Clint Bowyer is positioning himself nicely to make a run at the postseason in the NASCAR Cup Series. With the Stewart-Haas Racing driver having an okay night at Kansas a couple of weeks ago but with all the other wildcard drivers struggling, he was able to move up to 12th in the owners standings. That’s a feat that he said has hurt his finishes since Talladega.
Without the benefit of being in the top 12, he knew that he’d have to start 13th or worse each week. With track position being so crucial in NASCAR with this aero package, it’s almost like he was heading into each race without much of a shot to win.
That has had him fired up.
“It has been a constant battle trying to dig ourselves out of a hole,” Bowyer said of the draws. “The way that the draw is for the top-12 it basically just protects those guys and makes it virtually impossible for anybody outside of that to capitalize on that first stage which puts them in a really good position points wise for the rest of the race.
“Furthermore, it puts you in a situation to have to try to gamble either at the tail end of that first stage or throughout that second stage to try to capitalize off some points whether it be that second stage or set yourself up for the end of the race. Anytime you go to gamble we all know that it can either win or lose big. Nine times out of 10 the house wins from what I can see. So, I am kind of frustrated in a sense that I feel like over the last month and a half we have had a lot better runs than our stats show. Again, just constantly digging yourself out of a hole because of the way we start these races has been a challenge. Very, very challenging as a matter of fact.”
Luckily, he was able to get back into the top 12 in Kansas and maintain it last Sunday in New Hampshire, so he stays there for this weekend’s doubleheader at the Michigan International Speedway. Well, at least for Race No. 1.
Bowyer, knows he has a starting spot inside of the top 12 now. That will go a long way for him potentially winning Saturday’s first race of the twinbill.
“Definitely looking forward to Michigan,” Bowyer said of this weekend. “Fast racetrack and when you talk about a fast racetrack you need fast hot rods and in our Ford Mustangs have been extremely fast up there. You know that Roush Yates horsepower is second to none when you’re talking about up on the pipe baby, and that track keeps it up there.
“You know, you’re just you never barely lift out of the gas. You are sailing around that place and I look for that track to be a track that we can contend for a win and get back in the right swing of things for these stage points.”
Bowyer said prior to Kansas that he had to get back into the top 12 and that’s what he did.
“Yeah, I mean, we’ve proven that we can do that,” Bowyer continued. “Our Ford Mustangs have been fast there. I think they’ll be fast again. It’s all about track position.”
Bowyer, only has two top five finishes ever at Michigan, one though was his win in the rain shortened race back in 2018. With him being +43 in the playoff standings, this could be a good weekend for Bowyer to really put himself out of reach for the final spot to the postseason.