TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Talladega Superspeedway and discussed what the changes at Hendrick Motorsports will mean for the No. 88 team in 2019, what he has learned about the Playoffs his first time through the system and many other topics.
MANY PEOPLE HAVE TALKED THIS WEEK ABOUT YOUR PATIENCE INSIDE THE RACE CAR AND MAYBE YOU ARE A LITTLE BIT TOO PATIENT AT THESE PLATE TRACKS. HAVE YOU AND GREG (IVES, CREW CHIEF) HAD ANY CONVERSATIONS THIS WEEK ABOUT MAYBE INCREASING THE AGGRESSIVENESS ONCE THE GREEN FLAG FLIES HERE?
“We are going to have some talks here later today about it. I don’t know that I’m necessarily too patient. I saw a stat yesterday, we have led the fourth most laps of anybody this year on speedways and most of any of the Chevy’s. I was a little surprised by that, but we have had really fast cars all year. I guess I have been pretty conservative I guess as far as getting it to the end of the race. I still have to do that on Sunday because we have to be there at the end to win, but I don’t think stage points are going to help us make the transfer to the next round. I think a win is going to have to get it done. We have to do what it takes to make that happen.”
WITH BEING THE LAST HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS CAR ELIGIBLE TO ADVANCE TO THE NEXT ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS WITH CHASE (ELLIOTT) ALREADY IN, WHAT LEVEL OF HELP DO YOU EXPECT TO GET FROM YOUR TEAMMATES THIS WEEKEND?
“I don’t really know. Obviously, it’s a new situation for me. I have kind of been on the other side of it coming here in 2016 when the other cars weren’t locked in and I wasn’t in the Playoffs at all
obviously. You try to help out or cut them breaks when you can. But now being the only guy it’s definitely a different situation. I don’t know what will or won’t happen. It’s really tough to say. I’m appreciative of any help they give me and I will take what I can get, but I don’t know exactly what that is going to be. We have had situations where just the four of us have tried to work together before and we have never been able to make it work like some of the other manufacturers have. We have some work to do just to get all that ironed out, let alone trying to push one car to the front.”
YOUR ORGANIZATION MADE BIG NEWS THIS WEEK, DO THE CHANGES AFFECT YOU AT ALL IN TERMS OF THE WAY THINGS OPERATE?
“I would say a little bit in that Darian (Grubb) is moving to a different position and Kevin (Meendering) is coming on board. I know Kevin a little bit from when I was at JR Motorsports and just kind of working closer with him will be neat. The four of us work pretty closely together, the four teams do. Some new faces or a new face there, Chad (Knaus) moving over to a different car and all that. It will be a little different, but not really much different. It won’t affect the No. 88 team. All our people are going to stay the same and all that. I think it’s an interesting move for sure. I’m excited to see how it plays out. I’m excited for Jimmie (Johnson) and for William (Byron) and for Chad and everybody involved. It’s going to be pretty cool to watch.”
WITH THIS BEING YOUR FIRST PLAYOFFS WHAT HAS STOOD OUT? WHAT IS MAYBE A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT THAN WHAT YOU THOUGHT AND WHAT WAS WHAT YOU THOUGHT?
“The thing that stood out to me was just going into the Roval the stress and the pressure of it. We weren’t in a great points position and I’m not a road racer by any means. It was one of the most stressful weekends of my career. Just a lot of pressure going into that. Fortunately, enough we were able to have a good solid couple of days there and not tear anything up and get a good finish. That was really surprising to me because I’m typically not one to let a lot of pressure get to me, but in that situation, it definitely did. Other than that, it is really just more races. We approach races the same way we have approached them all season long. I feel like we have been able to step our program up. We don’t have much to show for it unfortunately. We were really strong at Vegas and Richmond and didn’t get good finishes at either. We took a pretty bad day at Dover and had it turned around to end up being a good day and don’t have much to show for that either. I’m just proud of my team and how much I feel like we have been able to step up over the course of the year and how much stronger we have been able to get.”
THE FIRST HALF OF THE PLAYOFFS HAVE A WIDE VARIETY OF TRACKS. AFTER THIS WEEKEND THREE OF THE LAST FIVE RACES ARE 1.5-MILE TRACKS. HOW MIGHT THAT CHANGE THE COMPLEXION OF THE PLAYOFFS?
“It’s tough to say. Obviously, the big three have been pretty dominate on the 1.5-miles. I feel like we have done a ton of progress to our 1.5-mile program. We were a solid third place car in Vegas
this year which after the first Vegas race, I never thought we would go back there and be that strong. It was cool to be able to do that, but yeah, it will be interesting to see whose 1.5-mile program is where. Kansas is kind of an interesting place being a repave, Texas as well being a new configuration. So, they are kind of interesting 1.5-miles, not the normal ones but I’m looking forward to the next couple of races. I think if we can make the Round of 8 there are some really great race tracks for us, especially going to Martinsville and Phoenix, but we’ve got to get there first.”
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