CORNELIUS, N.C. — The No. 15 Toyota Camry crew chief Brian Pattie admits his team isn’t running as well as it can, but you would never know it by looking at the points.
Since the Sprint Cup Series last visited a restrictor plate track seven weeks ago, Pattie and driver Clint Bowyer have recorded the second most points of any team, scoring five top-10s including back-to-back top-fives the last two weeks.
The No. 15 will carry a PEAK’s BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid paint scheme Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway. PEAK’s BlueDEF brand is making its first appearance on the No. 15 in 2013. PEAK appeared on the No. 15 at Talladega and will so in two more races in 2013.
ON FINISHING: “We need to do all that we can to manufacture finishes when we go to places that we aren’t the best and maximize the finishes at places we know we can be good. That’s what makes this team so good. At Kentucky last week we knew we were probably going to struggle going into the race, but we did what we had to do to get the finish we needed. We’re going to need to do that again this weekend at Daytona too. Just stay out of trouble the best we can and get a good finish. If we keep doing that we are going to have a shot at this thing.”
DAYTONA: “I’m not sure you are going to see a whole lot different racing then you saw down there in January. I don’t think you will see a pick up from visiting a track for the second time until we get to Pocono. Daytona is just Daytona. We are taking a new tire which is a green version of what we had, so I don’t think we have to worry about it throwing too many wrenches in the mix. It’s just tough. I know everybody has made their cars better. I know we’ve made our cars better since January with trying to get drag down, but I think the overall race is probably going to be the same. I hope it slicks up a little bit. I think the race will be better if it’s a little slicker – a little hotter which it should be. I’m looking forward to it.”
YEAR SO FAR: “It’s been a decent year. We were off a little bit with our cars early in the year. We were a little bit behind, but we’ve made a lot of changes to the cars and a lot of updates and we seem to be running pretty good here in the last four to six weeks. We probably gave one away at Sonoma, but if we can’t win our teammate needs to and Martin Truex Jr. did a good job. We are still working. We have a lot of new cars coming up from Indy on and we are looking forward to trying to make this Chase to see if we can make a little ruckus.”
STAYING FRESH: “This team likes to have fun. You have to do that. When you’re on the road three and four days a week puts a strain on everybody, so the easier we make it at the racetrack the more efficiently everyone works. It seems like having fun makes it easier on everyone. I give my guys a lot of time off. Whether it’s at the shop or at the track as long as we work efficiently then they can get time off and try to stay sharp. The driver makes it really good some times, but he also makes it tough when he’s not happy and complaining, but it’s not easy and we have to be able to work through that. When it comes race day Clint is as good as anybody. We are doing a pretty good job with execution, but we need to improve just a tick and we can get to victory lane. We are getting close. We are happy where we are at, but it could be better.”
• PARTY: The MWR Girls will host a fan appreciation event 9—10 p.m. Friday at the Blue Grotto in Daytona Beach. The girls will be take pictures with fans and raffle prizes. MWR team members will attend to interact with fans.
• 2013 vs. 2012: Bowyer is ranked four spots higher (2013 – third; 2012 – seventh), has 12 more points (2013 – 569 points; 2012 – 557 points), three more top-five finishes (2013 – six; 2012 – three), one more top-10 (2013 – 10; 2012 – nine), he has led 37 more laps (2013 – 114 laps; 2012 – 77 laps).
NAME: Clint Bowyer
HOMETOWN: Emporia, KS
RESIDENCE: Clemmons, NC