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R. Mark Stiles

R. Mark Stiles

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Web:http://www.catchfence.com/

From the Great Bridge section of Chesapeake, Virginia, R. Mark Stiles, the owner, news director & editor in chief of Catchfence,™ has been dedicated to auto racing news media coverage, journalism and reporting for almost 17-years. Stiles started in the industry in the fall of 1997 with two columns (Green Flag Black Flag and Breaking Loose) for AOL/Athlete Direct's NASCAR department (ADNASCAR). He later merged Green Flag Black Flag and became the news director with Ryan Seek's CatchFence in 1999. At the beginning of 2001, Stiles went full-time with Catchfence, served as an assistant to the now retired Voice of Daytona Int'l Speedway chief track announcer, Bill Bowser, and In 2005 he acquired full ownership of Catchfence.

Jun 24
Tuesday

Clint Bowyer on the Hunt for Victory Lane

Filed under Sprint Cup Series

2014 NSCS Driver Clint Bowyer (5-hour ENERGY) - Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
2014 NSCS Driver Clint Bowyer (5-hour ENERGY) - Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
CORNELIUS, N.C. —   The state of Kentucky (technically termed the Commonwealth of Kentucky) is probably most recognized as the home of horse racing in the United States. More appealing to Clint Bowyer, an avid hunter and outdoorsman, the Blue Grass state also claims to have the highest per capita population of deer and turkey.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits the 1.5-mile track situated in Sparta, Ky., this weekend. And while Bowyer won’t have time to hunt deer or turkey, he and the No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota crew will be hunting something else- victory lane.

With the Michael Waltrip Racing team currently occupying 15th place in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, the team would like nothing more than to lock in to the Chase field. A win would certainly help the team reach that goal.

And if last year is any indication, Bowyer has a shot. He finished third in the event. And with just 10 races remaining before the Chase field is decided, the hunt is on for Bowyer and crew.

What does this team need to do in the weeks before the Chase?

“First things first you need to find that consistency back and I think we’ve done that over this last month here. I’m telling you, some of these guys, maybe us included are going to race in. Somebody is going to race in. I think two maybe three cars are going to race in before the cutoff.  However, it’s time for us to win. We need a win desperately and everybody knows that. Obviously, nobody knows that better than us.”

How do you setup for a bumpy track like Kentucky?

“The first thing you do as a driver to go around Kentucky is put a mouth piece in because you don’t want to chip a tooth while you’re going around there. It’s kind of neat because it’s an obstacle and it’s something you have to overcome and get your car to ride those bumps good and keep those tires on the ground. So much of what we do anymore is focused on aero and a lot of that means you really have to have a pretty stiff setup underneath of it and those tires don’t like that. They bounce up and down on that rough stuff so you have to go back to some mechanical grip and get some suspension back underneath of it and get you some grip.”

Chassis No. 800 serves as the primary chassis for Bowyer at Kentucky Speedway. He raced it to a fourth-place finish at Dover earlier this month. Chassis No. 804 serves as the back-up chassis and finished 12th at Darlington and 15th at Bristol.

KENTUCKY STATS

  • One top-five and one top-10 finishes in 3 starts
  • Completed 793 of 801 laps (99%)
  • Average start 13.7 and average finish 18.

Source: Michael Waltrip Racing

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