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Alex Bowman Maintains Momentum with 4th Place at COTA

Alex Bowman

Alex Bowman takes a moment before Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at COTA. (Photo: Cody Porter | The Podium Finish)

DEL VALLE, Texas — Alex Bowman took home his second consecutive fourth-place finish following Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas.

Following the first road course race in 2024 for NASCAR, Bowman and his No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro team appear to be building momentum after a shaky start to the 2024 season. This is Bowman’s third top-five finish of the season alongside finishes of 18th, 20th and 27th.

The 30-year-old ran well in Saturday’s practice session as he was the third fastest, 0.395 seconds behind leader and teammate, William Byron, after 13 laps at the 3.426-mile track. Bowman had a less ideal but still manageable qualifying position, qualifying in the 17th position with a lap time of 130.190.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver showed improvement shortly after the drop of the green flag, moving up two spots after just four laps of the 68-lap race were complete. After green flag pit stops in the closing laps of the stage, Bowman drove to a 19th place Stage 1 finish with some drivers opting not to pit with the majority of the lead lap contenders such as stage winner Christopher Bell.

Once all pit stops were complete, Bowman was running 12th three laps into Stage 2. Bowman ran comfortably in the top 10 for the majority of the second stage. However, he logged a 16th place finish for Stage 2 after pitting on Lap 27.

Alex Bowman

Alex Bowman shows speed at COTA. (Photo: John Arndt | The Podium Finish)

In the closing stage, Bowman was able to make up his track position, eventually working his way up to second place again behind William Byron. In the final laps, Bell and Ty Gibbs passed Bowman.

Road courses can be notoriously physical for drivers but it was not fatigue that Bowman spoke of in a media availability after the race, he noted the things that kept him from victory lane.

“I wouldn’t say I am worn out; I am just bummed,” Bowman said. “Probably just got stuck out in traffic after our last pit stop. I was a bad spot that I had to run too hard on low air and beat the rear tires up. Kind of inched in on William (Byron) for a bit, bur then the rear tires just went. away. Yeah, definitely had to manage it some. Definitely some tire fall off here.”

Jeff Gordon, vice chairman of Hendrick Motorsports, was exemplary of Bowman and crew chief Blake Harris on the No. 48 team’s great performances and swagger returning to form in recent weeks.

“Alex is one of those guys where the bigger the challenge, seems the like the better he does,” Gordon said. “I’m going to leave here and try to find more ways to really challenge him even more.

“He’s a great race car driver. It just takes the whole combination. They didn’t qualify well, but they had a good car seemed like all weekend. I think his confidence in the car, especially once they dropped the green flag, it showed. Blake called a good race.”

“We had a good Ally Camaro, we just needed to hold on to rear grip longer,” Bowman added. “It’s been the same since we unloaded and we definitely made it better, but still kind of fighting the same thing. Blake and the guys called a good race. We had a good day, just sucks to come up a couple short again.”

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