The following is a special blog from Clint Bowyer about his weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Clint drivers the No. 33 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing:
It’s always great to be back in Vegas
Hey race fans, Clint Bowyer here.
I’m excited to be back in Vegas. This is definitely a fun racetrack and a fun town. We had a good run here last season and finished second. This year, we’re hoping to finish one position higher and get the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet to Victory Lane.
My crew chief Shane Wilson is pretty excited about being back here, too. He used to work out here a few years back when he was crew chief for Brendan Gaughan’s trucks but, more importantly, he’s prepared a hot rod for us this weekend.
So far this season, we’ve been strong as an organization, right out of the gate. Everyone back at Richard Childress Racing and all the guys at Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines have done their homework over the off-season. My teammate Kevin Harvick is the points leader, we’re second and my other RCR teammate Jeff Burton is fifth. We all had great runs in the first two races and are knocking on the door to get a win.
When I’m not on the track, I definitely enjoy some free time back at the casino. I’m not much of a gambler, but I do enjoy people watching. There are so many people there, from so many walks of life, so just viewing what people are doing is fun to me. I also like checking out what people are doing at the craps tables. When people are winning, you have all the friends in the world. But, when you’re losing, everybody hates you. That’s kind of the way I see it when I’m racing, too.
We’ll practice today and then qualify later this afternoon. I’ll be posting another blog here Saturday to fill you in on how the weekend is going for the No. 33 team.
Rollin’ Double Threes
SATURDAY: Yesterday was a good one for our No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper team. We qualified 13th and we’re confident we’ll be stronger for the Sunday’s race. We had two practice sessions before qualifying and I’m pretty happy with our hot rod.
My RCR teammates Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick qualified 22nd and 34th. Harvick was a little behind for time trials because he made contact with the outside wall during the first practice session.
After I got done behind the wheel of the No. 33 Chevrolet yesterday, I attended the Pennzoil Ultra media dinner with Richard Childress and Harvick. We unveiled the new product and Kevin’s car that he’s running this weekend. It was great to hang out with some of the media members and our partners from Shell-Pennzoil.
After that, it was off to the Las Vegas Hilton for an autograph signing for Coca-Cola Racing. Thanks to everyone that showed up.
I was fastest in today’s final practice session that we got in before it began to drizzle. Hopefully the rain stays away and we can tweak on our car a little more to dial her in for tomorrow.
Thanks for following along this weekend. I’ll drop another blog on you tomorrow morning before the race.
Great finish to Outlaws race
Friday night’s World of Outlaws finish might have been the bestever on the Dirt Track. The race finished past our deadline for Saturday morning’s Review-Journal so the following is the post-race story from the World of Outlaws:
Feb. 26, 2010: Jason Meyers has been involved in some thrilling races over the years, but probably none quite as exciting as Friday night, when he battled 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser and four-time and defending series titlist Donny Schatz right down to the wire to score a breathtaking win in the Second Annual Las Vegas Super Sprint Classic at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway before a huge crowd. Even more impressive was the fact that Meyers lined up 18th on the grid for the 30-lap contest and steadily worked his way to the front.
Meyers took the lead from Schatz on the 28th lap on the low side of turns one and two and quickly open a slight gap. Kinser battled Schatz and took the second spot on that same lap and tracked down Meyers on the white flag lap, taking the lead on the low side of turn three, with Meyers battling back off turn four to win a drag race down the front straightway aboard the GLR Investments KPC to score the $10,000 triumph, which was the 36th A-Feature victory of his World of Outlaws career.
"I don’t think I have ever won a race from that far back and I don’t know when the last time an Outlaws race was won from that far back," said Meyers. "We went out and were trying to get a Top-Five on a night that had kind of gone backwards on us. The guys gave me one heck of a race car and there was a great track tonight. My hat’s off to my team."
The win was extra special for Meyers, as his team was mourning the loss of his crew chief D.J. Lindsey’s father-in-law Jim Boyd. The Wisconsin native was a fixture at many World of Outlaws events over the years.
"We had a lot going in here tonight with the loss of Jim Boyd, a great friend to the team. We’re going to miss him dearly and this one is for him. We had a lot riding on tonight. D.J.’s wife asked me to go out and win this one tonight and I told her I would do my best. It means a lot and this one is for the entire Boyd family."
Meyers used a very fast race car and strong double file restarts on Friday night to steadily work his way through the field after starting in the ninth row. He lined up on the outside line a couple of times on restarts and was able to gain positions on the ensuing lap each time.
"The car took off really good on restarts," he noted. "The tires stayed aired up and the car took off and I was able to get quite a few cars there. I don’t know if I was a fan of these double file restarts, but they seem to be working out for me."
The race began with Schatz, who started on the pole jumping out to a quick lead, with Brad Sweet in second. Joey Saldana used a strong start to come from sixth to third in one lap. Schatz found himself in lapped traffic just a few laps into the 30-lapper, which allowed Sweet and Saldana to close in on him. Saldana took the lead on the 11th lap charging around Schatz on the high side of turn four.
The first caution of the night would fly on the following lap, setting up a double file restart. Saldana became the first driver this season to choose the outside lane to restart and Schatz used a run on the bottom to take the lead going into turns one and two. Kinser used a very strong restart to come from sixth to third in one lap.
The caution flag flew again on the 17th lap, with Schatz choosing the low line for the restart and pacing the field into the first turn. Kinser shot up to second on this restart, with Meyers breaking into the Top-Three. Schatz had a big lead with nine laps to go as he entered lapped traffic, allowing Kinser and Meyers to close back in on him.
Meyers went under Schatz in turn one on lap-28 and took the top spot. Meyers opened a slight lead when he took the white flag, while Kinser gained a ton of ground in turns one and two and took the lead going into turn three. At the line, Meyers edged Kinser by just 0.237 seconds.
For Kinser, it was his third podium finish of the season in the same number of starts aboard the Bass Pro Shops Maxim, and in the process he took over the lead in the World of Outlaws championship standings by two markers over his Tony Stewart Racing teammate Schatz.
"Once I got under Jason (Meyers) I knew he was working the bottom," explained Kinser. "I should have closed the bottom up, though I thought I would have had enough run of a run off (turn) four. I didn’t know I would catch that lapped car. He gave it to me and I gave it back to him at the same time."
Schatz wound up third, after leading 26 laps in the Armor All J&J. It was his third finish of fourth or better this season as he chases his fifth series championship. Heading into the Second Annual Las Vegas Super Sprint Classic, the North Dakota native had won two in-a-row at the half-mile.
"It was an ok night," Schatz said. "We wanted to get a win there and felt like we were good enough to. It seems like every time I get to lapped traffic anymore, it’s hard for me to pass them and everyone else breezes right by. We just have to work on a few things. My car is good, it’s just not where we as a group want it to be."
Jason Sides was fourth on Friday night in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim after turning the third quickest lap in time trials.
Tim Kaeding picked up his second consecutive Top-Five finish as he came home fifth in the DTR Transport KPC.
Joey Saldana led one lap and ran in the Top-Three for a large part of the race on Friday night before finishing sixth in the Budweiser Maxim.
Brad Sweet was seventh aboard the Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Maxim. Sam Hafertepe Jr. was eighth in the Lone Star Speedway machine. Lucas Wolfe was ninth piloting the Allebach Racing Maxim. Danny Lasoski rounded out the Top-10 in the Casey’s General Stores JEI after losing an engine in the third heat race and having to run the B-Main which he handily won.
The World of Outlaws return to action on March 5 at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California for the first of two nights on the high-banked 1/3-mile.