Richmond Is A Good Track For Bowman

48 Alex Bowman

Age: 28 (April 25, 1993)

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Resides: Concord, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Greg Ives

Standings: 13th

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No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

REVISITING FIRST WIN OF 2021: Alex Bowman will return to the site of his first NASCAR Cup Series victory of the 2021 season this weekend when the field visits Richmond Raceway for the second race of the Round of 16. The 28-year-old driver led the final 10 laps of the spring event to capture Ally’s first points-paying victory with Hendrick Motorsports. His April win was Bowman’s first short-track victory in the Cup Series and his third overall win at that level. Since Richmond, the No. 48 team has captured victories at Dover International Speedway and Pocono Raceway.

NINE MORE: Following last weekend’s event in Darlington, the Cup Series has nine races remaining this season. Aside from Bowman’s three 2021 wins, he has six top-five finishes and 13 top-10s. Last weekend, the Ally team finished 26th at Darlington after suffering various issues during the 367-lap event. Bowman goes into this weekend’s race tied for 12th in the NCS playoff standings with Tyler Reddick.

RACING AT RICHMOND: Bowman has 10 previous Richmond Raceway starts in the Cup Series. Along with his win earlier this year, Bowman also has two top-10 results at the .75-mile facility. He has three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the Virginia track where he qualified a career-best second and finished ninth in 2016 for JR Motorsports. In 2011, the driver of the No. 48 made one start at the track in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, qualifying fourth and finishing fifth after 100 laps.

SHORT-TRACK STATS: The driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE has made 31 paved short-track starts in his seven-year Cup Series career. Bowman has one win (Richmond), two top-five finishes and seven top-10s on these tracks. He has collected the fifth-most points (210) at short tracks in the last six events and is the most recent short-track winner in the Cup Series at Richmond. Out of Hendrick Motorsports’ 11 victories at the .75-mile venue, the last time the team won prior to this season was in 2008 when Bowman was 15 years old.

IVES IN VIRGINIA: Crew chief Greg Ives is set to call his 12th Richmond event in the Cup Series on Saturday night under the lights. The Bark River, Michigan, native’s best finish at the track came earlier this season when the team claimed the victory after 400 laps. Ives has one win, two top-five results and three top-10s at the Virginia-based venue. The sixth-year Cup Series crew chief also has four Xfinity Series starts at Richmond and his drivers finished inside the top five all four times. Chase Elliott placed second in both events in 2014 and Regan Smith finished fifth and third in 2013. Ives was a race engineer for the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team from 2006 until 2012. During that time, he was a part of Jimmie Johnson’s three wins, one pole award and seven top-10 finishes at Richmond

PIT ROAD STATS: Following last weekend’s event in Darlington, the No. 48 pit crew sits sixth for the fastest four-tire pit stop average in the Cup Series with a time of 13.92 seconds. The team had the fastest single stop at Dover International Speedway (12.18 seconds) on May 16 and had the third-fastest stop at Atlanta Motor Speedway (12.25 seconds) on July 11. 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).

CLEAR THE SHELTERS: The “Clear the Shelters” nationwide campaign is underway and will run through Sept. 18. The NBC/Telemundo initiative rolled out at the end of August and WCNC, the local Charlotte, North Carolina, NBC station, teamed up with Bowman and No. 48 team partner Ally for the 2021 campaign to get as many pets adopted from local shelters. On Sept. 18, all adoption fees will either be waived or discounted with the goal to clear out the 10 shelters that are participating in the Charlotte area. Learn more here.

NOMINATE A CANCER HERO: The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation is giving race fans the opportunity to have a cancer survivor’s name, a caregiver’s name, or a medical provider’s name in place of Bowman’s moniker above the door at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 24. Fans can bid on the door space, which is now live on the NASCAR Foundation’s eBay page and will close out on Sept. 13.

1-2 PUNCH: With Kyle Larson’s second-place result Sunday at Darlington Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports has recorded 24 top-two finishes through 27 NASCAR Cup Series points races in 2021 – the most by a team at this point in a season since 1956 (34 by Carl Kiekhafer). This year, the four-car Hendrick Motorsports stable has amassed a league-leading 11 wins and finished in the runner-up spot 13 times. It has swept the top-two positions in five events.
 
THE ONES AND TWOS: Since its inaugural season in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has a combined 527 top-two finishes at the elite NASCAR Cup level. The team holds the series records for both points-paying victories (274) and second-place results (253). It has swept the top-two spots in an all-time best 48 Cup races.
 
SHORT-TRACK SUCCESS: Hendrick Motorsports has 52 victories on short tracks, which is 10 more than any other active NASCAR Cup Series team. Eleven of its wins have come at Richmond Raceway including Alex Bowman’s first-place performance there in April. A record-tying six different drivers have won at Richmond for car owner Rick Hendrick, who grew up 100 miles from the track in Palmer Springs, Virginia.
 
THE NEXT SIX: Since 2019, Hendrick Motorsports has visited victory lane at each of the next six tracks on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule: Richmond, Bristol Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL and Texas Motor Speedway. In points-paying races, Bowman won Richmond in April 2021, Larson won Las Vegas in March 2021 and Chase Elliott won Talladega in April 2019 and the ROVAL in October 2020. In addition, the team has won the last two NASCAR All-Star Races: Elliott at Bristol in July 2020 and Larson at Texas in June 2021.
 
SCOREBOARD: Over the last 15 NASCAR Cup Series points-paying races, Hendrick Motorsports has won eight times and is the only organization to go to victory lane more than twice.

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on returning to Richmond after winning there in April: “Going back to Richmond is something to look forward to this week. Richmond is a track where our No. 48 team feels really strong at, and we are bringing the same car from earlier this year when we ended up in victory lane. After last week, we need to rebound and capitalize on a good night on Saturday. There’s not a lot of comfort going forward the next two weeks, but we are going to two places we know we can be strong at and have good runs.”

Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 48 team, on chassis for Richmond: “It is going to be the same car and same chassis but obviously different things that you’re able to do, either to make it better or in NASCAR’s world, you’re able to regulate or put a little more sight and difficulties on you. Whatever that scenario is, whether it’s true or false or to allow other guys to get their cars get better, you have to keep up with it. That’s ultimately the goal – to bring a better race car and try not to reinvent the wheel. For the most part, the general setup is going to be very close. Just trying to fine tune and then make things a little bit better.”

Ives on how quickly the playoff rankings can change: “You got to look at history, right? The biggest factor I see (are) the unknowns. Putting yourself in a bad situation and then hurting yourself. You kind of look at the history of last year’s playoffs and we scored the second-most points in the playoffs. We didn’t go to the final four but, in the end, it calls for a really good run and the 4 team there with Kevin Harvick, they had how many wins last year? Eight wins and a lot of points and they got themselves in a bad spot and wasn’t able to transfer to the final four. It definitely is a tough grind and tough season, but then you add on the quickness of a reset and going to probably one of the toughest racetracks (Darlington) to either get the handling right (or) the toughness on the teams from a pit standpoint (or) the ease of getting damage to the car and putting yourself in a bad situation with the wreck. It’s a tough place to start out, for sure, and you have to be pretty flawless. If not, you got to learn how to overcome dramatically. Unfortunately, that’s what we have to do – overcome a really bad situation.”

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

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