Right Sides Only: Notes from the Drydene 400 Winning Crew Chief, Greg Ives


No car has seen Victory Lane at Dover International Speedway more times than the No. 48. Alex Bowman and his predecessor have combined for a record 12 wins at the concrete track. Bowman's crew chief, Greg Ives, talked after the race about how he's been working with his crew over the last few weeks.

"For me it’s all about... the details of it, but also letting the guys kind of play in their own space. They want to play at a high level. It’s all about creating comfort in that high level stress environment.

"The last couple weeks I’ve been putting them in a lot of changes, high stress environments, trying to get them to go fast when they have to make a lot of adjustments. I think it’s kind of like a batter swinging a heavier bat. I created some uncomfortable situations. Weren’t really looking good as far as times on pit road. Ultimately I feel like for the adjustment stops we were doing a good job of making up time and figuring out where we had some deficit.

"It’s all about going down and talking. I talked to them this week. I broke down how well or how bad I was doing. Rolling that left front tire, I wasn’t doing it right last weekend, opened it up. We all worked through it. They’re not scared to tell the crew chief that I need to get better in the situation.

I think ultimately being on the same platform as them, allowing them to make some mistakes, when mistakes come learning from them rather than scolding them.

"I really appreciate what they do, the family we’ve become. We’ve been together for five, six years now. It’s easy to work through complications when you have that open communication," Ives explained.

Ives also discussed with relationship with Bowman.

"Yeah, I mean, we have a great relationship. That’s all because we love race cars, we love cars, we love racing and getting better.

"The number one thing when it comes to a driver and my philosophy is the ability to learn. There’s things that go on in my head, sometimes it’s hard for me to talk about them or tell Alex. That’s why he calls me the Riddler. Ultimately I get to the point where I just tell him what I want and he does it.

Today we were working through some brake pressure stuff, talked him through it. He didn’t get upset about it. I wasn’t trying to make him upset, I was trying to make him aware.

"Ultimately you have to that have relationship of trust. If he understands and knows what I’m looking at, he has the ability to respond the proper way in the car. When we get out, there’s no hard feelings. We just go on our way and have fun again the next week trying to overcome either a bad race or a race win.

He talked about Darlington. We were up in the lounge. We were trying to figure it out. Right after a race, if you have a bad one, sometimes you don’t want to talk, but we were able to. I told him, Hey, pump the guys up. Get involved and pump them up. He did. I was in a situation where I was upset and frustrated with the car’s performance. You needed him to do what he needed to do.

"He did a good job overcoming the last few weeks. Ultimately that’s because we have a relationship not only with him and I [sic], but throughout the full race team," Ives said.

All the driver/crew chief relationships at Hendrick Motorsports are gelling well. They proved that well at the Monster Mile, finishing 1-2-3-4, the team's first such finishing in Delaware.


Stacey Owens lives just outside Music City USA. She's always wanted to be a NASCAR writer, so working as a columnist and support editor for Skirts and Scuffs allows her to live that dream most weekends throughout the season.
This self-admitted grammar nerd loves reading mysteries, playing with her dogs, and binge-watching programs with her husband.

Right Sides Only: Notes from the Drydene 400 Winning Crew Chief, Greg Ives Right Sides Only: Notes from the Drydene 400 Winning Crew Chief, Greg Ives Reviewed by Stacey Owens on Monday, May 17, 2021 Rating: 5