Sprint Cup - MWR Post Race Comments Richmond
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 1st
How was your race tonight? "Man, I tell you the last couple of times we've walked in -- Sonoma I ran out of gas doing a burnout too. Thank you to these fans. This is a late night they stuck it out with us, went through the weather with all of us. Unbelievable. Thank you Juan Pablo (Montoya) for wrecking me and then winning me the race. Thank you. Unbelievable for 5-hour ENERGY, all of our partners, Sprint for putting this on. To win this last race before this Chase got off -- we had a bad race last weekend. Had a lot of adversity we had to bounce through. Just kind of bummed out as a team as a whole coming into this race. This is a good way to get things bounced back headed into this Chase. You can't ask for a better race team. MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing), my teammates, everybody that is a part of this -- it's just unbelievable."
What happened with Juan Pablo Montoya? "God bless Juan Pablo (Montoya). It was stupid really. He was -- I don't know how many laps down he was -- I know he was at least one and we were running second or third there and he just got into us and knocked my left rear (tire) down. But, luckily I got spun out down there, got the caution and didn't go a lap down and that was the thing that won us the race. You never know. You never give up in this sport. "
How long were you saving fuel? "That's like two or three times that I've won I've walked into victory lane, so I'm just going to make that my deal. Whether it's out or not, I'm just going to park it out there and walk in here. Just tried to save as much as could. I tell you what, there for a while I lifted and it was saving so much tire I wouldn't spin the tires up off. I was lifting way early and the car was rolling. I wasn't using any brake, so it didn't over-temperature the front tires and the thing just kept turning and I actually picked up there for probably 30, 40 laps. It was starting to go away pretty quick there at the end and I was just trying to move around and keep the thing rolling."
How does it feel to enter the Chase as the sixth seed? "Yeah, that's cool. Just really proud of everybody at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing), my teammates, Brian Pattie (crew chief). This is a brand new race team this year and this is awesome to be in victory lane."
BRIAN PATTIE, crew chief, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Did you gamble tonight? "The last two months we've had really good speed in our cars. I've been calling races since about Indy conservatively and you've got to get in before you can play. I told the driver (Clint Bowyer) we'd gamble some more once we got in. We got in last week, so we gambled tonight and it paid off."When did you start saving fuel? "My engineers were working overtime with the mathematics trying to figure out how much we had to go and if they could catch us or not. We started saving with like 90 (laps) to go. Then we were running tremendous lap times, so right then I knew we were going to be in really good shape. Saved the right front tire for the long run. I'm blessed it all worked out."
BRIAN PATTIE, crew chief, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing (continued)
What does this say about what your team has in store for the Chase? "Better watch out."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, co-owner, Michael Waltrip Racing
How do you feel about having two cars make the Chase? "So proud of what we've put together with the people and that's what's it's all about is people and Mark Martin to come over and he's really made us better. (Clint) Bowyer has made us better. (Martin) Truex (Jr.) was lightning fast tonight."
How far has your organization come? "I'm half of the ownership. Luckily, Rob K auffman (co-owner) is here with us too. When we won in Sonoma with Clint (Bowyer), Rob wasn't there, but he called us in victory lane. In 2007, when we started this team, I made it all the way to March till I figured out I was broke. That was pretty good. I met Rob in April. He bought half of the team in October. Since then we've just been making steady progress. Over the last year, just the addition of Clint, the addition of Brian (Pattie, crew chief), this team, Mark Martin -- the job he's done for us -- everybody's just rallied together. It's just a really great working atmosphere. I'm thankful for tonight. I'm obviously really happy with having two cars in the Chase. My inspiration for having a team from the beginning was Dale Earnhardt. I always wanted to have a team like Dale had. So anytime something goes good, I always think about what all he meant to me. We're thankful."
LEE WHITE, president and general manager, TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development)
How pleased is Toyota to have three Camrys in the Chase? "We are happy to have three Camrys in the Chase this season and that was a great win by Clint (Bowyer) tonight. Although there were challenges we had to face this season, including the introduction of EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) and the repaving of several tracks, this was a great year for Toyota, TRD and our race team partners. We've had a great year and look forward to making the Chase an exclamation point on our season. It's exciting to have Denny (Hamlin) as the top seed going into the Chase and two Michael Waltrip Racing cars competing for this year's championship. This marks the first time that MWR has been in the Chase. We're eager to get to Chicago, because we think we've got a good chance to make some noise in these last 10 races."
What does it mean for Michael Waltrip Racing to be in the Chase? "It's great to see Martin (Truex Jr.) earn a spot in the Chase and achieve the results he and the team have worked so hard to reach. It's also quite an accomplishment for Clint (Bowyer) to make the Chase in his first season with a new team, and his first year driving a Toyota. It means so much for us to have a team from Toyota's freshman class grow to achieve these kind of results."
MARK MARTIN, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Finishing Position: 3rd
What does this mean for Michael Waltrip Racing? "Well, they have more confidence than when I first got there, but everything else is really the same. They had great people in place. We really found our niche. We really lean on one another. We have great teamwork there -- the best teamwork that I've ever seen. The atmosphere at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) is serious, but light. It's not heavy. We're having a blast. We have really great teamwork, really great people there. I couldn't be more proud to have both teammates in the Chase. When I came to MWR, I just wanted to try to be able to help them achieve that and maybe get lucky and stumble into a win myself. We've been pretty close tonight, pretty close at Pocono. I'm having a blast."
Can Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. win in the Chase? "They certainly can. Martin (Truex Jr.) is on the verge of winning every week -- this race too. He had an unfortunate set of circumstances catch him out there, but he could have contended to win this race tonight as well. He is on the verge of a hot streak. Obviously, you've seen Clint. You saw what Tony Stewart did last year and these guys are performing really, really well going in. Whoever gets on a hot streak can do it. It doesn't matter. Definitely we have the capability, but who knows what will happen."