NASCAR CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 30, 2021
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 1LE, Teleconference Transcript Highlights:
IS THE STRESS OF TALLADEGA PHYSICAL, LIKE IT MAKES YOU SICK TO YOUR STOMACH, OR IS IT MORE OF OVERTHINKING AND MENTAL STRESS?
“Really neither. The biggest stress point for me is like trying to make the right decisions to make it to the end of that race. It’s really difficult to do, no matter how good of a speedway racer you are. Just trying to make the right decisions there and the right calls. Hopefully end up towards the front there at the end of the day is definitely pretty tough.”
LOOKING AHEAD TO THE ROVAL, WHY DO PEOPLE STILL CONSIDER IT TO BE SUCH A CHALLENGE OR SUCH A WILDCARD SINCE IT’S NOT NECESSARILY A NEW TRACK NOW?
“I would just say that it really doesn’t have any room for error. It’s a tough place to get around. Once you start pushing, if you make any mistakes, they tend to bite you pretty hard. I’ve been guilty of that there. Late in final practice a couple of years ago and destroyed a race car. It’s just really easy to get yourself in trouble and overdrive a corner and tear something up. So, I feel like that’s what really makes it a wildcard. You have a lot of mistakes from people that you may not normally see. Maybe similar to how Darlington is easy to tear up a race car. The ROVAL kind of falls into that category.”
YOU AND YOUR NO. 48 TEAM REALLY RESPONDED TO THE PRESSURE OF BEING BELOW THE CUT HEADING INTO BRISTOL AND MAKING YOUR WAY IN. HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU NOW IN THE ROUND OF 12 THAT YOU CAN ADVANCE TO THE ROUND OF EIGHT?
“It’s not going to be easy by any means. I feel like last year we had a really great Playoff run. This year we’ve kind of had the opposite of what we had last year. It’s definitely been a little frustrating. But at the same time, our speedway cars are really fast every time we go to a speedway. And we’ve always been pretty good at the ROVAL. I know we have the tools we need to get the job done, and I’m confident we’ll have fast race cars. But I was really confident before we went to Las Vegas as well, and obviously that didn’t work out very well for us. Just got to go make it happen. We’re expected to run better than we’re running right now, and just need to go turn our stuff around and get pointed in the right direction.”
WHAT IS THE MOST UNIQUE FAN EXPERIENCE YOU’VE HAD?
“There’s always people giving you stuff or making wanting you to sign weird stuff. The most recent one that sticks out to me isn’t really one of those. I guess I’m like the approachable one to ask to go get somebody else. We were in Richmond and NASCAR had us all corralled for the driver intros and fans kind of surrounded that. Most everybody worked their way inside but a couple of us were standing outside, kind of where the fans were. And this girl kept yelling at me like for a couple of minutes. She wouldn’t stop yelling at me. So, I walked over finally, and she just wanted me to go get Chase Elliott for her. It was kind of funny. I thought that was a good one.”
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN CONTROL AT TALLADEGA AS FAR AS MAKING THE RIGHT DECISIONS AND THE RIGHT CALLS?
“The things you can control are your strategy and kind of where you place your car throughout the day and the situations you put yourself in. I don’t think you can win that race riding around in the back all day and just saving it to be there at the end. But you might be able to score decent points that way. So, it’s definitely a tough situation. The end of both Stages get pretty hectic and then the end of the race, I’m sure we’re going to see a ton of wrecks and kind of the normal superspeedway deal that we all go do and tear a bunch of stuff up. It’s going to be difficult to make it through all that and some of it is luck, but some of it is also where you put yourself. So, I’m going to do my best to put myself in the best position I can. I feel like we need to be aggressive all day and go try and win the thing, so that’s what I’m going to try to do.”
YOU ARE RUNNING UNDER A DIFFERENT PACKAGE AT TALLADEGA THIS WEEKEND THAN IN APRIL. YOU HAD A CHANCE TO TRY IT IN DAYTONA. WHAT DID YOU LEARN THAT YOU CAN APPLY TO TALLADEGA?
“I think some people thought it was really different. I didn’t really think it was that much different. I just felt like the runs formed a little differently. So, just understanding how the runs work with it; but it’s still a superspeedway race and some of a lot of the same things are going on. Just a little different how some of the aero situations worked out. But at the end of the day, it’s still very similar to what we’ve had.”
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM PRIOR PLAYOFF EXPERIENCES THAT CAN HELP YOU THROUGH IT THIS TIME?
“The biggest thing for me is just trying to maximize each and every race and every Stage. You can’t freak out and try any harder because I’m already trying as hard as I can every week. Approaching every race like normal and really just trying to maximize each and every thing. Last year we didn’t change what we were doing that worked. This year we didn’t change what we were doing that hasn’t worked. But just trying to maximize every Stage and every race. You can’t really worry about the points. They kind of are what they are right now. We’re not in a great spot and we’re going to a place that’s a huge wild card. But at the same time, we could be on the good side of the wild card and have other guys get torn up and have an opportunity to win the race. So, we’ve just got to wait and see how it shakes out. If it works out for us, it does. And if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”
NOT THAT TALLADEGA COULD GET ANY MORE WILD, BUT DOES THE FACT THAT YOU GUYS AREN’T USING THESE CARS AGAIN ADD TO PEOPLE SAYING THEY DON’T CARE WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN?
“Yeah, I feel like I should just answer that with are you silly? I’m still going to send it. But I don’t know. I don’t think any race car driver in the Cup Series really, other than a few that are in some situations where they are driving for teams that can’t afford to tear stuff up or have their own reasons for not wanting to tear stuff up. Like, nobody goes to a superspeedway race and is like, oh I want to save this car for the next one or anything like that. We’re all putting it all out there, kind of regardless. But yeah, you’re right. These cars don’t have to get fixed. They are going to have whatever afterlife they have (laughs) after we switch to the new car next year. I hadn’t even thought about that but man, we don’t need any more reasons to tear stuff up at superspeedways. So, stop giving us reasons.”
DO YOU HAVE CONFIDENCE? OR DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE AT THE MERCY OF WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DO?
“I don’t know. I want to sit here and tell you I’m super confident and everything is going to be fine. But I’m really confident that we’re going to have a really fast race car. We always do. The guys do a great job on our superspeedway cars, and we show that each and every year. We’ve had a bunch of Daytona 500 front rows and that comes down to some really fast cars. Not super confident that my 39 best friends are going to make the best decisions all day to put me in a great spot, but at the same time we’re all in the same situation and just go race and do what we can.”
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