Bowman Is Excited To Return To Road America

48 Alex Bowman

Age: 28 (April 25, 1993)

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Resides: Concord, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Greg Ives

Standings: 11th

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No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

WINNER, WINNER: On Saturday, Alex Bowman claimed his third victory of the 2021 season after leading 16 laps at Pocono Raceway. After starting second on the front row on lap 112, Bowman was quickly pushed to the lead and maintained that position until teammate Kyle Larson got around him 15 laps later. Bowman settled into second for the final three laps until Larson had a tire go down and Bowman was able to cross the finish line first. This is Bowman’s first career victory at the 2.5-mile triangle venue and his third win this season with the No. 48 Ally team.

BOWMAN WINS, PETS WIN: Through the yearlong initiative between Ally and the Best Friends Animal Society, when Bowman wins a race, a local shelter receives $10,000 from him and primary sponsor Ally. Last weekend, Ally donated $10,000 and Bowman donated another $1,000 to the Animal Food Bank of Lehigh Valley in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, which is located 50 miles away from Pocono. The organization donates pet food to those experiencing economic distress, and these distributions are held twice a month. Their mission is to keep companion animals in loving homes and prevent their surrender to the shelter system by supplying families with pet food when they need it. Every week, Ally and Bowman each make a $1,000 donation to a local animal shelter in the race market. That donation gets bumped up if the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet clinches a victory.

2021 AT A GLANCE: So far this season, Bowman has three wins, five top-five finishes and 10 top-10s, which is tied for seventh most top-10 results in the series with Chase Elliott. The 28-year-old has led 151 laps and is currently ranked fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series playoff standings after 19 events. Bowman’s three wins this season are tied for second with Martin Truex Jr. in the Series. All five of Bowman’s Cup Series victories came on a different track and all three of his wins in 2021 occurred in the last 11 events.

BOWMAN ON ROAD COURSES: In 2013, Bowman had one start at Road America in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. After starting 15th, he finished 24th after he was involved in an incident on the last lap of the 55-lap event. In the Cup Series, the Tucson, Arizona, native has 15 starts at road courses and has two top-five finishes and seven top-10s. Bowman has finished inside the top 15 in all 11 road course starts while behind the wheel for Hendrick Motorsports and has an average finish of 9.45, which is the third best among active drivers since the start of 2018. The No. 48 team has placed in the top 10 in all three road course events in 2021 and currently has a four-race streak of top-10 finishes, which ranks second among active drivers.

IVES AT ROAD AMERICA: No. 48 crew chief Greg Ives has called the shots at Road America once in the Xfinity Series with driver Regan Smith in 2013. Smith brought home a 32nd-place result after a last-lap incident. Ives has 17 starts as a crew chief for Hendrick Motorsports on road courses and his drivers have captured two top-five results and nine top-10s.

CLOSE TO HOME: Car chief Austin Konetski grew up in Rockford, Illinois, which is approximately 149 miles away from Road America in Wisconsin. Konetski ran super late models at Slinger Speedway in Slinger, Wisconsin, which is only 43 miles away from the Elkhart Lake track. He raced go-karts, dirt modifieds and asphalt super late models growing up, eventually signing on with Hendrick Motorsports. He’s been with the organization eight years, two of which he was part of the Cup Series championship with Jimmie Johnson. Reuben Kauffman, the No. 48 underneath mechanic, grew up in Loganville, Wisconsin, which is 137 miles from the road course venue. Kauffman is from an Amish family and decided to leave the community in 2012 to come to North Carolina to work on race cars. In Wisconsin, Kauffman had experience working in his family’s cabinet shop and once he settled in North Carolina, he earned a position at Chip Ganassi Racing in fabrication. This is Kauffman’s second season with Bowman and Ives.

PIT CREW POWER: During the 2021 season, the No. 48 pit crew ranks third for the fastest four-tire pit stop average in the NASCAR Cup Series. The team has an average four-tire stop time of 13.71. The No. 48 pit crew includes fueler Jacob Conley, tire carrier Allen Stallings, jackman Dustin Lineback, and tire changers Scott Brzozowski (front) and Devin DelRicco (rear).

STAYING OUT FRONT: Through the last seven races, Hendrick Motorsports has six points-paying wins, five runner-up placements and has finished 1-2 in four of those races. Across all four teams, the drivers have totaled 17 top-five finishes, 21 top-10s, nine stage wins of the 15 completed and led a combined 1,203 of the 1,516 laps raced, or 79%.

CROWN THE KINGS: Hendrick Motorsports continues to show its road course strength, taking home wins in six of the last seven road course events in the NASCAR Cup Series. The four drivers have worked to score nine stage wins and have led 436 laps across the last seven road course events, starting with Chase Elliott’s win at Watkins Glen in August 2019 and stretching to its most recent win at Sonoma in June. Elliott currently leads all active drivers with the most road course wins (six).

SEVEN TIMES THE FUN: Hendrick Motorsports’ 22 road course victories have come at the hands of seven different drivers, the most of any team in Cup Series history. Jeff Gordon (nine), Elliott (six), Tim Richmond (three), Geoff Bodine (one), Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, and Ricky Rudd all have brought home victories from the twisting venues.

NOT DONE YET: Through the first 19 races in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, Hendrick Motorsports already has nine wins, the second-most victories at this point in the year in organization history. The four teammates now will try to earn double-digit wins for the first time since 2014 when the organization took home 13 total wins. That season, Hendrick Motorsports drivers Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Johnson each had four wins and Kasey Kahne had one.

EVERY SECOND COUNTS: Hendrick Motorsports’ pit crews are performing at the top of their game, with three teams currently holding the fastest average four-tire pit stop times. The No. 5 team leads the Cup Series field with an average pit stop time of 13.61 seconds, followed by the No. 9 team with an average time of 13.70 seconds. The No. 48 team clocks in third with an average four-tire pit stop time of 13.71 seconds. The No. 24 crew rounds out the Hendrick Motorsports stable with an average time of 14.0 seconds.

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on the 2021 success at Hendrick Motorsports: “The morale is obviously super high at Hendrick Motorsports. It’s really cool to see it that way. I think there’s not one thing. It’s each and every individual at Hendrick Motorsports from top to bottom in every department; it’s everybody at Chevrolet. Our engines are strong, bodies are great, chassis are great. The guys putting them together are doing a great job. Having Chad (Knaus) in a new role is really good. Mr. (Rick) Hendrick and Jeff (Andrews) and everybody are giving us all the tools we need to put the parts and pieces together to go win races. It’s not one thing. It’s a culmination of everybody’s hard work. It’s cool to be a part of it and be the guy that gets to drive them.”

Bowman on returning to Road America: “I am excited to get to Road America this weekend. I raced there in the Xfinity Series back in 2013, so getting back there is going to be a lot of fun. It is a long racetrack and really long lap times, but it is a fun place and really technical.”

Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on the team’s experience at Pocono last weekend: “It was definitely odd to win and then have to get ready to race again the next day. I’m very thankful that we were able to have a good car again on Sunday and able to come home seventh. Saturday kind of was going as planned. Obviously, we knew that the No. 5 car had four tires and we had two tires. You never want to see your teammate have an issue like that but we were in the position we needed to be in, and it just worked out. On the last lap, we were talking about what we needed for Sunday’s race to be better. When we crossed the line first, it was a roller coaster of emotion and a surprised celebration for me on the box.”

Ives on his experience at Road America: “It is definitely an advantage having track time at a place like Road America. The hardest part is probably only remembering the corners that were most prevalent. Hendrick has great cars right now and the power has been strong from the Hendrick engine shop, so I know that we can get another good finish this weekend.”

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

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