MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
MONSTER ENERGY ALL-STAR RACE
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY ALL-STAR OPEN NOTES AND QUOTES
MAY 19, 2018
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 – Winner of Stage 1 of the Monster Energy Open and will transfer to compete in tonight’s Monster Energy All-Star Race
IT TOOK YOU A LITTLE WHILE TO GET TO THE FRONT, BUT IT LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE ABLE TO USE THE HIGH GROOVE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE:
“Yeah, it looked like the 10 car there was pretty tight. He was either loose and getting it up off the bottom and then getting tight or just tight and couldn’t hold the bottom. I felt like we were just able to carry some momentum around the outside of them, but really cool for Axalta. William Sturgill that pretty much does the day-to-day stuff on this Axalta account for us got a promotion and this is kind of his last weekend with us. So, cool to get something neat for him with Axalta on the car, but just thankful to be here. It’s really cool to be in the All-Star race.”
THIS IS YOUR FIRST-EVER ALL-STAR RACE. HOW MUCH FUN WAS THAT?
“It was about like running a superspeedway by yourself, once we got the lead there. Just trying to take the draft away from the No. 20 (Erik Jones) there, when he got close. Just wide-open. It was interesting. The new package, we only got an hour of practice, and we didn’t really know how it was going to race. So, my car drove really well. I don’t know about everybody else, but it’s just so cool for Axalta and Hendrick Motorsports. It’s really cool to be a part of the All-Star race. I’m just really thankful to be here. I’ll pay attention to the last part of the Open and be ready for the All-Star.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 KROGER CLICKLIST CAMARO ZL1 -Winner of Stage 3 of the Monster Energy Open and will transfer to compete in tonight’s Monster Energy All-Star Race
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO WIN A STAGE AND TRANSFER INTO THE ALL-STAR RACE?
“I mean it’s big for our race team to be able to call ourselves Allstars. All my guys, Kroger Clicklist, everybody to be a part of it and to be able to race our way in, it’s cool for a night. It gives us a little bit of momentum that we need hopefully and kind of kick us off in these summer months to have something good happen.”
YOU GOT AN IMPORTANT WIN AT THE PERFECT TIME
“Yeah, I don’t care how many cars are in the field or if it was the third stage or second stage to win and get into the All-Star race. More importantly for our race team; my guys have worked so hard. Ernie Cope told me to bring it back with the steering wheel. We’re going to win this thing. So, I was making a conscious decision right there. We were crashing or I was going to win the thing. But, I can’t thank everybody at our race team for working so hard. We’re not where we want to be but we’re getting better. We’ve got a chance for a million dollars now.”
WERE YOU SURPRISED YOU WERE ABLE TO PASS ALL THOSE CARS AT THE END TO WIN THE STAGE?
“At that point I didn’t lift for the last four laps. I had made the decision twice that I was crashing, if not. I got a run down the front straightaway there and Chase (Elliott) and I think it was Erik (Jones) were side-by-side and I knew my only shot was Chase was going to need to kind of get loose and check ‘em up. I came off the corner and saw just enough there and held them off.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 SUNENERGY 1 CAMARO ZL1 – Winner of the Fan Vote and will transfer into the Monster Energy All Star Race
TALK ABOUT BEING IN THE ALL-STAR RACE VIA THE FAN VOTE:
“Very appreciative of the fans. There is no one else that would rather have raced their way in, for sure, I would have rather raced my way in and not have to even worry about the fan vote this year, but it was a fun race really. It was kind of interesting to drive in. I’m sure it was interesting to watch. I am looking forward to being in the big show. I appreciate all the folks that voted for me again this year. Hopefully, this time next year we will be in the big show and won’t have to worry about it.”
FOR THE THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR, YOU ARE THE FAN VOTE WINNER
“Yeah, I wish so bad that I could race my way into this dang race. But nonetheless, I appreciate everybody’s support at home. I hate having to count on you guys, but it’s an honor to have received this award for three years in a row. Hopefully this time next year, we’ll be in the big show and I don’t have to run this race. That would be the ultimate goal. But, yeah, that’s a crazy package, for sure. We were racing hard and running wide open around here. It’s kind of like plate racing at Daytona and Talladega a little bit. You’re very dependent upon people pushing you and making the right lane choices. Again, I’m excited to be in the show tonight. I’m just disappointed that we couldn’t win our way through there.”
HOW AGGRESSIVE ARE YOU WILLING TO BE IN THE ALL-STAR?
“I want to be aggressive, for sure, especially in this race tonight. That race there, especially those first two stages, it’s like man, how aggressive can you be to not crash? Obviously, you want to win, so you can go to the show tonight. So that race is definitely a bit of a balance. So, I’m excited to just go for it tonight. Hopefully I’ll make all the folks who voted for me tonight proud. I really appreciate it.”
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