Bowyer Loves The History, Tradition Of Martinsville Speedway
Wednesday October 8, 2014
It’s not difficult to get Clint Bowyer excited. But if you want to see the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver get really excited, mention Martinsville Speedway.
“I wish we had four more Martinsvilles across the country. It is the best product we have in the sport,” Bowyer said Tuesday night at a dinner promoting the upcoming Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500. “I’ve got family and friends coming in to Martinsville every single year to watch this race. It reminds me of the way I grew up, racing the short tracks in the Midwest.
“Martinsville is so rich in history, rich in tradition. It is short-track racing at a track where you can beat and bang and get up on the wheel and make things happen. You can get aggressive and have fun.”
Although he is winless at Martinsville Speedway, Bowyer has posted solid numbers on the historic half-mile oval. He’s finished in the top 10 in 11 of his 17 starts, has been in the top five three of the last four races. He’s also missed a couple of pretty good opportunities to win.
He was waiting to pounce during a late restart in the spring of 2012 and wound up in the wall. Last spring he was leading with 50 laps to go and ran into another problem.
“That deal a few years ago that you (the track) got a lot of press out of when I wiped out two of the biggest names in the sport (Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon) and I didn’t get a lot of positive press out of it,” recalled Bowyer. “My plan coming to the green was to let them get through one and two and pass them off two. Well they spun their tires, I checked up and looked in my mirror and here comes (Ryan) Newman. I was like ‘here we go’. I shot down to block him and he shot me up there into a mess.
“In the spring race, we left there without a trophy we should have had. We got ourselves up there past both of those Hendrick cars (Johnson and Gordon) and got ourselves in position. A caution came out and we had trouble in the pits and just ruined the day.”
Bowyer didn’t make the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup this year … “that’s the first time that has happened in a long time,” he said. But he will be returning to Martinsville Speedway in two weeks as excited as ever, especially about the prospect of beating what he calls “the Hendrick bunch.”
“The Hendrick bunch has had so much fun this year running good every week, it doesn’t matter where we’re at. To be able to come to Martinsville where I know it means more to them than anything to win because they have been so dominant, to be able to knock them off that pedestal at a track like this, that would be awesome,” said Bowyer.