CONCORD, N.C. – Alex Bowman and the rest of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers are heading to the DAYTONA Road Course in its first appearance on the Cup Series schedule, making the preparation that much harder.
Enter Chevrolet’s driver-in-the-loop simulator and Corvette Racing driver Jordan Taylor to help.
Taylor, who has competed on the 14-turn road course, spent the day with Bowman, providing guidance and feedback on his road course approach.
Chevrolet’s simulator gives a visual of a specific track and then replicates how that track feels to the driver. It has the ability to model track surface, tire wear, and chassis and aero changes among its set of data points.
"It's been a lot of fun today,” said Bowman. “I definitely learned some things that made me quite a bit faster and picked up some speed. Hopefully, we get to the racetrack and I say, 'That really helped a lot and worked really well.' It's always interesting to see how the simulator correlates to the real racetrack, what carries over and what doesn't. Without going somewhere, it's hard to know how it is going to correlate but we'll find out Sunday afternoon."
Bowman has a good history at road courses, earning a runner-up finish at the Charlotte “roval” in 2019 and fourth in 2018 with an average finish at 3.0. With the numbers on his side, Bowman prepares for the road course aiming to add to his list of good finishes.
“(I’m) mostly letting the guys know some of the little nuances that come with the DAYTONA Road Course,” Taylor said. “When you look at it on a track map, it looks pretty basic but each corner has little tricks that can help you. They’re going into this race with zero practice and zero laps on this track, so they need as much preparation as they can get.
"From my side, I bring some experience from that track that I can give him – little tips that maybe would take them a session or two to figure out. Hopefully they can hit the ground running when they show up for race day.”
Be sure to tune in on Sunday, Aug. 16 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC to see Bowman and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates take on the DAYTONA Road Course.