Clint Bowyer’s No. 15 Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY Toyota returns to Kansas Speedway for Sunday’s 400-mile race - the sixth stop in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Bowyer, a native of nearby Emporia, Kan., considers Kansas Speedway his home track. He says that while returning to his home track is always good, the trip to Kansas coming off of last weekend’s win at Charlotte makes it all the more special … and adds a little pressure to perform in front of the home crowd.
GOING TO KANSAS:“Yeah, coming off of the win obviously rolling into your hometown is a lot of fun. A lot of confidence, a lot of momentum, everything that comes off of a win. But to be able to do it rolling into home, and Kansas is very special, a lot of testing over the next couple days, looking forward to getting there and seeing what we have for a race car and the new repave. My teammate Mark Martin was there, did the test for us, said our cars were really good. So just anticipating a good weekend.”
ADDED PRESSURE: “You know, it's important to run good in front of your hometown crowd and in front of your family and friends and everybody that comes out there. It's just an important weekend for Carl (Edwards) and I both. I mean, that's our home track, and I've gotten close a couple times, he's gotten close a couple times. Neither one of us has ever got the job done. So maybe this is the time.
“I mean, there's pressure no matter where you look in this sport. It doesn't matter what weekend it is, whether it's the Daytona 500, the first race, or the fourth race, or the last race. I mean, there's always pressure to perform, not only for your race team but for your sponsors and everybody involved. It's a pressure-driven sport, and I think that's why it's watched and so important each and every week.”
TESTING AT KANSAS:“There's definitely a lot more practice on the racetrack, but it's because it's a repave and nobody has seen it before. And more importantly, the track needs to get rubber burnt into it and get cleaned off. We kind of saw that at Phoenix where the track was dirty and it really took a long time, a lot more time than anyone expected to get the rubber burnt in, and once we did, we ended up seeing one of the best races I've seen at Phoenix in a long time.
“I went into that weekend thinking it was going to be a major bummer, and by the end of it, I came out of there super pumped up and excited about the racing surface and what we had.
“You know, so there's a couple different purposes being served there this weekend at Kansas. But to be able to go through all that practicing and just making sure you go through all the things that you know work, things you want to try, this is an opportunity to get all those through the notebook, and that way the guys, the engineers can look at the simulation and see what all those changes did and make sense of it before you get to the weekend and down to the nitty-gritty. “