CONCORD, N.C. -- Greg Ives is taking what he learned from last week’s race at Kansas Speedway and pushing on to Texas.
The crew chief of the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE was proud of Alex Bowman for securing a third-place finish at Kansas but the No. 88 fell further under the playoff bubble after Joey Logano won the race. Before the event at Kansas, Logano was under the Championship 4 cutoff line in the points standings.
“It’s mind-boggling how much a win makes such a big difference in the points and shakes it all up, but that’s what makes it exciting and makes the playoffs as unpredictable as possible,” Ives said on SiriusXM.
Now Bowman and the team are 27 points under the cutoff line after entering the race 18 points under. However, Ives said he plans on using the challenge to encourage the No. 88 team as everyone prepares for the second Round of 8 race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.
“To have some good runs and be gaining what you think you’re gaining, points wise, and then not - we can’t let that frustrate us and take away our opportunity of going to Texas, having a car just as fast as Xfinity internet there and winning that race,” he said. “It’s like my dad always said: Focus forward and take the frustration of a third-place (finish) and use it for fuel and motivation.”
Ives said he felt Bowman ran better overall at Kansas than Logano, but Logano worked through the field in the end to take the checkered flag, all while holding off Bowman and the second-place driver. Ives added the team will be in a strong position this week after adapting and learning from the Kansas race.
“You have to put it in your mind that given the right opportunity, given the right situation, that could be you,” he said. “They capitalized on it and that’s what great teams do to go compete for championships. We have to put ourselves in that position and we have to put ourselves in the same caliber as that team and say, ‘Hey, we’re capable of executing and getting it done.’ That’s up to us to make that happen.”
Bowman, Ives and the rest of the No. 88 crew will have another chance to clinch a berth in the Championship 4 on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.