Thursday, March 20, 2014

Clint Bowyer hopes to 'Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk' at Fontana

Clint Bowyer is 25/1 to win at Fontana Sunday
CORNELIUS, N.C. — This week the NCAA kicks off March Madness and the college basketball world will soon crown its champion. NASCAR holds its own version of March Madness later this year when the Challenger (Sweet 16), Contender (Elite 8), and Eliminator (Final Four) rounds decide the 2014 Sprint Cup champion in a winner-take-all race at Homestead.

Loyal University of Kansas Jayhawk fan Clint Bowyer plans to root on his favorite team, who makes their 25th consecutive appearance in the tournament, in the next few weeks. He also hopes to secure his Michael Waltrip Racing team a place in NASCAR’s championship tournament.

His next opportunity is this weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The Kansas native also sports a new look on his No. 15 Toyota as the colors of PEAK® Antifreeze and Motor Oil adorn the car.

Bowyer’s been in peak form at the 2-mile oval. More than half of his13 starts have ended with top-10 runs. After a strong showing at the 1.5-mile track in Las Vegas two weeks ago, Bowyer and the rest of the No. 15 PEAK crew hope that some March Madness ensues Sunday in Victory Lane at Fontana.

What does it take to get around Auto Club Speedway?
“High, wide and handsome! To be fast there you have to be able to roll into the corner and drive through the corner on the throttle right up against the wall.”

What do you think of the new qualifying procedures?
“The new qualifying deal is just good. Out of all the things that we’ve done so far this season as far as adjustments to our program, to our product — that by far is the best thing. Obviously, the tweak at Bristol only made that better. Now you can cool your cars off in a timely manner and you can get yourself back out there and run you another lap if you have to. Any kind of bubble driver or anything like that, you weren’t really safe before, but now you’re really not safe because that guy can come up — you kind of knew how to play your cards because you knew darn well that if that guy went out there with three minutes or four minutes to go and didn’t quite beat you that he didn’t have a chance to get back out there and do it again. Now he can get in there and get that baby cooled off, make an adjustment and he just might bump you off the bubble. That’s going to cause you to go out there and make another lap. It’s going to be even more nerve wracking now than it ever was.”

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Chassis: Chassis No. 798 serves as the primary chassis for Bowyer at Auto Club Speedway. It’s a new Chassis for the 2014 season and finished 13th at Phoenix a few weeks ago. Chassis No. 800 serves as the back-up chassis. This is also a new chassis for 2014.

Two top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 13 starts
Completed 2,952 of 2,980 laps (99.4%) of competition and has led 45 laps
Average start 14.2 and average finish 12.7
Best finish of second came in fall 2010

Friday March 21 - TV INFORMATION
Practice 3:00 p.m. FS1
Qualifying 7:30 p.m. FS1
Saturday March 22
Practice 12:30 p.m. FS1
Practice 3:30 p.m. FS1
Sunday March 23
Race 3:00 p.m. Fox
*Times are Eastern

* PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil and Michael Waltrip Racing have launched a nationwide search to find an amateur racer who has what it takes to be a professional driver.
* Second annual “PEAK Stock Car Dream Challenge,” will give one grassroots racer (the contest winner) a PEAK racing sponsorship in a sanctioned race.
* In 2013, 700 entrants were narrowed to one driver, Patrick Staropoli, a 23-year-old who was attending medical school and moonlighting as a racecar driver.
* Since winning the PEAK Stock Car Dream Challenge, Staropoli has piloted the No. 99 PEAK Toyota in several NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races, recording multiple top-10 finishes.
* The PEAK Stock Car Dream Challenge Finalists will be selected via video auditions, online gaming and social media fan support.

- Michael Waltrip Racing

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