MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
GANDER RV 400
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
JULY 27, 2019
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CAMARO ZL1 Media Breakout Session Highlights:
“I think the tires got really hard. Obviously, the tracks have changed a little bit with the PJ-1. It seems like the last couple of weeks, people have been crashing in practice. We just unloaded really loose and a little poorly, but hopefully we’ll gain on it and get better throughout the day.”
IT SEEMED LIKE YOU WERE LIFTING A LITTLE MORE THAN YOU DID IN THE SPRING RACE. WHAT IS THE REASON BEHIND THAT?
“I don’t think anyone was wide open in June, except through the tunnel. For us, we are just freer. I think the cars are a little faster this time around. The 24 is really fast right now; he was still wide open in the tunnel. I don’t really think anything has changed. Nobody is running in the PJ-1, that stuff is just going to get slimey all weekend. I don’t know, it definitely seems like there is less grip, but the cars are going faster.”
THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF WRECKS IN PRACTICE LAST WEEK AND THIS WEEKEND. DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS IN THE BACK OF YOUR MIND?
“That’s part of racing, we drive cars for a living and you’re going to crash them. Obviously, last weekend’s practice wasn’t much fun, but hopefully we have a cleaner second practice here today and make it through qualifying just fine. I’m just a little bummed on how we unloaded, but we’ll just try to get the car faster.”
“We’ve definitely been working really hard at trying different things. We tried something pretty big here and it gave us what we wanted. We wanted our car to turn better, but now we are super loose. We are definitely trying things, but it’s definitely a relief to have a win. It’s something nobody can take away from us.”
ARE YOU GUYS TRYING THINGS THIS WEEKEND OR IN GENERAL? LOOKING AT THE PLAYOFFS, WHERE IS THE TEAM AT RIGHT NOW?
“Yeah, I begged for turning off Turn 3 here, which is always a magic key to speed here I feel like. I got it, but I think I have too much of it. We just unloaded way too free here and we’ve had to back off of everything we were trying. If we can get it to work, we will be really good.”
HAVE YOU GUYS STARTED TO LOOK AT THE PLAYOFFS?
“Yeah, for sure. Obviously, Greg (Ives) is really good at that stuff and is super detail-oriented. I think the Playoffs suit us really well. Vegas will be a really good start for us.”
WE HAD A COUPLE OF CARS CRASH IN PRACTICE. OBVIOUSLY, THEY ARE TRYING TO FIND THE EDGE. HOW ON THE EDGE IS IT? HOW DO YOU LOOK AT IT?
“Yeah, knock on wood we haven’t crashed yet. I can’t really say I didn’t crash after last weekend. It’s definitely edgier than you would think, just with how fast the cars are. You have to run wide open through the tunnel to be fast. You look at how fast the 24 is and most of his speed is just through the Tunnel Turn. It’s just really tricky to get that right, there’s no room for error. When they put the PJ-1 on the racetrack and nobody goes and runs on it, it’s just a layer of slim. If you get out of the groove, you get into the slim. You just don’t have the opportunity to get the car up to the wall.”
SO YOU HAVE TO PUSH IT AND IF YOU PUSH IT, YOU RISK IT. NOW YOU HAVE TO THINK BACK TO LAST WEEK. IT’S REALLY KIND OF A MENTAL THING.
“Yeah, for sure. I don’t know, that’s the part of driving race cars. If you push hard enough, you’re going to wreck stuff. That’s just part of our job.”
DID YOU HAVE TO BE MORE CAREFUL THIS WEEK THEN?
“I don’t think I tried to be more careful. I think you are still just trying to find speed and do the best job you can. We unloaded really aggressively loose and obviously weren’t very good, so it was a handful to begin with. So, I had to be careful because of that.”
YOU MENTIONED THE PJ-1 IS SLIMEY OUT THERE. DO YOU THINK THAT IS GOING TO DECREASE THE QUALITY OF THE RACING OVERALL?
“I think that if it gets run in, it’s going to be great. It’s just the matter of it getting run in and heated up. That stuff reacts just quirky. I mean you look at Bristol when it’s on the bottom and for five laps after a restart, you can’t run the bottom at all. For the next 100 laps, you have to run the bottom. So, it’s so tricky when it comes in and what to do to get around it. It’s definitely tough.”
HOW QUICKLY DID YOU PUT LAST WEEKEND OUT OF MIND?
“I mean it’s definitely still in my head, it’s frustrating. When you see everyone on Twitter say you wrecked two race cars, I really only wrecked one because the drive shaft failed in the other one. That’s part of what we do for a living. I was just more frustrated with myself that I made that mistake and caused that much work for my team. I hate doing that and I was pretty embarrassed honestly.”
WHAT IS THE MOJO AT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS RIGHT NOW?
“I almost think what we went through last Saturday was almost a team thing. Between all of us and everyone being all hands-on deck trying to help out and do the best job they could to get the second backup car ready. That took a lot from everybody and everyone was willing to help, people from other teams were willing to help. I think it meant a lot to the guys to see how well everyone worked together. There was no bickering, no arguing, no fighting. Everybody just put their heads down and worked, which when you get in stressful situations like that, tempers can flare. We really didn’t, so it was good team building.”
Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.
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