CONCORD, N.C. — Chris Murdock RC Media Photo – “The biggest challenge is not crashing. Obviously, I haven’t done that very well today.” Those were the words of Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet driver Alex Bowman earlier today after he became one of three cars including teammate William Byron to do damage to their racers in today’s second day of Roval Test Fest at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Bowman, in his first full season driving the No. 88 Camaro ZL1 for Hendrick Motorsports, added, “You’re off camber in some spots and it’s fast in some spots, slow in others and it’s narrow. There’s not a lot of room for mistakes. It’s been interesting so far. I feel like we’ve learned quite a bit. Hopefully we’ll learn more and get a little bit faster. It looks fast in a Legends car but in a Cup car you’re barely on the throttle for most of the infield. It’s just different. Hopefully we’ll put on a great show in September.”
Fellow Chevrolet racer and road course specialist A.J. Allmendinger joined the media for a short press conference earlier today where he said of the ROVAL, “It’s a different type of race track. It’s unique and that’s what this is all about for us. You know, at least for me to be able to change something in the schedule, to get fans a different perspective of Cup racing, that’s a fun thing. I think there’s going to be a lot of contact for sure. It’s a short track race through the infield. It’s fairly narrow. I think the changes that have been made have been for the good. It’s made it safe and I think it’s going to make for more passing. I know people are going to question it, but it’s going to be a race that everyone’s going to want to tune into. It’s a different challenge than just running a mile-and-a-half oval.”
Logano’s comments resembled those of Bowman. “Not crashing will be the biggest challenge,” the driver of the Team Penske Ford Fusion No. 22 said. “There’s going to be some areas where we wad some stuff up. To be in the playoffs, it’s going to be quite the race to see how this thing goes. I would say the most challenging part honestly is getting through the race. You can get decent speed but at some point, there’s going to be a caution and strategies are going to change and you’re going to see the fastest cars be in 15th or 20th like you do at road courses.”
Talking about the fan’s perspective, Logano was excited. “I think the fact that a fan can sit in the grandstands and see everything is the coolest part about this. The fact that you can sit there and you can watch road course racing without the cars going out of view, that’s pretty neat. It will be an interesting little race to see how it goes.”
Bowman, William Byron and Blaney all had on-track incidents as of 3pm Eastern Time. Blaney returned with a backup car and Bowman continued with his primary car. Byron did not have a back up car, so his day ended early.