're out there and it all comes down to the end. Whatever the rule package is' you can't change the fact that whatever reason some how' some way' it's wild at the end of those things. It's the most amazing feeling that I've ever had. You're scared. You're excited. You're having fun. Sometimes you're laughing. The amount of emotion that goes through your mind on those last 10-20 laps' it's incredible. You get out of the car and you do your interviews. You're just such on a high. You get back to the bus and your wife/girlfriend' your brother' they get to asking you about it. ‘Man' what'd you make that move for? Holy cow that was crazy.' It takes you a minute. You don't even know what they're talking about. It comes at you so fast. It doesn't even register what happened. It's just a reaction especially when it comes down to the end of those things. It's amazing."
ARE YOU READY FOR THE SEASON TO START? "At the end of the season' you're just burned out. You're tired of being on the road' you're tired of getting home and changing your bag out just to leave back out that afternoon. I was ready to be home and sit on the couch for a couple days' but it's time. We've put a lot of hard work into this season -- a lot of pressure I guess on ourselves and myself. I didn't finish the way I wanted to. We had a great season in 2012 and I didn't perform to the level that I feel like I'm capable of' and more importantly our team is capable of' so really looking forward to getting that started over. A lot of things are going to be new -- a lot of new challenges and anytime that we have new within our sport I think it opens up an opportunity to beat others. Everybody is just thrashing in every way to prepare themselves for the season. Our work is done -- we're ready to go."
Chassis: Primary chassis No. 752 finished fourth in July 2013 at Daytona and 10th in October 2013 at Talladega. Chassis No. 754 serves as the back up chassis. The chassis raced in October at Talladega' finishing eighth' driven by Martin Truex Jr.
- Three top five and seven top 10 finishes in 16 starts
- Completed 2'857 of 2'874 laps completed (99.4%) and led 150 laps
- 2 DNF (July 2012 and 2011)
- Average start 18.0 and average finish 14.8
CREW CHIEF BRIAN PATTIE: The crew chief for the No.15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota' grew up in nearby Zephyrhills' Fla. Pattie attended his first NASCAR race in 1992 at Daytona International Speedway. His racing experience started earlier than his first visit to Daytona' however. His father raced at nearby East Bay Raceway in Tampa and the Florida State Fairgrounds. He started working in racing at age 13 on a dirt car with his friend Shawn Reutimann. The driver was Reutimann's cousin and eventual Sprint Cup driver' David. Pattie did fabrication as the team raced at well-known' local tracks like Ocala and East Bay Raceway. In Pattie's senior year of high school he went to work for Florida legend Dick Anderson. After graduation he left Florida for North Carolina to work in NASCAR. Pattie has two wins at Daytona in the Nationwide Series (February 1998 and July 2002). Pattie also is a Florida State Seminoles fan and is a single-digit handicap golfer.
TOYOTA: The 2014 season marks Toyota's 10th anniversary participating in NASCAR national series competition. In 2004' the manufacturer first entered the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) with the Tundra and moved into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) with the Camry beginning in 2007. Toyota has won nine manufacturers championships -- three in the NNS and six in the NCWTS' as well as five driver's championships. Toyota drivers have combined for 263 total wins -- 63 in the NSCS' 88 in the NNS and 112 in the NCWTS -- during the 10-year timespan.
5-hour ENERGY enters its third consecutive year as primary sponsor of Bowyer's No. 15 Toyota. Bowyer will carry the 5-hour ENERGY logos for 24 races in 2014. PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil provides primary support at Auto Club Speedway on March 23' Talladega Superspeedway on May 4 & Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 14. AAA Mid-Atlantic serves as primary at Richmond International Raceway on April 26 and at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 26.