NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Toyota Owners 400
Topics: Toyota Owners 400
April 27, 2013
THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and kick off our post race media availability with our second- and third‑place finishers.
Clint, we'll start with you. Great run for you tonight. Talk a little bit about your race and the finish.
CLINT BOWYER: Yeah, solid weekend for us. I want to thank Toyota for coming onboard. Really wanted to win the Toyota race for them, but come up a little short. But, again, solid weekend.
We were just too tight on the throttle. The thing had a tremendous amount of drive in it and it seemed like I couldn't get the car to turn and rotate on the throttle quite good enough.
But, man, just lucky enough to be on the bottom. Joey and I were both lucky enough to be on the bottom when all hell broke loose on the restart. Burton was bringing us to the line pretty slow. I was like, This is going to be even worse.
Look at these highlights. Isn't this awesome! I love this sport. I'm telling you. Whoever designed this new car, we should kiss 'em every weekend. It's creating drama.
Look at that. There we go right there, Joey. Right up the inside. Here we come.
JOEY LOGANO: We're still way behind that.
CLINT BOWYER: Harvick seems really fast right there. There we are.
That's how it happened right there, folks. But fun weekend. Fun racetrack. Love coming to this racetrack. The' fans' turnout was great, just a fun night of racing.
I thought it was good. Good, quality fans out here in Richmond.
THE MODERATOR: Joey, not sure how you're going to follow that up, but talk a little bit about your night and your solid third‑place finish.
JOEY LOGANO: I'm just super proud of my guys. They never quit from the beginning of the weekend. I felt like our car was decent in race trim and practice, but in qualifying trim was terrible. Threw the kitchen sink at it, got a good qualifying spot out of it.
CLINT BOWYER: What exactly does that mean? Literally they threw a sink at it?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah.
CLINT BOWYER: Did it dent it? Hit you in any way, shape or form?
JOEY LOGANO: No, it stayed in the car the whole time, in the passenger seat.
CLINT BOWYER: Always wondered when you use that term how exactly‑‑ what kind of adjustment that is. Never thrown anything at my car and it gets better.
JOEY LOGANO: Thrown anything at your car before?
CLINT BOWYER: Yes.
JOEY LOGANO: Me, too. I don't know where I was.
CLINT BOWYER: Sinks.
JOEY LOGANO: Just proud of my guys. They took a 20th‑place car at one point and got it back up into the top 10. I think we were sixth or seventh for the last caution. We got lucky, like Clint said. Four tires, we just followed Kevin through. That whole inside lane was going. If we started on the outside, could have been a whole different story. Just proud of what we got out of that.
THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and open it up for questions.
Q. Guys, were you hoping for a caution to come out?
CLINT BOWYER: I'm going to be honest, I wasn't. I was kind of content. Struggled most of the night. Had a good car, but struggled. I thought a fourth‑place finish was going to be just fine with no excitement. But I had this weird feeling in my mind it was going to come out right there at the end, bad things going to happen. It did come out at the end.
But lucky for Junior and I here, bad things didn't happen.
JOEY LOGANO: Not Dale Earnhardt, though, right?
CLINT BOWYER: No, just Junior.
JOEY LOGANO: Every day, every race in situations like that, it amazes me how good drivers are. That's a recipe for disaster.
CLINT BOWYER: Tony wouldn't probably give that same interview right now.
JOEY LOGANO: He wouldn't. Nobody wrecked. That's pretty impressive after all that.
CLINT BOWYER: Yes.
Q. Joey, after you saw what happened, were you at all nervous about your own engine?
JOEY LOGANO: I didn't even ask what happened. I know early in the race, he had some damage. He was coming back up there. I see him on pit road, whatever, I didn't even ask. I was kind of focused on my own race there. That's the first I've heard of it, to be honest.
I know these Ford motors have been strong throughout the year. Doug Yates has been giving us some solid power that's been staying together. Knock on wood, hopefully we'll go into Talladega with the same thing.
Q. Were you surprised so many people elected to pit on the last caution? Did each of you have your minds made up what you were going to do?
CLINT BOWYER: No, I didn't have my mind made up. I'm glad that Patty gets his pay to have his mind made up had, his mind made up. You're damned if you do, damned if you don't in that situation. If you stay out and you're in the top five, 10 of them stay out behind you, you're fine.
But it's a little bit of a crapshoot. Look at Burton, what place was he in before that? Anybody know?
JOEY LOGANO: He was right behind me.
CLINT BOWYER: He was? You were sixth.
JOEY LOGANO: I was sixth.
CLINT BOWYER: That would be seventh.
JOEY LOGANO: Or was I fifth.
CLINT BOWYER: I was fourth, Kenseth, then you.
JOEY LOGANO: I was sixth. He finished fourth, so it worked out good for him. He bettered his position.
CLINT BOWYER: He bettered his position. He did good.
Q. How do you remember your position?
CLINT BOWYER: He doesn't even know what place he was going to finish. Can we leave now (laughter)?
Q. Joey, where did you restart on the green‑white‑checkered?
JOEY LOGANO: 11th. Passed a lot of cars in a couple laps. We were booking.
CLINT BOWYER: It was just one corner. A lot happened down there in that corner. I went from ninth to second. They all washed up, Tony got pissed, they all crashed, but saved it, and we went to the front. That's exactly how we saw it.
Q. Why did Tony get pissed?
CLINT BOWYER: I think he got run over. His car looked destroyed.
JOEY LOGANO: I did not piss anybody off tonight. Holy crap.
CLINT BOWYER: You're telling me. A new record.
Q. Can you both individually talk about what makes Richmond so unique and how it can be so unpredictable on this short track?
CLINT BOWYER: It's short‑track racing at its best. It's still big enough, you still get that sensation of speed. You're cutting a pretty good clip around here. But, you know, you can still beat and bang on each other and have a good Saturday night short‑track event. I've always said, you know, I'll say it, last couple races here have really kind of disappointed me because this track has so much to offer as a product of racing. A couple times we haven't seen it. Man, once those cautions start coming out at this place, I think you see all you want to see. I did. I was wanting it to be over.
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I think, you know, the tires wear out. Brings a lot of strategy in the race. I think that big sweeping front straightaway, it's inviting for people to dive bomb in on that corner.
CLINT BOWYER: You dove‑bombed me on the straightaway on the back end, Junior. I was there, my friend. You were on the apron.
JOEY LOGANO: Senior, buddy, old pal.
Q. Clint, you talked about the new car, whoever designed it. Do you think it's really the car?
CLINT BOWYER: I told them what I thought about it. Had a lot to do with the input of the racecar, yeah. No (smiling).
But the teams, the manufacturers, you know, just so many good qualities that this car has done for our sport.
Q. Like what?
CLINT BOWYER: Manufacture identity. That's huge. These cars need to look like the cars that people are driving to the racetrack. I feel like we've come a long ways in that direction. That's first and foremost. And then look at the racing. I mean, we haven't seen racing like this in years, since I first started in this sport. It was kind of this way.
When you can leave a racetrack and there's people in tears because they won and in tears because they got crashed, you know, that's what brings us to the racetrack, that kind of racing and determination and passion.
Q. Joey, you think the car has changed racing?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, it's obviously changed it. Like Clint said, about every single race has been entertaining and crazy, especially the finishes of them. I think even if the caution didn't come out at the end, still to watch Harvick with the tires go through the field, I think that was still a good race. The caution obviously added so much to the race or strategy, obviously all the bumping and banging that comes with short‑track racing.
You know, I think the car has done a great job. Like Clint said, they look awesome. I think all of them look great. They have put on a good race. So we don't really have anything to complain about. Obviously I think a lot comes with the lighter cars, all that. That makes them a little bit easier to drive, but lets us push a little bit harder, and I think that brings on the better race.
THE MODERATOR: Clint, Joey, congratulations on your finishes tonight.
JOEY LOGANO: We just ended on a serious note.
CLINT BOWYER: Way to go. Who asked that question (smiling)? I do feel bad for Juan. He has struggled last two or three years. I really thought he was going to win that race. He drove his ass off to keep Harvick behind him. That was his race.
It was unfortunate. I've seen it happen to Truex, my teammate, a few times here. When you see a guy getting beat up and having an opportunity like that, we're all human. If you don't have a shot at it, you'd just as soon see somebody that hadn't won in a long time.
I was happy that he run well, you know, felt bad that he didn't get to win. That was after my shot at winning was surpassed, okay? Make that clear (smiling).
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys.
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