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Sep 25, 2012 - 07:11 PM
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2012 Dover II: Clint Bowyer NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Sep 25, 2012 - 07:04 PM
NASCAR News
2012 Dover II: Clint Bowyer NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview


No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota crew chief Brian Pattie calls his team’s tenth and fourth-place finishes in the first two Chase races “good” but says now it’s time for “great” finishes.

 

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Pattie would like that to happen this weekend at Dover International Speedway - the third race in NASCAR’s 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup. The “great” expectations for the sixth-place team are real.

The No. 15 team scored the third most points of any driver over the last 10 races and finished fifth in spring race at the Monster Mile.

BRIAN PATTIE ON DOVER: “Loudon, Dover and Talladega are three races that we need to perform well. We ran well last week at Loudon and got a top-five, but would have liked to do just a little better. We need to perform well heading into Charlotte, which is not one of our best racetracks.

“So much can go wrong at Dover. If you wreck at Dover you pretty much DNF (Did Not Finish) – there’s no real coming back from that at Dover. Points will jumble up post Dover – not as bad as post Talladega, but similar because it’s so tight and one man’s mistake will gather 10 others. We saw that in the spring. Some big hitters that qualified in the back were taken out early. Every race is important, but this race is really important because of how well we run there. We have to make ground on the tracks that we feel are good for us.”

TRACKS OF CONCERN: “I don’t worry about any races except maybe Charlotte, but even there I think we’ve learned so much from our teammates that it’ll help us there. The only race of the year that really concerns me is Texas. We just really struggled in Texas, but I think some of that will depend on where we are in points at that point. With three races left the motivation factor is either slightly higher or slightly lower depending on where you are in points. We’ll deal with Texas when we get there.”

GOALS: “I want to make it to Homestead mathematically still in it to win it. That’s been my goal from the very beginning. I would say that would be an accomplishment in itself. My last time in the Chase I didn’t have that option. We were just going for a top-five in points. I’d like to think we can go to Homestead with a mathematical chance to win this thing.”

WE NEED TO: “Continue to be consistent. Take changes where it makes sense, where you can. You can’t take chances that are too far outside the box because as you saw at Loudon most of the top-10 are going to be Chasers. I just look back at the last 10 races and know that we’ve been pretty good – very consistent. We’ve been as consistent as anyone in the field. We still need to lead more laps. We need to be more of a threat week in and week out, instead of just being a top-five, top-10 guy to win the Championship.”

IMPORTANCE OF WINNING A POLE: “Obviously it’s important. The biggest thing is to get the extra point for most likely leading the first lap. In this points deal that’s huge more than just the pole itself. Pit selection is good pretty much everywhere you go. It’s always a good thing to start up front. Going back to the first statement, we need to lead more laps and be a consistent threat to win and starting up front is a big part of that.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

· POINT STANDING: Bowyer is tied with Kasey Kahne for fifth in the point standing with 2081 points. Bowyer trails leader Jimmie Johnson by 15 points. Bowyer entered the Chase with six bonus points for his wins at Sonoma and Richmond. Prior to 2012, the best season any driver in the history of MWR has finished in a season is 16th in the final point standings (David Reutimann, 2009).

· CHASSIS NOTES: Primary chassis No. 733 finished sixth a Pocono in June and eighth at Pocono in August in its only racing action this season. Backup chassis No. 716 finished sixth at Las Vegas and also ran at Kansas, Kentucky and Indy.

· BOWYER AT DOVER: Bowyer will make his 14th NSCS start at Dover International Speedway on Sunday. In his previous 13 starts Bowyer has six top-10 finishes. He finished fifth in June. Bowyer has led a total of 33 laps in his 13 starts, averages a 19th place starting position and finish of 14th.

· ONE MILE OR LESS: In the nine races in 2012 run on a track of one mile or less, Clint Bowyer ranks third in points (331) trailing only Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin. He has one win (Richmond), he is tied with Hamlin for most top fives (five) and has the most top-10s (eight) of any driver. He is also tied with Hamlin for second best average finish (7.9) behind only Jimmie Johnson (6.2).

· CLINCHED! GOING CHASING: Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota and Clint Bowyer in the No. 15 5-hour ENERGY secured a berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Series field. It marks MWR’s first appearance in the Chase field in the company’s six year history in the Sprint Cup Series.

· CHASE GEAR: Get the newest MWR/5-hour ENERGY Chase for the Sprint Cup gear at MWR’s new team store www.MWRTeamStore.com. The online team store is a one-stop shop for all MWR driver and team merchandise.

· 2012 BOWYER vs. CAREER BOWYER: Bowyer has scored two win (Sonoma and Richmond-2), seven top-five and 17 top-10 finishes and is tied for fifth through the first 28 races of 2012. In his six previous seasons, Bowyer best ranking through 28 races was fifth in 2007, most top-five finishes was five in 2010 and most top-10s was 15 in 2010. See side bar for additional comparison.

· MORE ON 2012: Bowyer has led 191 laps – three at Las Vegas, two at Martinsville, one at Michigan, 71 at Sonoma, one at New Hampshire,19 at Michigan, 88 at Richmond and six at Chicago. At Sonoma, Bowyer scored his sixth career Cup Series win and his first on a road course. In Richmond Bowyer scored his seventh career Cup Series win and his second at Richmond. He has an average finish of 11.2 and start of 14.8. Bowyer’s best average finish for a season came in 2007 when he averaged a finish of 13.8 and finished third in the final point standings.

· MWR IN 2012: MWR’s five Cup Series drivers have scored a combined record of two wins (Bowyer at Sonoma and Richmond), 19 top-five and 44 top-10 finishes through the 28 races of the season. Four drivers have recorded three or more top-five finishes – Truex Jr. has six and Bowyer six, Vickers has three and Martin has three. All five drivers, including Waltrip, have recorded a top-10.

· LEADING THE WAY: MWR’s Toyotas have led 899 laps in the 28 Sprint Cup Series races of 2012. Truex Jr. leads the MWR charge with 423 laps led, Bowyer 191, Martin with 133, Vickers 131, and Waltrip with 21.

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