DAYTONA, ROUND TWO: Clint Bowyer returns to the driver’s seat of the No. 33 Menards Chevrolet Impala this weekend for the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Bowyer and the Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) team started the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series season together at Daytona in February. The Emporia, Kan., native collected the team’s first pole this season and finished a close second to teammate Tony Stewart in the No. 4 KHI Chevrolet. The KHI one-two finish, which was the third for the company in Nationwide Series competition, also landed in the record books. Stewart edged the No. 33 by 0.007 seconds, the closest finish in the Nationwide Series at Daytona and the third closest in series’ history.
PROVEN RECORD: In February of 2005, Tony Stewart grabbed KHI’s first win in the Nationwide Series behind the wheel of the No. 33 car. The following year, Stewart not only claimed victory again in the season opener but also gave KHI its first one-two finish as the No. 77 KHI Chevrolet Impala came in second behind the No. 33. Since 2005, KHI has recorded three additional wins, two poles, eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes and led 194 laps at Daytona.
Bowyer also carries a proven record at the Daytona Beach, Fla., facility. The driver started from the pole and led 48 laps en route to winning the July Nationwide Series event in 2009. In addition to a win, he has collected eight top-five and 10 top-10 finishes at Daytona. Bowyer has completed 99.9 percent of laps attempted and has an average finishing position of 6.3.
KHI’S FOUR HORSEMEN: KHI will field four entries in Friday night’s race with Bowyer, Stewart in the No. 9 TapouT Chevrolet Impala, Nationwide Series championship contender Elliott Sadler in the No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet Impala and KHI co-owner Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Chevrolet Impala which will run a second OneMain Financial paint scheme. These four powerhouse drivers have compiled an impressive set of series stats including 44 starts, seven poles, eight wins, 26 top-five finishes, 31 top-10 finishes and have led 542 laps at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Max Papis piloted the No. 33 Menards Chevrolet Impala last weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Papis qualified on the outside pole for the 50-lap event, the first of three road course races for the Nationwide Series this season, but a late-race accident left the team with a disappointing 23rd-place finish.
CHASSIS HISTORY: Crew chief David Hyder and the No. 33 Menards crew will unload chassis No. 067 at Daytona. This is the same chassis Bowyer put on the pole and finished second with at Daytona in February. The driver also piloted chassis No. 067 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in April. Bowyer started the event from the second position but fell victim to the notorious “big one” at the 2.66-mile track. The KHI team ultimately brought home a 22nd-place finish.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: CLINT BOWYER
What are your thoughts as you look ahead to this weekend at Daytona?
“Daytona is what NASCAR is all about. It started there, and it means so much to be able to go and compete and it’s just such an awesome race track. We were so close to winning in February with this No. 33 KHI team. We had some tough breaks and got involved in accidents while running up front at Talladega [Superspeedway] in April, and then at Dover [International Speedway] in May. I’m looking forward to being back with the KHI guys, and I really want to get this Menards Chevy in victory lane and get another win at Daytona.”