CONCORD, N.C. – Tomorrow kicks off the NASCAR playoffs Round of 12 at Dover International Speedway - a track that No. 88 crew chief Greg Ives has had circled on his calendar.
Because Dover is where the Ives-led team’s three consecutive runner-up finishes streak began.
Now, the team will visit the same three tracks again in hopes they have improved enough to take home a trophy and advance to the next round in the playoffs.
“I do believe we have to win one of the next three races and that’s the pressure we’re going to put on ourselves,” the crew chief said to Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“Advancing in any round is difficult,” Ives continued. “Luckily for us, we’re going to three racetracks that we have a pretty good notebook for in Dover, Talladega and Kansas. We ran well there in the spring, so we are going there with a lot of confidence.”
Ives and the No. 88 team are coming off a solid weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway where the team overcame a lot of adversity.
After starting the road course event in a back-up car, driver Alex Bowman missed the chicane on the first lap of the race, which forced him down pit road to serve a pass-through penalty. The team had a lot of ground to make up, restarting 40th on just the fourth lap, but was able to prevail by taking the checkered flag second – one spot behind teammate and race winner Chase Elliott.
“It was definitely a good weekend for us as far as the finishes for qualifying and the race. We had some speed off the truck, had some issues in final practice that regulated us to a backup car. We had a lot of work to get done there, but it made the race pretty eventful for us.”
With Charlotte in the rear view and the unknown challenges of the next three races, the No. 88 team hopes to continue to perform well under the playoff pressure.
“I didn’t choose to be in this sport for how easy it was.”