Random Race Recap: Alex Bowman at Dover

Although he had to start from the rear, Bowman charged to the front for a P5 finish.

Despite having to start at the rear, Bowman had a solid day to wrap up day two of the Dover Double. (Photo Credit: Hendrick Motorsports Social Media.)

The second Random Race Recap for the Dover Double had us tagging along with Alex Bowman’s afternoon. 

The Hendrick Motorsports driver suffered damage in a stage one incident on Saturday. He finished the day P21, but was forced to a backup car. Thus, he dropped to the rear on pace laps prior to Sunday afternoon’s race. 

Crew Chief Greg Ives told the team pre-race, “Let’s rebound from yesterday. We didn’t give up – let’s give all the fight we can. Alex, go have fun. Kevin (Hamlin, Spotter), keep us safe. Crew, go fast!”

 

Stage 1: 

The opening stage had two early cautions as drivers sought to pick up where the intensity left off on Saturday. The first came on lap five as Joey Logano and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. got into each other. In the chaos, they took out Chase Elliott and Joey Gase, and caused damage to the machines of Kyle Busch and Garrett Smithley. 

Bowman stayed out during this caution but took advantage of a mid-stage yellow for debris to come to his crew for adjustments. He restarted P17 on lap 40. 

Prior to the green flag, he radioed Ives stating he might have a power steering issue. However, the problem seemed more evident while on pit road than on the track.

Throughout the remainder of the stage, he settled into P16 and finished the stage two spots better.

 

The No. 88 team works on Alex Bowman’s car at Dover. (Photo Credit: Hendrick Motor Sports Social Media)

Stage 2:

Under caution, he hit his pit stall for adjustments after noting he was tight. He would start the second stage P13, but before anything could happen, the red flag was in the air for concrete repairs. 

Once rolling, Bowman maintained P13 for 21 laps until Corey LaJoie got loose. Under caution, Bowman brought in his Acronis No. 88 Chevy in for fresh tires and fuel. He restarted P13 but lost a position on the restart.

Bowman passed Christopher Bell for P12, and set his eyes on Cole Custer – the next car for position. 

With approximately 55 laps to go in the second stage, Bowman was on the move. He gained four spots in as many laps. 

While Bowman made ground on Kurt Busch, Ives told his driver, “You’re three tenths faster than anyone on track.” 

With 27 to go, Bowman made it past the No. 1 of Busch and Brad Keselowski to claim P7. The remainder of the stage ran green, bringing Bowman in P7, gaining four stage points.

 

Stage 3:

After a quick trip down pit road that resulted in a three-wide race off, Bowman restarted P7 and gained a spot on the restart. 

He stalked his teammate William Byron until the caution flew on lap 216 as Quin Houff got loose behind Bowman.

His fast crew earned him a spot on the track, and thanks to the Choose Rule, he started on the second row. 

Five laps into the green flag run, Denny Hamlin came to pit road with a loose wheel which moved Bowman up a spot. He sat P4, 3.7 seconds behind the leader. 

The stage ran green until 23 laps remained. The caution flew as LaJoie got into the wall. 

Bowman’s team gave him four fresh tires for the 16 lap shootout. Once again, Bowman started on the second row as his teammate Jimmie Johnson led the field. Immediately, Martin Truex, Jr. and Kevin Harvick fought him for the lead, with Harvick claiming it – in dominant fashion.

Bowman fell into P5, behind Byron, waiting to see how he and Johnson would race each other in the closing laps.

With six laps remaining, disappointment could be heard in Bowman’s voice as he radioed in, “I’m just too tight.”

Bowman battled hard for a P5 finish to close out the Dover Double on Sunday. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Closing Laps:

As Bowman brought his machine home P5, Ives said, “Last to P5 isn’t too shabby!”

Bowman responded, “Sorry about that last restart…I was just too tight. But to turn around a backup car to top 5 is not too bad!”

Be sure to follow his personal Twitter account, as well as the No. 88 Team page for live, in-race updates. 

 

Next week takes us to Daytona for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 and the final Random Race Recap of the regular season.

 

Terra Jones

As a life-long NASCAR fan and lover of words, I'm fortunate enough to put the two together here at The Podium Finish to bring our readers and motorsports fans news, features, and interviews from the world of wheels. Originally from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, I moved westward to graduate from Middle Tennessee State University. I now reside in central North Carolina with my husband, our three boys, and our dog, Charlotte. While my heart is at the race track, I also enjoy watching baseball, as well as college football and basketball. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *