By HEATHER WILLIAMS
2:10 PM CDT, March 23, 2011
NASCAR heads to Cali this week and boy does Clint Bowyer need a little SoCal sunshine to shine on his race team, instead of the black cloud that seems to be stuck there right now. Clint is not having bad runs for the most part, but he is having a lot of bad luck.
So maybe California is just what the doctor ordered. I 10 career starts at the Auto Club Speedway, Bowyer had never finished worse than 20th, and 6 times he had finished in the top 10. He finished second last time NASCAR visited. The 33 car needs that kind of run this weekend.
"I should have won that race last October," said Bowyer. "There was a huge piece of debris in turn three that was there for about 40 laps and it caused a caution as soon as I built a one-second lead on Mark Martin. I haven't forgotten about it. Not to think that a debris caution was thrown to spice things up at the end, but, nonetheless, I lost because of a piece of debris in turn three."
This will be the only stop of the year at Auto Club Speedway for NASCAR, which although he runs well at that track, Bowyer thinks is not such a bad thing.
"You know, you never want to think taking a step back is a good thing, but I think it could be. I really do. It will give the track an opportunity to pack the house. It's a lot to ask for in that market area to fill the grandstands for two races in a row. Those are a high capacity grandstands out there. That's the thing that people really don't understand, that it's a big race track with huge grandstands. It's important to go out there. I think we were kind of flooding the market before."
The 33 will carry yet another special paint scheme, which at times makes it hard to find him. But his one honors a piece of American history and a good cause so that make it worth it. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation's Centennial Celebration and the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma will be the primary sponsors this week.
"It's a great honor for RCR, and for me personally, to be involved with the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration through our No. 33 Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "President Reagan was one of my heroes so I'm thrilled to be able to help celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday. It's also a great opportunity to showcase the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma and the great efforts being made to save children's lives."
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