ashley asks....

ASHLEY ASKS…… Anthony Alfredo

By: Ashley McCubbin

After scoring four top-10’s last season, Anthony Alfredo returns to the NASCAR Xfinity Series, with a different team in B.J. McLeod Motorsports. “Fast Pasta” took some time to speak about the transition and more.

What are your thoughts going into the 2023 season?

#23: Anthony Alfredo, Our Motorsports, Dude Wipes Chevrolet Camaro

Just hoping to steal a win somewhere, maybe two, and make the playoffs of course. We fell a little bit shy of that last year and I’ve got my same crew with me. Obviously we’re with a different organization and working out of a different race shop, but same group of people so excited to build on everything we’ve learned. I think some of those shortfalls we had, learning curves we had, we can now learn from to have a better cleaner year and like I said, come up with a win so we can be in the playoffs because that’s pretty much what it takes nowadays. If we do that, we can actually make it a lot further than a lot of people expect.

You mentioned the fact that you’ve switched teams – B.J. McLeod Motorsports. What has the transition been like?

It’s actually been really great so far. The biggest thing as I mentioned before is having the same people, so that dynamic of communication and chemistry hasn’t really changed at all. It’s different equipment so the guys are trying to see what works and what doesn’t. Fortunately, we had the test at Charlotte (Motor Speedway) a week ago, and that allowed us to try some things differently, some of the things we were doing and just having different chassis can switch some of that up.

We learned a lot at that test and it was super valuable for us, especially with the new rules package, but I think we know what we need to do heading into the season and I think we can come out of the gate pretty competitive. But worst case if not, I know we’re going to have steady progression throughout the season.

You mentioned the rules change that they made for the Xfinity car. How different did they drive at the test, if at all?

It drove very differently actually. It just didn’t have as much side force and lateral stability, so the cars are quite a bit edgier and harder to drive. I enjoyed it because you had to hustle it and kind of hang out, but they lost a lot of the capability they used to have, so I’m all for cars that are difficult to drive. I’m just not sure how the racing is going to be because when everyone is hanging on that much on their own, it’s going to be difficult with other cars around you.

#23: Anthony Alfredo, Our Motorsports, First Phase Chevrolet Camaro

I’m hoping it’s not going to be a scenario where the leader kind of walks away from everyone else when they’re all hanging on, kind of like how the old (NASCAR) Cup (Series) package was. I’m looking forward to it, though, to see what it does. I think in general with a package like that is my strong suit is a car that’s challenging to drive and it takes patience, but I’m just not sure what product we’re going to have yet at the intermediate tracks mainly. So it should be exciting. Hopefully it will shake up the competition and level the playing field a little bit. Everybody is in the same boat so we’ll see how it goes.

What track are you most looking forward to on the schedule?

Honestly, I love the superspeedways just because we’ve been so competitive at them and I’ve had a shot to win at all of them last year, but I’d say the intermediates and short tracks – intermediates themselves are a lot of work for our program. But the short tracks are another place we can over perform because it’s a less aero-dependant – same with the road course. But if I have to pick one track in one particular, it’d probably be Darlington (Raceway). It’s my favorite track and we were really competitive there last year so I think we can be even better this time around.

What do you feel that you need to do to improve as a driver to continue to step up your performance?

Honestly, the biggest thing at this point is just equipment. It’s the biggest thing we lack, right? It’s being with a small team. I’ve just been incredibly grateful to have the opportunities I’ve had and be a full-time driver and I think my group in particular, my team gives me a car that’s more competitive than most would be able to with the resources they have and I’d like to think with my Cup Series experience I can go out there and over deliver. So we just continue to outperform and it makes me wonder what we could do with better equipment and we’re battling teams that have three, four times the budget that we do, which is very satisfying.

But like I said, it makes you wonder what you can do in that situation. So for me, it’s just keeping a good head on my shoulders, staying focused, being thankful for the opportunity that I do have, just trying to turn heads by outperforming each week and racing against the big teams with a lot less.

#23: Anthony Alfredo, Our Motorsports, Dead On Tools Chevrolet Camaro

What sparked your interest to get involved in motorsports?

Well my parents were big race fans so I kind of grew up in a big racing household watching it, but nobody in my family had ever raced. We were always big into motorsports, and anything with an engine – dirt bikes, four-wheelers, you name it, but I did play a lot of stick and ball sports while I was watching racing. I raced rental karts for fun but it wasn’t until I realized it was my passion when I got the chance to get behind the wheel of a Legend car and it just took off from there. I’d never thought I’d get this far, but I will say I’m nowhere near where I want to be. So a lot of work ahead of me still.

So where do you want to be five years from now, let’s say?

Five years now, I’d hope to have the opportunity full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series with a big team, well respected organization where I’d have a shot to win every single week and a race for a championship, and by that point, hopefully have multiple wins to my name in both the Xfinity and Cup Series.

Is there anything outside of stock cars that you’d like to get behind the wheel of one day?

Yeah, I’d race anything – that’s what I always tell people. I’d love to get behind the wheel of a dirt car more just because I haven’t raced on dirt. It seems a lot of fun, but I’ve really enjoyed the discipline of road racing recently. To actually do it in a sportscar or a road racing car specifically, it’d be really fun and something I’m interested in trying out if I get the opportunity. It’s just so hard with our schedule just because we race every week from February through November, so I think for now, it’s just focusing on the national series of NASCAR and maybe some short track stuff. But I’d like to do some more of those disciplines.

What would one piece of advice to someone getting started based on your experience?

The biggest thing for me is number one, performance is key, and like I said, that can be hampered by equipment because that is a big part of this sport. But I think people in the industry do pay attention to what you do have, and know when a top-10 is a win for you because maybe you’re not in the fastest car. So just always making the most out of every single opportunity you have, running every lap like it’s your last. That’s number one. Number two would be networking. There’s so many times when I’ve crossed paths with someone I met early in my career down the road and it’s critical you leave a good first impression because you never know when you may end up working together again, or if they put a good word in for you for an opportunity you may have. Lastly, just always being humble, thankful, and inspiring others.

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