MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
OCTOBER 4, 2019
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 CINCINNATI CAMARO ZL1, Media Breakout Session Highlights:
A LOT OF PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT HOW YOU HUNG IN THERE LAST WEEK. DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD THAT WITHIN OR DID YOU SURPRISE YOURSELF?
“You just can’t give up in situations like that. Obviously, I was really sick all weekend and I made life hard on myself all weekend with my share of the mistakes. I think a lot of it has to do with the race car those guys gave me and I’m really fortunate to have that.”
DID YOU SURPRISE YOURSELF OR NOT?
“I don’t think so, not really. I feel like as a race car driver, you kind of have to think you’re really good.”
IT’S BEEN ONE WEEK REMOVED FROM THE INCIDENT WITH BUBBA WALLACE. WHERE DO YOU SIT WITH THAT TODAY GOING INTO THIS WEEKEND?
“I’m just focused on running well this weekend. I’m focused on my race car, trying to give the best feedback I can throughout practice, and being strong today and Sunday.”
ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT LAST WEEKEND COMING BACK TO HAUNT YOU THIS WEEKEND?
“I think that’s more of a question for those guys than it is for me. All I can do is go out there and do my job. I don’t know, you’ll have to ask them.”
WITH WHAT YOU HAD TO OVERCOME LAST WEEKEND, WAS IT A CHARACTER-BUILDING WEEK FOR YOUR TEAM?
“I think so. We had a few too many of those this year I feel like, but obviously they did a really good job of getting the car back together and putting it together well. Obviously, it was really fast, so that was good to see. I’m just proud of them for the effort.”
“I haven’t. I feel like he said what he had to say after the race. I’ve just been kind of moving forward since then. I don’t think we need to talk before Sunday. I think it is what it is.”
HOW DO YOU LOOK AT THIS WEEKEND AND WHAT YOU NEED TO DO?
“Yeah, we just need to go run well. The points become a pretty big separation from the one spot in front of us to the next guy, based on Playoff points. We need to do a good job each and every week to try to bridge that gap. I feel like we are capable of doing that obviously. All three race tracks we finished second in the spring, but it’s going to take some work. I’m just focused on this weekend.”
DID IT BOTHER YOU THAT SO MANY PEOPLE WERE TALKING ABOUT YOU LAST WEEKEND?
“I don’t really like attention, good or bad. I just kind of like to do my own thing and fly under the radar. That’s almost like ‘why do people want to talk to me’, but I’m just focused on moving forward. I feel like that comes with doing my job.”
DID YOU HEAR FROM YOUR CREW CHIEF OR ANYONE? I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT PEOPLE BEING IMPRESSED BY YOU BECAUSE YOU’RE HUMBLE, BUT PEOPLE WERE REALLY IMPRESSED BY YOU.
“Obviously, I talked with Jeff Gordon a lot after the race and a bunch of people from the team. I’m appreciative of all their help and support, I wouldn’t be here without them. I’m glad I’m able to lean on the depth of knowledge from the people we have at HMS.”
WHAT DID JEFF (GORDON) TELL YOU?
“Just that I did a really good job. I felt like I made way too many mistakes over the course of the weekend, but I’m glad we were able to make up for it there at the end.”
DO PEOPLE LIKE JEFF ANDREWS, THE VP OF COMPETITION, COME UP TO TALK TO YOU?
“Yeah, Mr. Andrews and I get along really well. He’s a big asset to me and the company. He’s an old sprint car racer, so it’s become a great friendship and good to be able to lean on him. Mr. Hendrick called me that night and that was really good as well. Yeah, everybody in the company was happy, so obviously that’s a good thing. I need to minimize those mistakes going forward.”
WHAT WAS THE TUESDAY COMPETITION MEETING LIKE?
“Really, in our comp meeting, we don’t really individually break down the races that far. Our comp meeting is more of the changes we go through, what they did to the race car, what we did or didn’t fight with our race car, and what we found that did or didn’t help us. It’s a little different atmosphere there.”
“Like you said, I just have to do what got me here and keep running how we have been. We need to run better than we have been. We just need to keep digging. It’s those guys’ job to race as well, they aren’t supposed to pull over and let us go by any means. We’re here to race, we’re here to put on a show. Hopefully the people have been entertained. That’s what we’re here to do, right? We’re entertainers (laughs).”
DOES THAT HURT YOU WHEN TRYING TO MEND ANY KIND OF RELATIONSHIPS IN THE GARAGE IF YOU DON’T LIKE TO TALK TO PEOPLE?
“I don’t know. I feel like, for me, I don’t really talk to those guys anyways. I kind of bring my friends with me to the race track. I’m not here to be driver’s friend. I’ve said that since I started here. I’m not here to be friends with the people that I’m paid to beat every weekend. There are some guys that get along really well in the garage, but I just kind of stick to myself. It’s not anything against anyone. I’m just kind of quite and keep to myself.”
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WHEN YOU GOT HOME SUNDAY NIGHT?
“Yeah, I couldn’t sleep. But other than that, I was just really tired. I still didn’t feel very well. I tried to eat, which was a mistake. My stomach was not a fan of that. But I was just kind of wired awake for sure. There was a lot that went on throughout the day, a lot of mixed emotions.”
HOW WAS YOUR PRACTICE TODAY?
“I think we’re pretty decent. We’ve been a little free since we unloaded. Hopefully we are banking on the track coming to us, we don’t want to snug it up too much and be too tight in the race. I think all four of our cars are really good. I think the 24 is exceptionally good, so we’ll probably lean on them a little bit and see where they are different.”
HEADING INTO A RACE LIKE TALLADEGA, HOW IS GOING INTO THAT WEEKEND AS A PLAYOFF DRIVER DIFFERENT THAN THE EARLY PART OF THE YEAR?
“Yeah, it’s probably just a little more stressful. I feel like we’ve obviously done a good job as a company and Chevrolet to run well at those tracks. Our superspeedway cars are always really good, but we’re still at the mercy of everyone else. We just have to be smart. It’s definitely a stressful environment.”
SO, YOU’RE WORKING WITH PEOPLE TO STAY OUT OF TROUBLE. HOW DO YOU LIKE TO DO THAT?
“Well the easiest thing to do is stay out front all day. But there’s really no place to hide. You get guys that try to run around the back and they get taken out anyways.”
COMING OUT OF LAST WEEK, IS THAT A GLIMPS OF WHO ALEX BOWMAN IS?
“I don’t know. I don’t really know how to answer that, I guess. I’m just kind of me. I feel like I haven’t really changed much over the course of the years. I just kind of do my own thing. I’m not going to give up. I feel like our team gets written off really quickly in a lot of these situations and people like to say that we’re not going to run well. I have a lot of fun proving those people wrong sometimes.”
YOU’VE RAN SECOND AT THESE THREE TRACKS. DO YOU THINK PEOPLE WILL WRITE YOU OFF FOR THE NEXT THREE WEEKS?
“Yeah, we’ll see. I think obviously Talladega is a wild card, but Dover and Kansas we should be really strong. I enjoy this place. I think it’s a really hard race. It’s a long, physical day. Hopefully we’re a little bit better than how we were here in the spring.”
Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.
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