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May 31, 2020

Clint Bowyer

Bristol, Tennessee

THE MODERATOR: Clint, quite a crazy finish there. Walk us through the finale from your perspective.
CLINT BOWYER: Yeah, I needed those guys, when they decided to wreck each other, to do that, just hold the 2 up a little bit more. The 2 got into the 6, got into me, tore my car all up. I really needed them to do that just a little bit later.
I wasn't going to have any trouble apologizing to Brad for dumping him at the end. But I couldn't catch him. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open up the floor for questions for Clint.

Q. How important was that for you, considering kind of a disappointing Charlotte with the suspension piece breaking?
CLINT BOWYER: Charlotte really sucked. I was really glad to be out of Charlotte. We really wasn't very good today. I was kind of frustrated with the way we ran, to be honest with you. We kind of get to the top 10, we got jumbled up on pit cycles. Could have, would have, should have there.
I think we capitalized obviously at the end. Probably should have pitted once and it bit us. But just kind of a track position game really. Once you got up front, I was two or three tenths faster. Somehow finished second.
I think we were probably legit around a 10th‑place car tonight, which honestly is a little bit uncharacteristic. I thought we were going to have a shot at leading some laps, leading up front.
Frustrating with the way we ran, but satisfied, to say the least, with being able to be on this wonderful, awkward Zoom call with you (laughter).

Q. I know you love Bristol, everything about it. What was the experience like racing with no fans?
CLINT BOWYER: Starting to bother me. We're starting to see other racing, people in the stands, everything else. This is such a special place.
Brad, you hit the damn 6 car. If they would have held you up a little bit more... Look, here, I was going to be apologizing.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: You were fast as hell.
CLINT BOWYER: I was moving Bradley. His ass got the trophy and I'm pouting about it.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: You did great.
CLINT BOWYER: You did greater.
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Amazing what you can do with your eyes closed (laughter).
CLINT BOWYER: Did you hear that? I'm closing my eyes next week (laughter).
Where the hell we going with this? Oh, fans.
Yeah, you're starting to see racing going on with fans in the stands, social distancing, stuff like that. A place like Bristol, honestly it's the first time I really felt like, man, it's empty. Kind of felt that empty feeling where even racing out there, you can feel the vibe.
That deal with the 9 and the 22, you get out of the car right there and this place would have been standing on end. It would have erupted. Without that, it's kind of like, Well, I guess we'll go home.
I'm ready to have fans back is what I'm saying. I think it's time.

Q. Clint, in the last several days there have been protests nationwide, including in Charlotte, about police brutality and justice for George Floyd. Dominated the headlines across the country. What is your reaction to that?
CLINT BOWYER: Yeah, it's very sad. Heart goes out to everybody involved. Just praying for everybody. It's very sad to see every angle, every aspect, everything you're seeing. Very, very sad.

Q. What specifically is sad about it?
CLINT BOWYER: That was my answer.

Q. This is going to be the first time since we've come back that we have a full week in between races. How much is this going to mean for you guys as a team going for a full week heading into Atlanta? Are you going to be able to spend some time at the shop with the team?
CLINT BOWYER: Yeah, it will be nice to have a week to actually kind of reset. Racing two nights a week is no problem. I mean, we've all done that before. Usually it was Saturday and Sunday. When it's a mix of Sunday to Wednesday, it doesn't give you much time in between to kind of sit back and have a conversation with the guys.
They're digging as hard as they can, trying to play catch‑up, getting cars to the racetrack. We're doing the same thing, just trying to get to racetracks. Rules are changing left and right as we go, as everybody learns with this pandemic and everything of different states and different guidelines.
Our buses are still outside the track, but we still couldn't bring anybody in here, drive us home. I mean, it's just still adjusting to all that. It's actually just moving forward, trying to figure out a path.
That week is certainly helpful on all behalf's, all fronts with our industry. Even NASCAR, I mean, I can't imagine how hard those guys have been working, how many phone calls, meetings, how many of these damn Zoom meetings they've been on with state and health. We've all been a part of that. Our shops are trying to adjust and learn, be safe because we all have to have that or we can't put on a show.
This week will be a good week for everybody, including this turd right here that won the race (laughter). You're going to kick me again in the nuts? This is where I'm going to insert a middle finger where you guys can't see it.

Q. You described an eventful finish from your seat. Seemed like an eventful finish all day long. When we return to Bristol, it's going to be an elimination race in the Playoffs. What is a preview of what we can see?
CLINT BOWYER: More of the same. That's Bristol, man. Short‑track racing. I70, I grew up going to I70. Just like this place. They called it the action track. When you pull in here, you know all hell's going to break loose. You don't know where it's coming from, where it's going to be, how it's going to be, who is going to be the benefactor, who is going to leave pissed off. That's short‑track racing at its best. Nobody does it better than Bristol.

Q. Were you surprised that a caution didn't come out when Chase and Joey got together? If it did, would you have had anything for Keselowski on the restart?
CLINT BOWYER: My plan was to move him when I got to him. I probably would have done that. I was a little bit surprised. As hard as contact as they made, Brett was keeping me informed, he was right on it. He kind of said that it was going to go green, needed to try to get up there to the 2. That's what we did.
That was the right call. They kept forward momentum. Everybody was by them. It wasn't unsafe. I mean, I do this a lot, man. I don't just do this on Sundays. I have dirt late model teams that run. I watch racing all the time, all different forms of racing. That was the right call. That was the call that any sanctioning body would have made.
THE MODERATOR: Clint, thanks for taking the time to join us. Good luck down the road.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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