CHEVY MENCS AT LAS VEGAS PLAYOFF MEDIA DAY: Alex Bowman Press Conf. Transcript

by Official Release On Thu, Sep. 13, 2018

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
SOUTH POINT 400
LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY PLAYOFF MEDIA DAY TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 13, 2018

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE/AXALTA CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media during Playoff Media Day. Select Quotes:

WHERE DID THIS WHOLE ROOKIE THING COME FROM? DID EVERYONE FORGET ABOUT THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE ALREADY RUN CUP BEFORE?
“No, it’s just been a joke on Twitter all season. So, I’m just committing to it. I think it’s pays if you win Rookie of the Year, so I’m trying to beat William (Byron) for that. I think we are ahead of him in it right now. But, not, it’s just been a joke. Some people on Twitter really don’t get it and it’s really funny, but I actually got asked today what it’s like to be the first rookie to ever make the Playoffs. As a serious question, which I don’t know where that came from. That is… other rookies have made the Playoffs to begin with and I’m not a rookie. Somebody was reading Twitter and took it to be fact way too much.”

THIS IS YOUR FIRST PLAYOFFS. LAST YEAR DURING THE PLAYOFFS YOU WEREN’T EVEN DRIVING A CAR.
“Yeah, it’s a long way from the couch. It’s cool to be a part of it and just hopefully we can do more than just be a part of it, but make noise in it. We have had a rough couple of weeks and really a rough year, but we have been getting much faster and if we can just capitalize on that it will be good.”

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO ADVANCE OUT OF THE FIRST ROUND?
“I think really if we just have three really solid races we can do it. There is just not a lot of room for error obviously starting with no Playoff points. So, we can do it, it’s just going to be tough.”

DO YOU ENTER THE FIRST RACE SUNDAY IN VEGAS SAYING WE HAVE TO RUN IN THE TOP 10 IN EACH OF THE STAGES? TRY TO ACCUMULATE AS MANY POINTS AS YOU CAN IN THE STAGES? YOU REALLY DON’T HAVE THE LUXURY OF TRYING AN OFF THE WALL STRATEGY DO YOU?
“Yeah, absolutely. Stage points are going to be really important for us. We have kind of struggled to consistently get good stage points. That will be important for us and I think if we can do that it will be good.”

OVERALL THE IMPRESSION IS THE CARS HAVE PICKED UP SPEED IN THE LAST COUPLE OF MONTHS. IS THAT A REAL FEELING?
“Yeah, absolutely, I think we have definitely gotten better over the course of the year and especially here lately. It’s just been a rough couple of weeks for us, so we will continue improving. We’ve got the best in the business back at Hendrick Motorsports trying to accelerate that process a little bit, but I’m confident we can continue to improve.”

EXECUTION OBVIOUSLY ON PIT ROAD AND THROUGH EVERY ASPECT OF THE RACE HAS GOT TO BE CRITICAL AT THIS POINT:
“Yeah, my pit crew is one of the best on pit road right now for sure. So, that has been good. I think if we can continue to execute well. You know our execution has been off for about three weeks, but if we can kind of get back to it, it will be good.”

HOW DO YOU FEEL LIKE HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS IS COMING INTO THE POST SEASON?
“I think we have made pretty dramatic improvements from where we started the year. It’s too good of a company to keep down. We have too many good people and great resources. I think we will continue to improve and I think we can start off the Playoffs with some good runs.”

WHAT’S IT GOING TO TAKE FOR YOU GUYS TO BE PART OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP FOUR? DO YOU TAKE IT ROUND BY ROUND?
“Everybody makes a big deal about the Playoffs and the Rounds, there is not a team in here that changed anything or changed what they are doing. There might be some guys that might not take huge risks like they had been if they had been locked in for the last couple of weeks or couple months, but every team in here goes to the race track to win each and every week. We are going to continue to do that and just put the best races together that we possibly can. To continue to advance it’s going to take more speed. We have had the execution at different points in the year, but we have never really had all the speed that we need. If we can continue to gain on the speed side of things I think we can definitely advance.”

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE RACING AT VEGAS IN SEPTEMBER VERSUS MARCH?
“It’s super-hot. It’s going to be slick. Nobody really knows exactly what the race track is going to do, but just trying to stay out of trouble and really be there at the end. Tire wear is going to be higher with it being hot and slick. The pace is going to be much slower. I think there are going to be a lot of variables that we don’t really know what to expect.”

HOW OPTIMISTIC ARE YOU?
“You know I think we can do as good of a job as anybody. We obviously have a great team behind us at Hendrick Motorsports, one of the best in the business. We have a lot of people working really hard and our cars have been getting better each and every week. We are just going to continue that and take it from there.”

ON THE PLAYOFFS:

“You can have really good speed at times and it just falls off or you don’t put a good race together or you have a part failure or whatever. You just have to kind of be on top of things and have a perfect 10 races to pull it off really.”

HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT THE ROVAL?
“Yeah, that place that we are going to drive race cars around is pretty interesting. You know it’s going to be a very interesting track layout. I mean it is a very interesting track layout. It’s going to be great for the fans they can see the whole thing, that is really cool for them. As a race car driver, it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be tough, super chaotic. People are going to be extremely frustrated. Hopefully, you just put together a good solid day. I think you could see like 10 cars finishing that race and everybody else DNF. I mean it could be pretty wild.”

 

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