MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY
AUTO CLUB 400
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
MARCH 15, 2019
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE PET INSURANCE CAMARO ZL1 met with media and discussed the new pit road speed rules for qualifying, the affect of windy weather for practice, looking ahead to Martinsville, and more. Session Highlights:
IT SEEMS LIKE HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS RACED A LITTLE BETTER AT PHOENIX. DO YOU SUSPECT THAT THINGS CONTINUE TO MOVE IN A POSITIVE DIRECTION?
“Last weekend was okay for the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) ran a top 10. We popped a tire. My opinion wasn’t necessarily that it was a super positive weekend for us, but we have a lot of smart people and a lot of people working really hard to get our race cars better. I think we can get turned back around and pointed in the right direction. Last weekend, at least from where I sat, wasn’t very positive.”
SO HOW DO YOU TURN THINGS AROUND?
“Practice was frustrating already. We’ve got a lot of work to do. The good news is our teammates were pretty decent in practice and I think we can go more their direction and lean on them. All four of us were pretty different as far as car set-up goes. So, we’ll hopefully learn something from them and go from there.”
IS IT BENEFICIAL THAT YOU’VE ALREADY RUN THIS VARIATION OF THIS PACKAGE? BECAUSE THE TRACKS ARE SO DIFFERENT IS IT GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
“I think it’s about the same. It’s just like going to a normal race track. As long as everybody is running the same package I think it’s about even and everybody kind of has to fight the same things. I don’t know. We’ve run it before, which is good; but every race track is different and everybody’s got to deal with the same package.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON RETURNING TO MARTINSVILLE?
“I like Martinsville a lot. We ran really well there in the Spring and had some struggles in the Fall. I think we can go there and be really strong. That was kind of the first place where we really ran decent last year. So, I’m looking forward to it and hopefully we have a good run here this weekend. But, I’m pretty confident going into Martinsville as well.”
HOW DID THE WIN AFFECT YOUR PRACTICE RUNS TODAY?
“It just moves the car around quite a bit. It’s obviously very windy. With as much drag as the cars make, the wind probably moves them around more than if they were a little more slippery.”
IF THE WINDS KEEP UP ON SUNDAY, HOW MUCH WILL THEY AFFECT THE RACE?
“It will have an affect but everybody has to deal with the same thing. Just having your car driving well is the most important things.”
HOW MUCH ARE THE NEW QUALIFYING PIT ROAD SPEED RULES GOING TO AFFECT YOUR APPROACH TO QUALIFYING?
“It might make getting a second run a little more difficult and maybe catching the right draft might make that difficult if some guys take off before you and you’re trying to catch up. That’s definitely a different change. It’s pretty interesting. I wasn’t expecting that. But I get it. We’ve got to be safe on pit road with a lot of people standing out there working on race cars. I think the entry to pit road will be interesting because typically everybody comes in with their engines shut off because you’re taped-up and cooling down. With the engines shut off, we have no way of telling how fast they’re going. So, we’ll have to refire and get back in second gear and know what your pit road speed is to be sure you’re not speeding.”
WILL YOU BE USING THE SAME SET OF LIGHTS AND KEEP THE ENGINE ON TO DETERMINE PIT ROAD SPEED?
“Yeah, you’ll probably shut it off and then fire it back up. It’s a little different.”