Bowman: Enjoyed His Time Off

48 Alex Bowman

Age: 27 (April 25, 1993)

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Resides: Concord, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Greg Ives

Standings: 16th

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No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

CLICKING AT MARTINSVILLE: Alex Bowman impressed at Martinsville Speedway last season when he earned sixth-place finishes in both races. In 10 career starts at the half-mile venue, the Tucson, Arizona, native has three top-10 finishes and has completed 98.3% of the total laps.

2021 NUMBERS: The No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team has earned 172 points so far this season and currently sits 16th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings after seven events. Bowman has one top-five result, three top-10 finishes and one pole award (the DAYTONA 500) after seven events this season. The 27-year-old driver has captured more top-10 finishes in the first seven races in 2021 than any of his previous seasons in the Cup Series. The Ally Chevrolet has run 344 laps inside the top five, which ranks ninth among active drivers, and 733 laps inside the top 10 in 2021, which ranks 11th.

NEXT GEN TEST: Although the Cup Series had the Easter weekend off, Bowman and members of the No. 48 team headed to Martinsville Speedway for the NASCAR Next Gen car with Chevrolet. The manufacturer brought a prototype of its new model for the 2022 Cup Series season to .526-mile venue for the first time. Bowman was able to get on the track for most of Tuesday, but rain ultimately halted the second day of testing on Wednesday. Chevrolet will unveil its new race car during a media event on May 5.

IVES IN VIRGINIA: Under the lights on Saturday night, crew chief Greg Ives will call the shots for the 13th time at Martinsville Speedway. The Bark River, Michigan, native has one top-five finish and five top-10s at the short track with a best finish of fourth coming in 2015 with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Bowman finished sixth in both events last season after 500 laps at the short track. Ives was a race engineer for the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team from 2006-2012 when he was a part of six wins, three pole awards and 12 top-10 finishes at Martinsville with Jimmie Johnson behind the wheel.

A GREAT PAW-PORTUNITY: Before strapping into the No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE on Saturday night at Martinsville, Bowman will visit the Martinsville Henry SPCA located two miles from the track. He will get a behind-the-scenes look at the shelter and play with the dogs and cats that are available for adoption. Ally and Bowman will each make a $1,000 donation to the Virginia rescue following Saturday’s race. If the No. 48 team claims the victory, Ally will increase the donation to $10,000 for the Martinsville Henry SPCA.

FASTEST TIME: After seven events in 2021, the No. 48 pit crew continues to be the fastest pit crew based on average four-tire stop times in the NASCAR Cup Series. The five-man crew has an average four-tire stop time of 13.54 seconds. The team includes fueler Jacob Conley, tire carrier Allen Stallings, jackman Dustin Lineback and tire changers Scott Brzozowski and Devin DelRicco.

CLOSE TO HOME: No. 48 engine tuner Stephen Raynor calls Martinsville Speedway his home track. The 34-year-old team member grew up and currently resides in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which is approximately 50 miles from the Virginia venue. He has been with the Hendrick Motorsports engine department for nine years.

VICTORY-VILLE: In 74 appearances, Hendrick Motorsports has posted 25 points-paying victories at Martinsville Speedway, which is the all-time record for total team wins at any active or inactive NASCAR Cup Series racetrack. Junior Johnson and Associates posted 21 wins at Bristol Motor Speedway, followed by Hendrick Motorsports with 20 at both Charlotte Motor Speedway and Dover International Speedway.

PAPERCLIP PERSPECTIVE: Hendrick Motorsports has posted 265 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series victories, just three from tying the team record of 268 held by the legendary Petty Enterprises. The organization’s 25 Martinsville wins alone would rank Hendrick Motorsports 21st on the all-time list. Rex White Racing is 20th with 26 Cup Series wins between 1958 and 1964, two ahead of Dale Earnhardt Inc., which raced from 1996 until 2008 and posted 24 total victories.

CLOCKING WINS: Six drivers have posted at least one Martinsville victory for car owner Rick Hendrick, who grew up two hours from the track in Palmer Springs, Virginia. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson each logged nine wins there during their legendary careers. Darrell Waltrip won four times at Martinsville for Hendrick Motorsports, with Chase Elliott, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Geoff Bodine each posting a victory.

FIRST THING’S FIRST: On April 29, 1984, Hendrick Motorsports posted its first of 265 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series wins in the team’s first appearance at Martinsville Speedway. The organization also led its first-ever laps (55) that day when Bodine drove the No. 5 Chevrolet to victory lane.

THE BIG SHORT: No active NASCAR Cup Series team has more short-track victories than Hendrick Motorsports. Going into Saturday night’s race at the half-mile Martinsville Speedway, the organization has 51 short-track wins – 10 more than next-best Joe Gibbs Racing.

FOLLOW THE LEADER: In the seven races prior to the NASCAR Cup Series’ annual Easter break, Hendrick Motorsports led nearly 100 laps more than any other team. The organization has led 582 laps in 2021, which is 94 more than second-place JGR.

THE NEXT SIX: Including its 25 victories at Martinsville, Hendrick Motorsports has won a combined 89 races at the next six tracks on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule. Following Saturday night’s event, the tour visits Richmond (10 Hendrick Motorsports wins), Talladega (13), Kansas (seven), Darlington (14) and Dover (20).

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on getting back on track after the weekend off: “It was nice to have a weekend off last week. A week off is nice, but I am ready to get to Martinsville this weekend. We had two top-10 finishes at the track last season and I think we have a good notebook to lean on for Saturday night’s race. Hendrick Motorsports has been strong at Martinsville in the past and I feel like our teams can lean on each other a bit for this weekend’s race.”

Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on racing at night at Martinsville: “Anytime you have night races, you prepare a little bit differently depending on the track grip. There were times when you would start the race during the day and then it would end at night, but this is a true night race. Now we just have to worry about if the track is going to rubber up or not. I think it is generally going to be a clean track and hopefully we can get another groove in there. You might see some fender banging to make the pass. You might have some tempers flare, but it’s just short track racing.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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