Richard Childress Racing driver Clint Bowyer conducted a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series fact-finding mission in the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet during a test at Kentucky Speedway today.

Bowyer, who is driving a part-time NASCAR Busch Series schedule for Childress in the No. 21 Reese's Chevrolet, used the day to gain valuable NNCS seat time and gather information that will benefit RCR Cup drivers Robby Gordon in the No. 31, Kevin Harvick in the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet and Dave Blaney in the No. 30 AOL Chevrolet during the second half of the season.

RCR completed the first half of the season with only Kevin Harvick solidly in the running for the season-ending "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup." He finished 10th at Chicagoland this past Sunday to post his first top-10 finish in his past five starts. That effort propelled him to eighth in the series standings and within 491 points of series leader Jimmie Johnson.

Combined, the RCR drivers have generated three top-five and six top-10 finishes in their past 10 NNCS starts. Harvick carried the bulk of that load in that span by delivering one top-five and four top-10 finishes.

"We're just working on a whole lot of different things and gathering data," Bowyer said. "We're just putting all of those little bits and pieces together for the big package. The RCR cars aren't running where they're used to running and that's why we're here. There's a lot of data you can gather from this racetrack that helps on a lot of different racetracks. Hopefully, they can use the data they've learned here to put forth a better effort in the Cup series."

In addition to NNCS testing, Bowyer is teaming with Harvick in the NASCAR Busch Series to attempt to win the owner's championship in the No. 21 Reese's Chevrolet. They ended the first half of the season third in the owner's standings with a combined record of one win, eight top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. Bowyer personally produced two top-five finishes and four top-10 finishes in his nine starts. One of those performances was a 10th-place effort at Kentucky Speedway in "The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" on June 19.

"It's been great, this whole year has been a huge learning experience," Bowyer said. "We set out the year to win the owner's championship and slipped a little bit, but we're still third in points. (Martin) Truex, Jr. and (Kyle) Busch are getting out there a little bit on us.

"Kevin is going to run in the 21 car for the next couple weeks and I think he'll be able to get us up front a little bit. Then, I get back in at Pikes Peak. I think we can get things moving back in the right direction and chase them down."

Regardless of the outcome of the second half of the season, Bowyer is happy to be gaining seat time while his racing future solidifies.

"We're just racing this year to race up front and do as good as we can. Hopefully, you run good and they put you where they think you ought to be," Bowyer said. "Richard didn't get to where he is holding people up or pushing people that didn't need to go forward so I think when the time is right he'll move me up.

"I don't really know how many (NBS) races I have left. I had the opportunity to run with Petree Racing (at Chicagoland) and I think we're going to be able to do that again. Getting seat time is the name of the game for me right now. I'm just trying to get in where I can."

~ Kentucky Speedway ~