CONCORD, N.C. -- Crew chief Greg Ives revealed how he and the 88 team were gearing up for the inaugural race at the DAYTONA Road Course this weekend.
The event marks the first time the Cup Series will have a points-paying race at the road course at Daytona International Speedway, which makes it more difficult for driver Alex Bowman and the rest of the 88 team to plan for every scenario.
“We are preparing as best as we can,” Ives said on SiriusXM. “I guess that is our job is to prepare not only Alex but the race car. It’s definitely going to be strange but we thought the same thing at the Charlotte “roval.” We went there and thought the race was going to be crazy and it ended up not having a ton of cautions. We thought, ‘First lap, how many corners are we going to make before the first caution comes out?’ We were pretty successful there but we did have practice where we used up a lot of race cars.”
Ives said the team will get a car ready that easily can be adjusted to handle the road course, even preparing for the summer showers that are notorious in Daytona Beach.
“You just have to make sure you can fix the car the way you need it to be, Ives said. “I was just looking over our tire selection for this week and I see we got rain tires coming."
He added jokingly, "We’ll see, you know it never rains in Florida.”
Bowman does have a good track record when it comes to road courses. Bowman placed second during the Charlotte “roval” event in 2019 behind teammate Chase Elliott. The year before, he finished fourth at the Charlotte road course.
Ives hopes those top-five finishes will build confidence for Bowman and the rest of the 88 team for the weekend. Another thing Ives and Bowman will work on for Sunday is capitalizing on restarts.
“We definitely have to get to the point where these restarts aren’t detrimental to our spot," he said. "I think once we get a couple of laps into a run, I feel like we have the speed capable of running in the top five."
Be sure to check out Ives and the No. 88 team as they head to Daytona International Speedway Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.