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Alex Bowman Aims for Another Dover Win

Alex Bowman

Alex Bowman mulled over the data before qualifying 10th for Sunday’s Würth 400 at Dover. (Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

DOVER, Del. — Alex Bowman has to be licking his chops about Sunday’s Würth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway.

After all, Bowman captured his first win with the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 entry at this venue in 2021. However, he missed last year’s race as he recovered from injuries sustained in a Kubota High Limit Racing accident.

Now, back at full strength, Bowman, who recently celebrated his 30th birthday, is ready to pursue his second “Miles the Monster” trophy. Prior to qualifying ninth for Sunday’s 400-lap race, the Hendrick Motorsports driver has been eager to take on the 1-mile concrete oval since the NASCAR at COTA race weekend last month.

“I think this is always one that I’ve had circled,” Bowman said. “I was excited last year to get to come here again and obviously that didn’t pan out. But yeah, really, this is my favorite racetrack that we go to.”

In Bowman’s first six starts at Dover, he struggled to find the grip and balance, mustering a best finish of 20th in the spring 2015 race. Then, things turned around in 2019, his second full-time season with Hendrick Motorsports.

Bowman had a terrific mentor with taking on “The Monster Mile” considering this sage racer has won at this venue on 11 occasions.

Alex Bowman

In qualifying, Alex Bowman found some speed with the ninth fastest time at Dover. (Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

“I struggled greatly here for a long time, and then got to be teammates with Jimmie Johnson for a couple of years and honestly have been pretty successful ever since a conversation we had in 2019,” he recalled. “So yeah, really excited to get back here, and hopefully we unload fast and are a threat for the win.”

That conversation with Johnson during the 2019 season turned things around for the Tucson native. Outside of a 21st place finish in the first race of a Dover doubleheader weekend during the 2020 season, Bowman has finished fifth or better in five of his past six starts.

Before Bowman posted the 22nd fastest time and 15th quickest time in a 10-lap consecutive run in Saturday’s practice session, he considered why Dover suited his driving style.

“I think it’s just a place where I enjoy going to,” Bowman said. “I feel like I bring a little something to the table and know what I want and know what I need in my race car to be successful here. But at the same time, we’re all-in every weekend, right? We’re ten-tenths every weekend trying to get back into Victory Lane.

“This is just a place where I feel like maybe it’s a little more natural or maybe I have a better idea of exactly what I need to be successful. I can say that all I want, and we can unload and struggle this weekend, but I feel like it’s a place that I’m pretty confident going to.”

Even with the change from the Gen 6 to the Next Gen car in 2022, Bowman found that the basics carried over with attacking Dover.

Alex Bowman

Although it has been two years since his most recent start at Dover, Alex Bowman likes his chances to contend in Sunday’s Würth 400. (Photo: Josh Jones | The Podium Finish)

“Yeah, I mean I think in 2022 when we came here, I was pretty uncertain on how everything from the previous generation car was going to apply,” he admitted. “I feel like, obviously race car things don’t apply, but some of just the fundamentals of ways to get around this place and ways to race well here still works.

“So yeah, I mean we had a shot to win here in 2022 with the Next Gen car, as well. It didn’t work out, but we had a good, solid day. I feel like there’s still things that, as far as how I approach it, that pay off in both cars.”

With Bowman looking to end his 71-race winless streak, Dover may be the place for the unmistakable purple and white Ally colors to return to Victory Lane. While Bowman rarely sports a cap, he may have to tip his cap to Johnson on thriving at this NASCAR staple since 1969.

“I attribute a lot of my success here to Jimmie, as well,” Bowman offered. “Yeah, definitely a special place for the No. 48 car. When you think of kind of the dominance that team had kind of throughout that whole era, this is a place that comes to top of mind.

“So, it’s super cool to have also been successful here in the No. 48 car, but yeah I think even my own successes here, I definitely attribute to him, as well.”

In the midst of pursuing his eighth career Cup win, Bowman and his No. 48 team, through Ally, have made a difference for homeless pets with Best Friends. Typically seen twice a a season, this year’s Best Friends wrap featured a new friend with the usual dogs and paw prints — cats.

Alex Bowman

Alex Bowman, who sported the Best Friends colors on his No. 48 Chevrolet at Phoenix, will race with this livery at Pocono in July. (Photo: Landen Ciardullo | The Podium Finish)

“I didn’t even really know what was happening until I walked in the shop,” Bowman admitted. “It’s cool to be able to give back to homeless pets. That program has been going on for quite a while now.

“We’ve raised a ton of money for homeless animals and something that’s really easy to be a part of and really cool. So, it’s been a lot of fun over the years working with Ally and Best Friends and excited to continue that.”

No matter the argument between cat and dog lovers, Bowman, an animal lover and dog owner, wants to do his part to make a difference for furry friends searching for a new, loving home, even with the demands of his on track duties.

“I feel like you meet a lot of people that have rescued animals and that’s a big part of their lives too,” he said. “It’s really cool. I think just the difference that we’ve made and improving homeless animals lives has been really special.

“Obviously, there’s a long way to go. There’s a lot of that going on in the country. But being able to help out a little bit is really cool.”

Editor’s Notes

Portions of this feature include excerpts from Alex Bowman’s “Hot Seat” interview during the NASCAR at COTA race weekend in Del Valle, Texas. Special thanks to Alex and Autumn Darracq on their time and kindness at Circuit of the Americas.

Rob Tiongson is a sports writer and editor originally from the Boston area and resides in the Austin, Texas, area. Tiongson has covered motorsports series like NASCAR and INDYCAR since 2008 and NHRA since 2013. Most recently, Tiongson is covering professional basketball, mainly the WNBA, and women's college basketball. While writing and editing for The Podium Finish, Tiongson currently seeks for a long-term sportswriting and sports content creating career. Tiongson enjoys editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography. Moreover, he enjoys time with his family and friends, traveling, cooking, working out and being a fun uncle or "funcle" to his nephew, niece and cat. Tiongson is an alum of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and St. Bonaventure University's renowned Jandoli School of Communication with a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism.

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