Sitting 11th in the Sprint Cup Series standings with no victories and just three races left to make the Chase, Clint Bowyer has a lot on his mind. To make matters more complicated, his contract situation for the 2012 season remains unresolved.
Speculation has linked Bowyer to 5-Hour Energy and teams such as Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing, among others. Last week in Michigan, Bowyer said he simply had to "set that aside" and focus on getting his team into the Chase.
When faced with the question again this weekend in Bristol, Bowyer scolded the media to be patient and careful with what they are reporting.
"It takes time," he said. "Those deals you can't just say, 'Yes, do it.' It takes time to put the sponsorship deals together, it takes time to have meetings, it takes time to do all that. You've got to be patient."
"They call it 'Silly Season' for a reason," he added, calling the recent rumors "hilarious."
And finally, he said: "You guys need to stop and think about the situation sometimes and the detriment that it can cause to the situation. I think that's important."
Bowyer even cited a story in which FoxSports.com's Lee Spencer reported Bowyer was looking for "helicopter rides from the track. Bowyer's answer to that? "You don't know me very well, lady. Jesus."
While Bowyer has to worry about his future, he remains steadfast in saying the Chase is his top priority.
"I want to be in this Chase," he said. "I think my team deserves to be in the Chase. We've got a shot at it. We can make it happen. You have to stay 100 percent focused on that. The biggest thing is you have to work hard on keeping your team focused 100 percent on that."