CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer visits Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in a far better position than he did one year ago. In 2012, Bowyer arrived at the 1.5-mile oval just north of the famous Vegas strip 17th in points – his lowest ranking in a 2012 season that saw him battle back to finish second in NASCAR’s Chase for the Championship.
After two races 2013, he is tied for fourth in points with fellow Toyota driver Denny Hamlin and recorded his first top-10 last weekend in Phoenix. Bowyer and the rest of the Sprint Cup drivers will test Thursday in preparation for Sunday’s debut race of NASCAR’s new Gen-6 car on an intermediate track.
ON LAS VEGAS: “We tested this 5-Hour ENERGY Toyota in Charlotte back in January and we were so fast right off the truck that I told the crew, ‘We’re good! Let’s load it back up and call it a day.’ We were fast as soon as we unloaded. I felt like we left off just where we did at the end of last season. Unfortunately they don’t always listen to me (laughs). They made us stay there and try new things and we just kept working on it. I’m hoping that the same thing happens this weekend – unload fast and just keep fine tuning to get better for the race.”
Las Vegas: Bowyer will make his eighth NSCS start Las Vegas on March 10. In seven previous starts, Bowyer has one top-five (second in 2009) and three top-10 finishes – all coming in his last four starts. He started a career-best fifth in 2012. Bowyer has an average starting position of 20th and finish of 16th. He has led 17 laps, including at least one lap in his last four starts at LVMS.
Chassis Chatter: Primary chassis No. 738 finished second in the 2012 season finale at Homestead-Miami, and finished sixth at Kansas in the fall. The backup chassis (No. 724) raced to top-five finishes at Bristol (fourth) in March and Dover (fifth) in June. It also finished seventh at Bristol in August and tested at Charlotte in January 2013.
LIVE ON SIRIUS: Michael Waltrip will co-host a special live edition of “Dialed In with Claire B. Lang” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90 from 5-6 p.m. on Thursday from the Pub in Las Vegas’s Monte Carlo Hotel.
Commercial Success: During the off-season Bowyer filmed new commercials for 5-hour ENERGY, PEAK and several different NASCAR commercials featuring the Gen 6 2013 Toyota Camry and its new fantasy games.
INSIDER PROGRAM: Michael Waltrip Racing launched its Insider Program last week that offers all race fans sponsor discounts, specials on merchandise, exclusive pictures and video content plus fan giveaways throughout the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Fans can access the MWR Insider Program through the CardStar application available on most smartphones. MWR will work on behalf of the fans to expand the offerings beyond just its current sponsor line-up, aggregating industry-wide deals and discounts. Fans can text MWR to 42828 get card for FREE. Offers include 20% off Subway Fresh Fit 500 tickets, free headset with rental of a FanVision unit ($19.99 value) and 25% off Toyota Racing merchandise at ToyotaRacing.com.