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NASCAR MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 2, 2008
THE MODERATOR: Twelve drivers qualify for the Chase, and so today, appropriately, we have as our guests three guys who are in a really heated battle for the final spot in the Chase: Clint Bowyer, 12th place this week, David Ragan, 13th place and Kasey Kahne, 14th place.
What we are going to do is try to have each driver with us for approximately 15, 20 minutes and we are going to start off with David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 AAA Ford. David trails Clint Bowyer by 17 points coming into Saturday night.
David, big, big race, I know you must be excited. What's the mind-set going into Richmond this week?
DAVID RAGAN: Well, we absolutely are excited just to have an opportunity to get into the Chase. The bottom line is, we've just got to go out and beat these guys. No other way around it. We can't count on the other teams having problems or issues throughout the race. We've got to make sure we are on our toes and we don't have any mechanical failures or any screwups in the pits and also on the racetrack.
Richmond has been a good track for us in the past. We have had some success there, which we could have run a little bit better in California and we were able to pretty much maintain the same differential getting into the points and getting into the final 12.
So the bottom line is, we've just got to go to Richmond, run as hard as we can, and when the checkered flag falls, hopefully we are in front of 07 and the 9 car and we'll be able to start thinking about what we have to do in the Chase.
Q. Let's just assume for a minute that you're for fortunate enough to get to the end of the Chase. How competitive do you think you can be, given the way you've run the second half of the season?
DAVID RAGAN: Well, I think we are definitely going to have to continue to step our program up a little bit. One good thing about the Chase, the final ten races, there's not one track on there where we haven't run well in the past. So I feel like, you know, the ten races in the Chase are all good chances to win a race and to run well.
But you know, in the past, in order to be the champion, you have to win a lot of races and be very consistent. Certainly we'll think about that once we make it in. But I feel like we'll just have to lien on some of our teammates that have experience in the Chase in the past few years, and we'll have to continue to step our program up. I think we are a Chase team, but we are not quite a championship team yet.
Q. Can you expect to contend without the benefit of bonus points that some of the leaders will have?
DAVID RAGAN: No, you can't contend for the championship, overall championship without winning some races. I think winning a race is a must, and certainly with Carl and Kyle and now Jimmie, they all have multiple wins, you're going to have to be able to win some races and get those bonus points.
You can, you know, contend for a good points finish. There are some great guys in the Chase now that are locked in that haven't won a race yet this year, and I still think that they will be able to contend for a good finish. But certainly Carl and Kyle are definitely in the driver's seat.
Q. Thanks for doing this, first of all. My question is, Tony Stewart was here at Texas Motor Speedway during a charity event and your name came up and he was very complimentary to you saying there was one day where he really got it and sort of turned it on. Did that feel that way to you? When do you feel like you got it, and you know, could start really competing?
DAVID RAGAN: Well, certainly the start of this season has been a lot easier than when we went through our rookie season. Everything is easier the second time around, and you know what's around the next corner and you can make better decisions; and your crew chief and yourself and your engineer can all work together to make better calls on and off the racetrack.
So you know, I've just felt like we've learned from our mistakes. We've improved the things that were good last year, and we've been working extremely hard with our pit crew on building better race cars, and I've been doing equally as much work inside the race car trying to be a smarter race car driver for my team and my sponsor, and I think it just started to show off sometime throughout the year.
Q. How much has Jimmy Fenning been able to help you out? Is he as much a coach to you as a chew chief?
DAVID RAGAN: 100%. Jimmy is a guy that can sit atop the pit box and see a lot more than lap times on a computer. He understands the long races to the shorter races, a lot of great tracks where you can cheat coming on and off pit road, he's just got a lot of racing knowledge. He doesn't overlook the small details.
So he's a guy that you can go to and talk to about anything and you know, we have come to have a great understanding in what I want in the race car, what he thinks we need and certainly we are interesting in creating a pretty good team together.
Q. First of all, thanks for taking the time as always. At ORP, I had spoke to Jack Roush and he was obviously extremely complimentary of what you've been able to accomplish this year and felt like the goal should have been a Top 15 finish. At this point you're on the verge and certainly have an opportunity to make the Chase. Do you feel like you're ahead of schedule or do you see yourself here?
DAVID RAGAN: We're where we need to be. Certainly we are not where we want to be by any means. We want to be up there with Carl and Kyle leading laps and winning races.
But we are on schedule. We have shown a lot of improvement. We have worked on a lot of things but I still feel like we have some more improving to do before we are at a championship-caliber team week-in and week-out. But going into the year, we knew that if we had a solid year and didn't have many mechanical failures and didn't have any unfortunate things happening on the racetrack, we would have had a shot at the Chase.
We knew it would be tough to be competitively locked into the Chase going into this last race. It could have happened if I could return to a few races this year; I think we would be in better shape. All along we knew that we just wanted to have a shot at making the Chase and we find ourselves in 13th just a few points out.
And so we just wanted to say we had a shot at the Chase and certainly this season is not going to be dependent on just this one race at Richmond and whether we are in the Chase or not. We still have a lot of racing to do and have a lot of opportunities to lead laps and win races and certainly we are already looking at next year.
Q. How valuable has it been to have Carl Edwards as a teammate?
DAVID RAGAN: He's certainly kept us extremely hard trying to keep up with the fast pace that that team has been on this year. But Carl's got a lot of good experience. He's an excellent race car driver, and him and Bob have obviously clicked and they work extremely well together. But having Carl as a teammate, I'm glad he's on our team.
Q. Is there anything that relates to, this have you gone through anything like this anyway?
DAVID RAGAN: Not really. I've been in some one-race-take-all, like a big money race or a race that was maybe a last chance race or something, and you had to finish in a certain spot in order to advance to the big race.
But you know, as far as the amount of people watching and expectations and the glitz around the final race in the race for the Chase at Richmond -- not being in the points championship or running a full number of races in the Truck Series or the Re-Max Series leading up last year in the Sprint Cup Series, I didn't really have that good of a feel for what a good points race is like.
This is really the first opportunity I've gotten to really -- (line static) -- I've learned a lot about being in this type of situation. I'm sure we'll be better like we talked about earlier, the second time in our situation in another situation like this.
To answer your question, I don't think I've ever been in a situation to be in such a highly-watched, one-race kind of year that you're make or break to get to the next level.
Q. Obviously I'm sure you realize how big of a deal this is, but having not gone through, this and you talk about everything is easier the second time around, do you really realize how big this is? Everybody probably wants to say that you are under all this pressure, and maybe you are, but do you really feel that or do you have a sense of that since it is kind of the first go-around for you in this case?
DAVID RAGAN: Yeah, I probably don't realize how big this race is. Maybe after the year is over I will have time to sit back and think about it. But I'm trying not to go about it like that. If I put this much effort and concentration into one race, a make or break race, I think that would be a little too much, and certainly we're all excited about the race.
We're tense and we're thinking about it, and I think that you'll hear this from Clint, and also Kasey, but we've just got to go out and run our race, and whether we make the Chase or not is not going to depend on just the one race at Richmond. I could go back all the way to the Daytona 500 and talk about things that I would have done different and would have gotten us different results.
I'm taking it very seriously and looking forward to a good weekend, and we are going to make sure that the Ford is driving as fast and as good as we can make it and I'll go out and drive it as hard as I can and whatever happens is going to happen.
Q. Just wanted to check in first of all, you know, the last time we were in Richmond, Kyle Busch drove hard, got into Dale Junior and spun him out on the course and Carl Edwards and Kyle got together at Bristol just a couple weeks ago. With all three of you on the teleconference, we have Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer, you're right behind him and you just need to make up two positions to make the Chase; what are you going to do?
DAVID RAGAN: Well, it obviously all depends on the situation and how my car is handling. Certainly those guys at the time were racing hard and were all trying to pick up positions, and I'm sure we would all do the same thing it. We would all put the bumper on the guy in front of us and just hope like hell that we can drive in a little harder the next corner and he can't get us back.
Certainly I'm not going to go out and race -- (line static) -- in the sport but we'll have to -- we're going to drive as hard as we can, and hopefully we're in a good enough position that we can have a good race. And it's important for all three of for us of us to be racing to win and also racing for the points. But certainly we are not going to go do anything crazy to jeopardize our next ten races and certainly the respect and the thoughts that all of the other competitors have on us for the rest of our careers.
Q. Of course you don't have a sponsor, at least officially signed for next season. There's a rumor that UPS may be that sponsor. I'm sure you're not ready to announce that now but what's the latest on your sponsorship situation?
DAVID RAGAN: Certainly as a race car driver, I would love to have sponsorship lined up from now to the end of my career and not have to worry about it. But that's a fact that you have in the sport. Yeah, with the running with -- the UPS sponsorship is great, they are an Atlanta-based company; and I'm a Georgia guy, so I think we have a lot in common. I know Jeff Smith and the guys at Roush Racing are working hard with the people in Atlanta and trying to make things happen, and only time will tell.
We are pretty focused on making the Chase and winning races and ending the year on a good note for our current sponsor and our current team. So we will hopefully have some good news over the next two or three weeks, and until then, we'll just keep driving as hard as we can and giving everybody more reason to talk about it.
Q. At some point will you anticipate talking with your Roush teammates about anything they can do during the races that might help you move up during the standings?
DAVID RAGAN: Yeah I think that's going to be up to my crew chief and Jack Roush during the race. We can all have a game plan before the race, if we hit here, try to let me by or if you're running second, I'd like to lead a lap. We can have a great plan of attack but once they drop the green flag, usually everybody's plan goes out the window. We are just going to go out and race hard.
We can't count on them to help us out and don't know that they will be in a position, they are trying to battle for points and get bonus points at the time but certainly they are going to race extremely hard and they might be in an opportunity to have somebody cut us some slack or possibly one of the guys has trouble, you know, help us out a little bit.
Time will tell but I feel like Jimmy will have a good eye on top of the pit box and be in constant communication with the other crew chiefs, and we'll just have to play the 400 laps kind of by ear. A lot can change between the drop of the green and certainly the last 50 laps or something.
So I think when the time comes, we'll have a good plan together.
Q. What kind of adjustments do you feel like you have to make to have a little better success at Richmond compared to your race in May?
DAVID RAGAN: We are going to go over some notes earlier from the spring race, and I think we just have to have a better car for the long one runs. We were pretty good on the short runs there in the spring. We finished third at this race last year, so I think we'll go off some good notes.
We've got to make sure we unload good, because there's a lot of time between our practice and qualifying being an impound race. So we have to make sure we are good off the truck and make some good adjustments and hopefully take care of it for 350 laps and go racing at the end.
THE MODERATOR: Kasey, big race Saturday obviously, what's the confidence level of you and your team coming into Richmond?
KASEY KAHNE: I'm looking forward to it. I think just to come in and really just do the best job we can, we've kind of been put in a position, but all we can do is do our best and hope that it works out for us and kind of see how the points end up being.
If we run our race, it doesn't necessarily mean we are going to make it into the Chase. We feel like Kenny and the whole Budweiser team is doing a good job of preparing the cars and we feel like if we can go out there and try to get a rely good finish and look at the points at the end of the night and see where they are at.
Q. Were you surprised how quickly -- at Bristol, you get into something that is absolutely not of your making and all of the sudden you're looking outside looking in?
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, I was really surprised. I went into Michigan kind of thinking that we had been running really strong, we had been right there every weekend. I felt like maybe we had a shot at maybe being sixth in points, maybe passing Jeff and Tony, and then just racing happens. Things happen and we're 14th looking in now.
Yeah, I was really surprised to see how quickly we lost a lot of spots and ended up maybe having a shot at making it in. It's going to be close to see if we can even get in the deal now.
Q. Is it more heartbreaking when it is not of your own making? You know, that you had absolutely nothing to do with what happened in those two races, and just all of a sudden it's like, boom and gone.
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, it's disappointing, but at the same time, we have been -- our team -- we have been a team all year and we have done everything that we possibly can to get the best finish as possible all year. I think we've been pretty consistent with what we've had. Keep doing the best job we can. We're 14th now so, yeah, it came out of -- it's a bit of a surprise to see that. I think that we're better than that, but you know, now it's what it is and we'll see if we can make it.
Q. Did anything happen after you got so much momentum in May and early June that you feel like you did drop off a little bit?
KASEY KAHNE: I don't really feel like we did. I feel like we had that month there where we had some great luck on our side. We had some great races and great race cars, and kind of once that was gone, we were back right about to where we have been all season long and to me, it adds up to 15th, which is kind of where we've been.
So yeah, we weren't winning any more but you're not going to win all season. I feel like we've just had a really strong month and we kind of fell right back to where we were and we're working hard to keep getting that 7th -- move that 7th up to 6th or 5th and just keep working on getting better.
Q. Also, can you talk about a few years ago what it was like, Mayfield had won the race and knocked you out of there, just that whole experience?
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, you know, we went in, we didn't run that good that night, we were a little off throughout the night and we didn't get the points that we needed. It was one of them races where we went in thinking we had a shot, didn't turn out that way, and we ended up with that kind of -- I think we ended up 14th or something, or 12th maybe. I think it was 12th that year. That's the way it goes. We'll do the best we can again this year and if things work out, we are going to make it and if they don't, we are not going to make the Chase.
Q. How much pressure is there on you for the Chase? David Ragan, there's no pressure on him, because anything that he accomplishes would be a Cinderella story. Talk about how much pressure is or isn't on you and your team headed into this race and this Chase?
KASEY KAHNE: There's definitely some pressure, pressure that we've put on ourselves and really that was our goal and is our goal to make the Chase this year. That was one of our big goals.
Right now we are right on the outside. There's definitely pressure I think and that's a big part of the season is to make the Chase or not for the team and the company, for the sponsors. Everybody is a part of and there's some pressure and we'll do all we can and hopefully it will end up being a enough. But you never know, nobody knows until the end of Saturday night.
Q. Last time around, you finished 10th at Richmond and you talked about wanting to win, are you looking at, there's a bottom line, a spot, a finish that you need to make sure you get into the Chase, and will you be factoring going for bonus points during the race?
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, I mean, bonus points, just to lead a lap, that's something that we have got to shoot for. We need to lead a lap and hopefully we can qualify right up front and do it early in the race and just see where our car goes.
Yeah, I think winning, that's kind of hard to get in. If we finish tenth, we'll probably have a really small chance of making it, would be my guess. So yeah, I think we need to go there to win the race and if we can, we'll have a good shot, and if we can't, then we'll see what happens from there and see how the points add up.
Q. This is not now having gone through this in 2004 and 2006, how does this compare with those experiences leading into the race?
KASEY KAHNE: Actually I like this just a little bit different. I feel like we always have that goal to make the Chase, and everybody wants to be a big part of going to New York and making the Chase and being a part of that. Then it was somewhere that I thought that I think at times, those years, we were one of best cars or we were the best car.
This year I think we have been more right there on the edge. We are one of those teams that have been strong enough to be sixth in points, if things go our way and we don't have any bad luck; but not sixth, because we have been super, super fast. I just think we are more of a 7th to 15th place car this year. When consistency and all that stuff happens and we're right there.
So it's a little bit different. I wouldn't say we are one of the best cars in the series, and at times those years, I think we were. We had some really good races and really good cars. It always feels a bit different this year just to make the Chase, and kind of see where we end up.
Q. Talking about 2006 when you raced your way in, what did you learn from that experience that you can apply to Saturday night?
KASEY KAHNE: Really just being there, doing everything we could. We led laps that night and we were one of the better cars throughout the entire night, and that's the only way you're going to make the Chase is to be up front and be strong and have a shot at winning. I think that will be the only chance that we have at making the Chase is if we are one of the top three or four cars.
That's all I learned was really just run your race, do everything you can possible, and the team is doing a great job. They did awesome last week at California, and if we do everything we can, you know, hopefully it ends up that we can make the Chase.
Q. We saw you get on a hot streak there in May with the All-Star Race, the 600 and then Pocono. There are a lot of tracks that favor you and that you've won on before; if you make it in, do you think you can get on another one of those streaks?
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, like I said, we are not a -- we are not a team to contend for a championship, but we are definitely a team to contend from maybe right at fifth, right in that area, fifth to tenth just from consistency and being there every single weekend and if things go the way they are supposed to, and we have good luck.
I feel like we can definitely move up a lot in the points if we do make the Chase because we have been there all year. As far as going out and winning, we'd have to make some pretty big gains in the next couple weeks to do that.
Q. If you don't make the Chase and we don't have a Dodge in the Chase, I know you're only one driver, but is the situation any -- at all sort of indicative that there's a problem with Dodge insofar as keeping up with the other manufacturers?
KASEY KAHNE: Yeah, you can look at it, and I look at it and not real sure exactly why that is, but I know it's been like that since 2004.
So there's something going on there, and I just really think that that we are down a little bit, whether it's power or the car or whatever it may be, that's kind of how we are as a manufacturer and kind of how it's been for the last five years. Hopefully we can keep working on that and making it better and winning a lot of races for Dodge as the time goes on.
Q. Thanks for taking the time today and good luck this weekend as well. Pretty much everybody that's involved in the Chase to this point or has an opportunity to be involved in the Chase, it's a multi-car team and their teammates are also part of their Chase and right there. Does the fact that Elliot Sadler is really not in a position to be part of the Chase, has that affected you team-wise, and would it be better to have a teammate that's in a similar situation to share some information with?
KASEY KAHNE: I don't know, I think the way that the way it is now, myself and Elliot have been pretty consistent and fast for the last month or so. I think Elliot's team really came a long ways and they are about where we are, I feel like 8th to 15th.
It's good. We have some things that we can draw off each other and we can learn from each other. They can try and we can try during practice and kind of see where things go. I feel like we have a good teammate relationship right now and that can definitely help us a little bit on Saturday night.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks to Kasey Kahne. Appreciate you taking some time to answer questions for us today, and as it was just said, best of luck this weekend Kasey.
We are joined now by Clint Bowyer, driver of the 07 Jack Daniels Chevrolet for RCR. Clint comes into Richmond in what you call the preferred position, 12th place, but as we noted earlier, the lead is pretty slim.
Clint, can you hold these other guys off and make the Chase for the second straight year?
CLINT BOWYER: I hope so. Obviously it's crunch time and we have one more week to decide that and if there's anything that gives you a good feeling, it's knowing that we won there in the spring and it's a track that I typically run good at.
But as we all know, Richmond is a track where anything can happen, too. We've kind of put ourselves in this situation, but it's time to see what we are made out of, and a lot of pressure this weekend but I think we can handle it just fine.
Q. Do you have to run/drive this race differently than you did the first time around; meaning, do you have to basically keep an eye out on where David Ragan is?
CLINT BOWYER: I don't think so. I think we can go and try to win the race and as you do every week and let the rest take care of itself.
But I mean obviously anything can happen in these races. I mean, if one of those guys were to slip up and have a little bit of trouble, you know, maybe it causes you to do something a little different.
Typically in the past, if we had tried to play conservative or do whatever, we end up just getting ourselves in trouble. We just go out and race as hard as we can and race to win the race, just like always, and we should be just fine.
Q. Have you ever been in this type of situation before where you really had to not only concern yourself with perhaps winning the race but perhaps where you finished in relation to another driver?
CLINT BOWYER: Oh, yeah, absolutely. That's the way the Chase is. Last year, you're racing everybody else, but you've got to beat -- last year had to beat the 24 and 48, but there wasn't anybody that was able to do that.
You know, it's been frustrating. It's been a frustrating summer for us. We've struggled and struggled on tracks that are typically good tracks for us. It's a breath of fresh air without any of the rest, points or anything; it's a breath of fresh air going to a track that the last time we had good success at and won the race. You know, it feels good to go back there and knowing that, hey, we run good there.
Q. How big of a confidence booster is it for you that you actually did win there earlier this year at Richmond?
CLINT BOWYER: I think it's a big confidence boost. Going into California, I was worried about California. That's a track where we haven't been running the best at. Those are the types of tracks we have been struggling at, and I was prepared to give up a little bit to the 6 and the 9 and end up just didn't give up much at all to the 9 and none to the 6.
You know, I was planning on going into -- I had already had my mind-set made up that it was going to be okay to go into Richmond behind and have to make it up.
Now we've just got to conserve what we've got and keep it.
Q. Now that you've been in the Chase and had a pretty successful one last year, how does being in the Chase compare to not being in the Chase, how much do you really want to get into this deal because you know what it's like?
CLINT BOWYER: Well, I want to be a part of it. I know what it's like, and to be honest with you, in a strange way, as bad as our summer has been, I think we can pick our program up and get back after them, I really do.
The Chase races have typically been good racetracks for us, if you look at our track record in the past, those tracks are good for us.
So it didn't surprise me how we did in the Chase last year, because I knew going into that thing that if we could just make it, those tracks we are going to run good at, and it's the same way this year. I'm excited and hope we can make it this week if we can and pull out all the stops and go for broke again.
Q. I wonder how much pressure you feel, talking to David Ragan, he didn't really feel as much pressure, I don't think, because he would be the Cinderella story, but you and Kasey I think would be under more pressure. What's the pressure like for you guys on your team to get into this Chase?
CLINT BOWYER: It was pressure for all of us. Obviously none coming more than yourself. If you're a good race car driver in my opinion, you don't need anybody to put pressure on you because you're going to put it on yourself.
I want to be a part of this and I hope that I am, and you know, it's ours to lose right now. So there's pressure. There's no way getting around it. You have to make the best of it and dig deep and see what we are made out of it.
Q. How do you deal with the pressure, you?
CLINT BOWYER: I went on a motorcycle ride and rode about 300 miles yesterday with my father and my brother and just kind of laid low and chilled.
Q. Given the fact that you are ahead of Kasey Kahne and David Ragan, what is the type of finish that you feel you need, Top-5, Top-10, whatever, that would secure you a spot in the Chase?
CLINT BOWYER: Well, I mean, Top-5, I think we should be there if you look at. It if we can Top-5 Richmond, we're going to be fine.
But anything less than a Top-10, you're going to be frustrated and probably disappointed at the end of the night. Like I say, Richmond has been a good track for us, and we can do. It it's ours to lose.
Q. Also, unfortunately weather could become a factor this weekend, which may mean track position could be a factor. How important do you think qualifying will become in this race?
CLINT BOWYER: You know, hopefully the weather will be out of there by the time we start. You know, it's the same for everybody. Qualifying is going to be important. We are going to have to qualify better than we did, but we are going to race good.
Like I said, going into California, we had not been racing good, and I was worried. You know, I'm sitting here 30th on the sheet in practice and the 6 car and the 9 are in the Top-10, and, you know, that's got you scratching your head worried.
But going into Richmond, we won there in the spring. We've run well there in the past. You know, I've got a lot better feeling in my gut right now than I did last week.
Q. Preparation for big days like Saturday, do you have a regular workout routine, and do you feel that all of the seat time that drivers great, isn't that great exercise, too, as well as preparation?
CLINT BOWYER: Yeah, I grew up racing motorcycles, and in my opinion, the best conditioning you can do for yourself as a work-out regimen is being on that motorcycle back then and being in the car. You know, you've got to be comfortable. That's the biggest thing is being comfortable in these race cars. If you're comfortable, it's not going to wear you out and you're not going to get tired.
If you're not comfortable, if you're loose and up on the wheel and tense, you're going to get tired and you're going to wear down.
Last week was a really hot race out in California, but it's the same for everybody. If I felt like I was falling out of seat and keeping us from running good, I would be out jogging every day, every morning I wake up and making myself miserable. As long as I can still leave places like Bristol and jog out of there, I'll be just fine.
Q. We talked actually at Talladega and actually again at Darlington, and I spoke with Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon, and they said the hottest driver over the previous 12 months, 12, 14 months was Clint Bowyer, and he was -- at the time you had a little swagger going. What do you feel like you need to do to get it back?
CLINT BOWYER: Well, we have a lot going on this season. My contract is up, announcement of bringing a fourth team in and moving over to a whole different deal with myself, there's been a lot going on this year that's been, you know -- I think you can attribute a lot of this to.
You know, it's been a frustrating year on everybody's part. You know, I think once we get in -- if we can get in this Chase and get going and start it off on the right foot, I think the sky is the limit for this team just the way it was last year.
Q. Having said that do you feel like since the announcement of you moving over to the 33 car and your crew actually staying behind; do you feel like there's a chemistry issue now or is everything still okay?
CLINT BOWYER: Well, I mean, we all know we have a job to do, but I mean, you can't -- I don't think there's anybody probably happy about the situation, and you know, we've got to make the best of it. We all know the job at hand and we all know what it takes to get that job done from last year, so we are going to dig deep. We are going to look after each other and make this deal happen.
Q. Because of so many drivers fighting to get into the Chase, how much do things change, like are you able to get any kind of help from other drivers or teammates, or is it everyone for themselves during this time of the year?
CLINT BOWYER: Man, I'd say it's always kinds of a little bit of everybody for themselves, but you bring your friends to the racetrack. I've got two great teammates that have got my back as I do theirs. They are the ones that I'll go to for advice and things like that.
Q. Coming into Richmond on the back of the last question, have you had a chance to meet with your teammates and devise a plan to maybe keep you in the Chase, or is it kind of like David Ragan said, when the green flag falls, everything is out the window?
CLINT BOWYER: You know, what do you expect your teammate to do? They have to go out and win the race just like you do.
Like I say, we won that race in the spring and we've got to go out there and do it again, and if we do that, the rest will take care of itself.
We had a fast race car, I didn't qualify good, and I though that's the one thing I've got to qualify better at. I'm looking at that and I'm looking forward to the challenge starting closer to the front where I don't take the whole race to get up there and realize, man, I needed one more adjustment to run with these guys up here in clean air like I did in the spring.
Now they took care of themselves and handed the race over to me, but I really feel like we had a car that was a couple adjustments away from being able to pass them, as well, just like we did the rest of the field.
THE MODERATOR: We wish you a good race, and just good luck to you.
Thank you to all the media for participating today.
End of FastScripts