chevy racing–nascar–nashville–alex bowman


ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY NEON LIGHTS CAMARO ZL1 1LE, met with media to discuss the recent announcement of his two-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports, his anticipation going into the NASCAR Cup Series debut at Nashville Superspeedway and more. Press Conference Highlights: 
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS HAS BEEN STEALING A LOT OF HEADLINES LATELY; FOUR-STRAIGHT WINS COMING INTO HERE THIS WEEKEND. THAT STREAK STARTED WITH ALEX (BOWMAN)’S WIN AT DOVER WHEN HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS WENT 1-2-3-4. CAN YOU GIVE US A LITTLE OVERVIEW OF WHAT LIFE IS LIKE OVER AT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AND THE NO. 48 TEAM RIGHT NOW?“It’s been a great time to be a part of Hendrick Motorsports. We’ve come so far the last couple of years. Obviously, a couple of years, we struggled more than we would have liked. Nobody gave up – everybody in the entire organization, from top to bottom, has continued to improve each and every week. This year has been phenomenal. We started the year strong and we’ve continued to up our game and build really fast racecars each and every week. To have two wins already on the 48 side, a bunch of wins overall and to take the lead on the all-time wins list – it’s been a phenomenal year and a lot of fun.”
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO WORK WITH A GREAT PARTNER LIKE ALLY?“It’s been great. Honestly, when you get the phone call from the boss that you’re going to go drive the No. 48 car and work with Ally, there’s a little bit of nervousness. It’s big pressure working with a company like Ally. I didn’t know anybody yet. I hadn’t met people and it was so relieving to start working with Ally and to meet everybody there. It’s been so much fun – the things we’ve done with Best Friends, the stuff we did for the paint scheme here. All the sponsor requirements that you have as a driver are things that have been really fun, natural and enjoyable. That’s been really cool and something that I’ve really enjoyed, and I look forward to continuing doing for at least the next couple of years.”
FROM A DRIVER’S PERSPECTIVE, ARE THERE ANY NERVES FOR YOU THIS WEEKEND RACING ON A NEW TRACK? “Yeah, definitely. To expand on your first question, I walked in and was shocked. I had tested here, I think in 2014, a little bit. To see where this place is at now is amazing. Hats off to everybody that was a part of that. Coming into a place you haven’t been to, haven’t ever been to with the Cup cars for racing, I’ve only tested here twice, and it’s such an interesting race track – there are a lot of unknowns. It kind of looks like a 1.5-mile track, but doesn’t really race like a 1.5-mile. It’s concrete. There are so many variables. It’s not as simple as going to the simulator and plugging it in because you can’t correlate from your past notes. You can’t dial the simulator into what’s real because you don’t know what is real yet. There’s a lot of question marks until we get on-track for practice later today, but I’m looking forward to it. Little extra pressure being the Ally 400, but going to do all we can to park the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet into victory lane.”
RICK (HENDRICK) HAD SAID THIS WAS GOING TO BE A FORMALITY, BUT WAS THERE ANY EMOTION IN ACTUALLY SIGNING THE DEAL? WERE YOU HOPEFUL FOR MORE THAN TWO YEARS, BUT AS A DRIVER RIGHT NOW, IS TWO YEARS ABOUT THE MAX YOU CAN GET?“It’s still twice the length of anything else I’ve ever had, so I can’t complain too much (laughs). It’s really cool to know that Ally has faith in me and Mr. H has faith in me. I think matching the length of my contract up to Ally’s was kind of the goal all around, and what was kind of expected and normal.”“The way the industry is today, there aren’t five-year contracts out there like there used to be. I’m not going to complain too much. I’m driving the 48 for Hendrick Motorsports – it’s not so bad.”
FOLLOWING UP ON THE LENGTH OF THE CONTRACT – LAST YEAR, YOU SIGNED AN ONE-YEAR EXTENSION AND NOW THIS YEAR, IT’S TWO. WHY WAS IT ONE LAST YEAR AND WHY WAS IT TWO THIS YEAR? IS IT A VALIDATION OF YOUR PERFORMANCE TO GIVE YOU THE EXTRA YEAR?“Yeah, I don’t know. I feel like somebody way smarter than me has the answer to that. Yeah, I think definitely a validation of how we’ve run this year. I feel like as a team owner with Mr. Hendrick – if I got into the car, things weren’t going well and Ally didn’t like me and all that, they would have needed a change. So, that’s probably why it was one year, if I had to put my team owner hat on.”“It’s just an honor to get to keep driving for Hendrick Motorsports. It’s a dream come true for me everyday that I walk into that place, especially from where I started. It’s just really cool to get to keep doing it.”
HAVING THE SECURITY OF A MULTI-YEAR DEAL IN CUP FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A CHAMPIONSHIP-CALIBER RIDE LIKE THIS ONE, HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL ABOUT NEXT YEAR WITH THE NEXT GEN CAR AND ALL THE CHANGES THAT YOU HAVE THAT SECURITY THROUGH 2023?“I think you’re still going to have to do all you can to figure that Next Gen car out. It’s nice to know that I do have that security, but still doing all I can to be as ready as I can be when that car comes along. I’ve driven it once and its vastly different than what we have now. It’s going to be really interesting to see how everybody adapts; but I love new challenges, new things and new race tracks like this weekend. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
WHEN WE SPOKE TO YOU GUYS BACK AT THE 2019 BANQUET, IT WAS JUST THE BUZZ OF GETTING A RACE BACK HERE WOULD BE SO EXCITING. TWO YEARS LATER, IT’S HERE. IS IT KIND OF HARD TO BELIEVE THAT THEY MADE IT HAPPEN THAT FAST AND WHAT ARE THE EMOTIONS AND EXCITEMENT FROM ALL OF YOU GUYS GETTING A RACE BACK TO NASHVILLE?“Yeah, it’s really cool. That banquet was a blast. All of us probably had quite a bit too much fun. But definitely enjoyed it and to get to come back here – we’re probably going to have a different type of fun than we had at the banquet, but it’s cool to be back. To see the transformation this place has gone through is so cool and I think we’re all excited to be here in a new market and at a new race track. Hopefully it puts on a great show for the fans and hopefully we’re up front of the show.”
AS A GUY WHO NOT TOO MANY YEARS AGO, WHO’S CLAIM TO FAME WAS BEING THE OFFICIAL SIMULATOR DRIVER FOR HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS, ADMIST ALL THE COMPETITION AND NEXT WEEK’S RACE BEING THE MOST IMPORTANT RACE IN THE WORLD –  DO YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AROUND AND SMELL THE ROSES AND SEE WHERE YOU’VE COME FROM IN A FAIRLY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME? “Yeah, absolutely. It’s been amazing to go from where 2016 started to ending up here has been pretty incredible. I joke about the Twitter thing, but getting fired on Twitter and taking a job driving a simulator was shocking for me. I think it’s really cool to end up here and to have the support of Ally, driving for a team that I never thought I’d get a chance driving for. It’s really cool. I think I definitely get chances to appreciate everything. I think the things that I went through probably make me appreciate this situation way more than I would have if it would have been easy the whole way.”
“It’s been really cool. Hendrick Motorsports is a great place right now. They are letting us race whatever we want to race pretty much; have all kinds of fun. Like this week, I was in Indianapolis at (Indianapolis) Raceway Park. I was the crew chief for Josh Wise, who was driving a midget for me, which is a childhood hero driving a race car for me. So, I get to do all kinds of cool stuff. My day job kind of allows me to do that and it’s really cool.”