|Clint Bowyer is 20/1 to win at Darlington saturday night|
The coloring may not happen to eggs this weekend but something else usually ends up colorful at Darlington. The egg-shaped track called “too tough to tame” typically challenges drivers with the result being contact with the wall. Whether it’s contact made by tires or, in some cases, the paint from a car leaving what is known as a “Darlington Stripe,” the result is a wall that can sometimes be as colorful as an Easter egg.
Clint Bowyer hopes all the colors of his No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota remain on his car and not the wall this weekend. It’s been a somewhat challenging track for the Michael Waltrip Racing driver. He did, however, earn one of his two poles at the 1.366-mile track, despite Bowyer saying he didn’t “know better than to drive it in that hard and he was just lucky it stuck and didn’t hit the wall.”
And while he has only one top-10 finish, half of his eight starts have ended in top-15s. With two consecutive top-10 finishes in the past two races, Bowyer hopes his brightly colored Toyota is more colorful than the Darlington walls by the end of 367 lapsSaturday evening.
How challenging is racing and being fast at Darlington?
“I’ve never really run good at Darlington — I do have a pole there. The first year ever I had no idea what I was doing and I was scared to death. I got out and they said that I was the fastest man alive and I said, ‘Good because I’m never going that fast again.’ It was one of those deals where I sat down there in (turn) one and watched people get in. It wasn’t necessarily how deep they got in, it was when they picked up the gas and how affirmative they picked up the gas. I just made up my mind, I’d already hit the wall twice in practice so I was going for it. If she sticks, she sticks and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I went in there and I knew exactly where I needed to lift and when I went back to the throttle I went wide open and I held it there all the way down the back straightaway and by the time I got to the checkered flag and finally breathed they said I was on the pole. That’s when I said, ‘Well good, that’s the last one I’ll ever do.”
Chassis No. 804 serves as the primary chassis for Bowyer at Darlington Raceway. Bowyer drove this Toyota to a 15th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway. Chassis No. 800 serves as the back-up chassis. This chassis has never seen action on the race track but has served as the back up for Fontana, Las Vegas and Texas.
* One top-10 finish in eight starts
* Completed 2,749 of 2,940 laps (93.5%) and led 16 laps
* Average start 18.9 and average finish 21.1
* Best finish of ninth came in May 2007
* Captured one of his two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series poles at Darlington in May 2007 (the other coming at New Hampshire in Sept. 2007 where he won from the pole)
Throughout race weekends in 2014 MWR will collect questions hash-tagged #AskMWR on its @MWRteam Twitter handle. MWR Jackman Wes Evans will host a 3-minute video each Wednesday on www.michaelwaltripracing.com featuring MWR experts answering the best fan questions from the weekend.
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- Michael Waltrip Racing