Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Michigan–Alex Bowman

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
CONSUMERS ENERGY 400
TEAM CHEVY PRACTICE NOTES & QUOTES
AUGUST 10, 2019

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1, was the fastest Chevy driver in Happy Hour practice today with a fast lap of 188.763 mph in 38.143 seconds around the 2-mile D-shaped speedway.

POST PRACTICE TRANSCRIPT:

IT’S A PRETTY BIG DEAL TO BE THE FASTEST CHEVROLET IN PRACTICE
“Yeah, it’s just practice. I think our car is really good. We’ve had good speed since we’ve unloaded and good stability. That first run, in final practice, we were really strong. We kind of waited a little bit to try to get with a pack for the end of practice. We just got too tight there at the end. We made some adjustments and got the car on the splitter pretty badly. We’ll undo that and go racing.”

DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE CHEVROLETS ARE CONTINUING TO MAKE STRIDES?
“Yeah, I think we’ve got a lot of really smart people working on these things and obviously we’ve made big improvements from where we started the year. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for us but good to see a bowtie in Victory Lane last week and it’s been a good chunk of races for Chevrolet.”

WAS THE SECOND PRACTICE TODAY CLOSE TO WHAT YOU THINK THE CONDITIONS WILL BE FOR THE RACE TOMORROW? HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
“It’s going to be more rubbered-up and hotter so it’s still going to continue to slick-up. I think some guys are able to get away with some really trimmed-out race cars today that they’re not going to be able to get away with tomorrow. At least I hope so because we’re on the handling-side of things. That paid off for us here in the Spring. That last caution and last restart didn’t go our way but other than that, we had a solid Top 5 day going. I know we can have a good day. I’m just kind of banking on it getting hot and slick and having to handle a little bit.”

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE HERE IN MICHIGAN, LIKE WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A CAR IN ORDER TO PULL OFF A WIN?
“Well, it’s interesting. This isn’t the biggest place of compromise that we’ve had so far this year. Starting the year, I think everybody thought we were just going to be wide-open everywhere and we’re going to have to trim cars out everywhere. And, that wasn’t really the case. Handling has mattered quite a bit this year. So, this is one place that, especially through practice today, we’re expecting a big balance of how much you want to trim your stuff out and how’s that going to drive in a pack and how fast you want to be versus how you want your car to drive. So, it’s just a little different and kind of the first place we’ve had that as aggressively as we have.”

THE PJ1, WOULD IT BE NICE IF IT WERE LOWER BY ABOUT THREE OR FOUR FEET? IS THAT SOMETHING THE DRIVERS CAN REQUEST TO NASCAR?
“I think it was already requested before we even got here. And NASCAR had some reasons of their own but they didn’t want to put it down there. So, at least that’s my understanding. I wasn’t involved in any of those talks. I’m just in a group chat and sit back and read it all. I don’t know. We saw pictures of it throughout the week and everybody knew it was too high. But it was too high by design. I think we’re closer to getting up there than I would have thought we would be. And I saw the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) and some other guys up there. We might still get to it, which if it works, it’s a good thing they didn’t listen to us. And if not, it is what it is.”

ULTIMATELY IS IT GOING TO BE A FACTOR IN THE RACE TOMORROW?
“It’s tough to say. I think if your car is driving bad enough that you have to be up that high, you’re just going to be covering a lot of distance. The guy out front is going to be wide-open and probably running the middle to the bottom of (Turns) 3 and 4 and the middle of (Turns) 1 and 2. So, it’s just hard to say.”

IF YOU’RE FURTHER BACK, ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU’D WANT TO DO IS MAYBE SHOOT OUT WAY UP HIGH AND GET AROUND ALL THAT MESS?
“I think you’re wide-open for the first lap anyway, even if you’re far back in the field. It’s hard to say that it would really help much. Maybe if someone gets checked-up in front of you, you could make a move up there, but it’s a lot of distance to cover.”

ON THE DYNAMIC OF THE RACING
“It’s going to be easy to try to make a move and then get hung-out by that move and you’re just going to have to be really smart. It’s more of a chess match than it is all about having the fastest car.

IS SIDE DRAFTING IMPORTANT?
“Yeah, side-drafting is super important. Clearing guys is the most important thing. If you get hung-up on the bottom, you’re in a world of trouble. Just being precise and smart about the moves you do take an taking advantage of guys that make moves and aren’t able to complete them is going to be key.”

HOW IS DRAFTING DIFFERENT HERE THAN AT DAYTONA OR TALLADEGA? WOULD IT MAYBE BE 75%?
“I don’t even think it’s that close. There is so much more grip at Daytona and Talladega. You can run three and four wide. You can be super aggressive and side-by-side and not worry about it. Here, you don’t want to be side-by-side once you get off into the corner. So, it’s quite a bit different.”

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