CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer gets his first chance to drive NASCAR’s new Gen-6 Toyota on a mile oval this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Bowyer said racing the new car on the flat Phoenix track will be far different than racing on Daytona’s high banks where he finished 11th in Sunday’s Daytona 500.
After Phoenix the Sprint Cup Series will race at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas track, the half-mile track at Bristol and the 2-mile high speed oval at Auto Club Speedway in California. All provide unique challenges to the drivers and teams seeking advantages with the new car.
ON PHOENIX: “Now the racing really begins. In the next couple weeks you are really going to see who the strong teams are that are going to be competing for a championship all season long. Daytona is its own deal – its own type of racing. Now as we move on to Phoenix and Vegas you are going to see who has figured out this new car and who still has some work to do. That’s the beauty of the start of the NASCAR schedule – we visit virtually every type of racetrack in the first six weeks – Superspeedways, short tracks, 1.5 and two-mile tracks – it’s all there. I’m excited to see where we are compared to the other teams. I think we’re in a pretty good spot.
“Last season we left Daytona in the exact same position as we did this year – with an 11th place finish. Then we got to Phoenix and we cut down two tires in the first 30 laps and that put us behind for the rest of the afternoon and put us in a little bit of a whole to start the year. If we can have a solid race in Phoenix I think we’ll be in a great position to start the season.”
Phoenix: Bowyer will make his 15th career NSCS Daytona start on Feb. 24, 2013. In 14 previous Daytona starts, he has two top-five and six top-10 finishes. He started a career-best third in July 2011. Bowyer has an average starting position of 20th and finish of 16th.
Chassis Chatter: Primary chassis No. 733 raced at both Pocono races in 2013—finishing sixth in June and eighth in August. It also started second and finished ninth at Dover in the fall. The backup chassis (No. 727) raced last season at Fontana, Darlington and both Michigan races.
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.