Sitting 25 points behind 10th-place Tony Stewart and outside of the NASCAR Chase picture, Clint Bowyer knows time is running out to get into the championship battle.
Without a victory, Bowyer is 11th in points and not eligible for the wild card spot. Within striking distance of moving into the top-10, the Richard Childress Racing driver understands it will take strong runs over the next four weeks to earn a spot in the Chase.
"It's on for these next four races," he said. "(We have to) try as hard as we can to get as many points as we can. We've got to beat those guys. At the end of the day, that's the only thing that it's going to take to succeed and be part of that Chase is to be better than those guys the next four races. I feel like we can do it, but we've got to step up to the plate and get the job done."
With the races increasingly coming down to pit strategy and gambles, Bowyer says the team has to be able to stay ahead of the competition and be able to react to changes throughout the race and be confident the gamble will work to get the best finish possible.
Citing too many DNF's over the course of the year (four of them to date), Bowyer admitted to being "bummed" fighting for one of the final spots in the Chase field, but is confident in his ability to make his fourth Chase appearance in five years.
Despite an uncertainty surrounding his contract situation for 2012, Bowyer says he is focused on making the most out of the next four races and becoming a contender in the championship battle.
"I care about the future, but I've got to set that aside and focus on getting myself in the Chase," he said. "We've got a legitimate shot at this and we need to make sure we do everything we can to see it out."