|FAN VOTE WINNER: Following last Saturday’s Open race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon radioed to Alex Bowman from the FOX Sports 1 booth that the Tucson, Arizona, native was the winner of the NASCAR All-Star fan voteand would race in the All-Star Race that evening. The 26-year-old took to Twitterto thank the fans for voting the No. 88 team into the race for $1 million.
ALL-STAR REWIND: Bowman crossed the line eighth in last Saturday night’s All-Star Race. The 26-year-old driver rolled off the grid in 19th for the event. At the conclusion of Stage 1, he had advanced nine spots to finish 10th. On Lap 43 of the race, Bowman’s No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 made contact with the outside wall, but the driver remained on track. At the end of Stage 2, Bowman came to pit road for four tires, fuel and for the No. 88 team to make repairs to the right side of the car. The Arizona native raced his way from the back to finish the third stage in the 14th position, while reporting that his car was loose. At the start of the final stage Bowman was in the top 15 and at the conclusion of the 88-lap event, he finished eighth. It was Bowman’s first top-10 finish in the All-Star event.
SPECIAL NAME ON BOARD: This weekend, Bowman and the No. 88 team will have a special name on board the Nationwide Camaro ZL1. Chief Petty Officer Jon “J.T.” Tumilson will adorn the hood and ride above the passenger side door this weekend’s race. Tumilson, a native of Rockford, Iowa, was a Navy Seal. He and 29 other American Soldiers were killed in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011, when the helicopter they were traveling in was shot down. It was one of the deadliest attacks on U.S. forces in the decade-old deployment in Afghanistan. In addition to Tumilson’s name on board, Nationwide has featured 30 stars and one paw print in the scheme to represent the 30 soldiers and military K-9 who died in Extortion 17. Tumilson’s two sisters, Joy McKeekan and Kristie Vieira, visited Hendrick Motorsports, where they selected the paint scheme that would honor their brother during the 400-lap race at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Memorial Day weekend.
WELCOME BACK, NATIONWIDE: The primary blue-and-white colors of Nationwide will be featured on the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in 20 NASCAR Cup Series events in 2019. Nationwide will adorn the hood of Bowman’s Chevrolet for this weekend’s event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but with a new look. This weekend’s scheme will feature a patriotic design seen here and will carry Tumilson’s name on board. Last August, Hendrick Motorsports and Nationwide extended their primary partnership with Bowman and the No. 88 team for an additional two years beginning in 2019.
BOWMAN AT CHARLOTTE: Sunday’s 600-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be Bowman’s seventh start at the 1.5-mile track. Last spring, Bowman and the No. 88 Nationwide team finished ninth after qualifying 27th for the 400-lap event. It was the driver’s best finish in a spring race at the track. Bowman has also competed in four events at Charlotte in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, including capturing his first career national series victory in 2017 after starting fourth. The Tucson, Arizona, native led 32 laps at the track in the Xfinity series and completed 100 percent of the total laps within those four starts.
SO CLOSE: For the past three weekends, Bowman and the No. 88 team have crossed the finish line at the conclusion of the race in second place. It is the first time a driver has finished second three times in a row before capturing his first win in the NASCAR Cup Series.
IVES AT CHARLOTTE: Crew chief Greg Ives has called the shots seven times for the No. 88 team at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The crew chief’s resume includes one top-five finish and three top-10 results. Last year, Ives led the No. 88 team to a ninth-place finish in the 600-mile event. The Michigan native was a crew chief in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for four events at Charlotte across two years for JR Motorsports. In 2014, Ives led driver Chase Elliott to the pole position in the fall event and the team led a total of 66 laps to finish eighth. Ives has two top-10 finishes in the series and his drivers led a total of 94 laps. Ives was a race engineer for the No. 48 team between 2006 and 2012. During that time, the team captured seven top-10 finishes and two pole awards in addition to winning the 2009 fall event after starting from the pole.
HOMETOWN TRACK: Two members of the No. 88 team call Charlotte Motor Speedway their home track. Scott Denton, backup hauler driver for the No. 88 team, grew up in Belmont, North Carolina, and attended his first NASCAR race at the 1.5-mile track back in 1988. No. 88 team jackman Dustin Lineback grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, and went to East Carolina University from 2007 until 2011. While at ECU, Lineback played football for the Pirates while receiving his Bachelor of Science degree. Learn more about Lineback here.
MEET BOWMAN: On Sunday, May 26, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Bowman will make an appearance at the Team Chevy stage at 2:45 p.m. local time for a question-and-answer session and autographs.
PITCH TO WIN BIG: Small Business Week ran from May 5-11 and recognized small businesses everywhere. Nationwide and BlueVine are teaming up to give away up to $100,000 to one small business to help it grow. From now until June 30, small business owners can visit www.pitchtowinbig.com to enter for a chance to win funds to achieve their business goals. Nationwide and BlueVine will select the contest finalists, who will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Nationwide’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, to pitch business leaders in-person during a live “Pitch to Win” event. The winning pitch will win the $100,000 prize, with second place receiving $20,000 and third place taking home $10,000.