|Bowyer wins at Charlotte|
The Emporia, Kansas, native inserted himself back into the title chase Saturday night with a win in the “Bank of America 500” at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Now, returning to the Sunflower State with the championship within his grasp makes him, “almost giddy” and ready to win again.
“It’s so much fun to come to the race track knowing you have got cars that are capable of getting the job done,” he said. “We’re still in contention for the championship, (and) I think it speaks volumes about our team, (crew chief) Brian Pattie and everybody he has assembled around him.”
Bowyer’s 5 Hour Energy Toyota team is now fourth in the championship standings, just 28 points behind leader Brad Keselowski. With five races remaining last season, Tony Stewart trailed by 24 points at this juncture before rallying to win the championship.
Bowyer clearly believes he can do the same.
“We’re still in the thing,” he insisted, after helping to push his Toyota to Victory Lane after running dry of fuel on his Victory Lap. “We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing. Talladega was a huge setback, but what a great way to bounce back and get pointed in the right direction.”
Despite winning three races this season, Bowyer has yet to celebrate with a post-race burnout. Each time, his car has sputtered out of fuel before the celebratory donuts could begin.
|"I'll walk home if it means Victory Lane."|
"It's fun to walk to Victory Lane,” insisted Bowyer Saturday. “That's the best walk you could ever have. I think that's my new trademark. I'll walk home if it means Victory Lane."
And “home” is where Bowyer has his gaze firmly settled.
“Going home next week – that’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said. "It's important to be able to roll in on a positive note. To be able to win there some day… it would be… do you dare say, (my) Daytona 500? But it truly is. That's the biggest race you can possibly win, in front of your hometown."
Bowyer has come close in the past, finishing second at Kansas in the track’s inaugural Cup season of 2007. Crew chief Pattie said he will remain aggressive in the final five races of the season, continuing to gamble when necessary, in search of additional wins.
"We're going for trophies," he said. "That's the only way you're going to (win the championship). Fourth, fifth, sixth in points, we were gapped a little bit from the leaders, so we had to do something special to get back into it. This definitely helps."