|Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media on Friday, June 7, at 11:30 a.m. local time in the media center at Michigan International Speedway.
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 Alex Bowman’s Chevrolet for this weekend’s event at Michigan International Speedway. After this weekend’s race, the Nationwide colors will be back on board the No. 88 machine at Kentucky next month. 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.
LET’S COMPARE: It is safe to say that Bowman and the No. 88 team have been successful in the last five races. The Tucson, Arizona, native has three top-five finishes and four top-10s in the last five races. Bowman’s average finish went from 18.3 in the first nine races to 5.6 in the last five. The Nationwide team has moved from 21st to 11th in the point standings in that span.
POINTS, POINTS, POINTS: Bowman has scored the second-most points among all drivers over the last five races. The driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevy is second to teammate Chase Elliott on the list, with 204 points earned since Talladega Superspeedway.
BOWMAN AT MICHIGAN: Bowman has seven previous starts in the NASCAR Cup Series at the two-mile track in Michigan. Last spring, Bowman started from the 21st position and ended the race 16th after the event was cut short due to weather on Lap 133. The 26-year-old has completed 92.5 percent of the total laps run in those seven events. Bowman also has four previous starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Michigan. In 2016, he qualified on pole for the 125-lap event and went on to get a seventh-place finish. Last spring, the driver qualified 10th in the No. 23 Chevrolet and finished 21st after leading eight laps. The driver ran for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series event in 2015 and finished 11th after starting 16th. In 2012, Bowman qualified third for the ARCA Racing Series event at the track and led 12 laps before crossing the line second.
MOST LAPS: Bowman is sixth on the list of drivers who have led laps this season but have yet to capture a victory. The 26-year-old has led 94 laps total over four events this season. The No. 88 machine led seven laps at Talladega, 16 laps at Dover, 63 laps in Kansas and eight laps in the 600-mile event at Charlotte two weeks ago.
IVES HEADS HOME: No. 88 team crew chief Greg Ives will make his ninth NASCAR Cup Series start as crew chief this weekend at his home track of Michigan International Speedway. In his eight previous starts calling the shots, he has one top-five finish and three top-10s. Ives’ best finish of second came in 2015 with Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind the wheel. In 2013, Ives was a crew chief at JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and captured the victory in the spring event with driver Regan Smith. Ives’ drivers have led 20 laps in the Xfinity Series at the two-mile track and have an average finish of 3.5. Ives was a race engineer for the No. 48 team between 2006 and 2012. During that time, the team captured six top-10 finishes and three second-place starting positions.
HOMETOWN TRACK: Three members of the No. 88 team have ties to the state of Michigan. Ives grew up in Bark River, Michigan, which is approximately 443 miles from the Michigan track. Ives received his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University. No. 88 team hauler driver Andy “Squiggs” Quillan grew up in Belding, Michigan, which is approximately two hours from Michigan International Speedway. Quillan grew up a NASCAR fan and attended his first race at his home track back in 2001. Front-tire changer Scott Brzozowski grew up in Sterling Heights, Michigan, which is just outside Detroit. Brzozowski started out as a member of the No. 24 over-the-wall crew before switching to the No. 88 team in 2015.
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 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.