It’s getting down to the wire for Kansas native Clint Bowyer if he wants to make the Chase for the Championship. With three races until the chase begins, Bowyer is 15 out of 16 teams on the Chase grid, with a 21 point lead over Kasey Kahne, who is currently the first driver out of the Chase.

So the 15 team could take one of two approaches over the next three weeks. They could go for a win and a guaranteed spot in the Chase or they could go for consistent finishes and try to get in on points, because at least one driver will get in that way.

“We go to the track every weekend looking to win,” said Bowyer’s crew chief Brian Pattie. “That doesn’t change. But we’re not going to be stupid. If we have a chance to win we will go for it, of course, but we aren’t going to do something to jeopardize a good finish. We just need to stay focused on what we need to do to get a finish and if a win is in reach we will go for it.”

This week NASCAR is headed off to Bristol, and Clint has a pretty good track record on short tracks. In 17 starts at the Tennessee half mile, Bowyer has five top-fives and eight top-10s . He finished 15th at Bristol in the spring.

“(Bristol) reminds me of the movie Gladiator,” said Bowyer.  “You know someone’s going to agitate you. You walk in and the fans are right on you. It’s an incredible atmosphere.”

And the formula to win at Bristol?

“Well it goes without saying that track position is key,” said Pattie. “Strategy is kind of out of the window because everyone is on the same strategy now. Instead of two people or even 10 people on the same strategy, everyone is. So now, it goes back to having a good car. And we’ve had good cars at Bristol with the exception of the spring race. Clint likes the track. We’re looking for another good run this weekend.”