CONCORD, N.C. -- Greg Ives was seen celebrating and pumping his fists in the air from the No. 48 pit box after driver Alex Bowman sped across the finish line first at Richmond Raceway on Sunday.
The crew chief of the Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE earned his third career win with Bowman after the 27-year-old driver took advantage of a late-race caution with less than 20 laps to go. Bowman restarted third and shot ahead of the front two drivers, leading for the final 10 laps of the race.
“The preparation is all in the details,” Ives said of getting ready for Richmond. “Tim O’Brien, our race engineer, and Austin Konetski, our car chief, did a great job of organizing all the guys to get the package that we need. We base a lot of what we brought back on our run last year, which wasn’t stellar, but we knew what Alex was working for and looking for in the car. Instead of clean slating, we worked on some details and made it better for him.”
Bowman has said he struggles on short tracks and credited Ives and their team for helping him get the No. 48 Chevrolet back to victory lane. He was penalized between Stages 2 and 3 for an uncontrolled tire on pit road and had to restart 12th for the final stage. He slowly worked his way into the top three by the final yellow flag, setting him up for the win.
“It all depends on what the driver’s mood ends up (being) and Alex came on the radio and said, ‘Hey, it’s alright. I’ll just go pass them all again,’” Ives said. “That’s kind of what he thought about and that put (out) a good mood and vibe.
“We had some chatter on the radio that tried to be a little more humorous. It takes all of us to put on our big boy hats and pants and say, ‘Hey, mistakes are going to happen.’ It took all of us to make that mistake, not one person. We corrected it, went out there and executed.”
While Ives said he normally doesn’t get extremely emotional after a win, he called the victory at Richmond “special” for many reasons. Both Bowman and Ives dedicated this win to pit crew member William “Rowdy” Harrell and his wife, Blakely, who both passed away last November.
“Our struggles on the short track, our first win after we lost Rowdy and Blakely, our first win for Ally,” Ives said of what the win means. “It’s just one of those things that culminates in one emotion. That’s probably as emotional as I’ll get as far as excitement after a win. But you got to act like you’re never going to do it again. Otherwise, you’re not going to have that feeling the next time. I enjoyed it, I want to enjoy it again, so heck, why not?”
Ives, Bowman and the No. 48 team will have another chance to head to victory lane this Sunday when the team takes on Talladega Superspeedway. The 10th race of the season will begin at 2 p.m. ET and air on FOX.