The Backstretch Blog: Bowyer on the Backstretch

Published On: Feb 27 2014 12:20:39 AM CST

Well the Daytona 500 certainly did not go the way Kansas native Clint Bowyer would have hoped. An engine failure left him in 42nd place for the race and 39th in the season standings. The good news is it's a long season.

This weekend NASCAR heads to Phoenix, which has been a pretty good track for Bowyer. He has two top fives and six top tens at the track including a sixth place finish at this race a year ago.

"Phoenix is a good indicator of who has their stuff together to start the season. Daytona is sort of its own deal," said Bowyer. "The next few weeks we will see who some of the contenders will be. We go to Phoenix- a short track and then 1.5-mile the next week at Las Vegas. We tested the 5-hour ENERGY Toyota a lot in the off season at places like New Smyrna so I'm ready to get this baby on track this weekend at Phoenix and put Daytona behind us."

One of the things to keep your eye on this week in Phoenix is qualifying. This is first week that we will see group, knockout format in the Cup series. Something Bowyer is looking forward to.

"I think our Fridays were somewhat stale and I think it's going to add a new element of excitement -- who knows what's going to happen," said Bowyer. "I really think that you're going to see that. I think moving through those segments you're going to see people make a quick adjustment and tune themselves right into the game or more importantly tune themselves right out of the game. There's going to be a lot of moving parts and it's going to be something that's going to be interesting to follow on qualifying day. I don't think you've ever really said that before. It's going to be cool."