Bowman Needs To Maximize Bristol Performance

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

ROUND OF 16 FINALE: Saturday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway will mark the final race of the Round of 16 in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Alex Bowman currently sits 13th in the standings, with the top-12 drivers advancing on in the playoffs at the conclusion of Saturday’s event. Since the playoffs began in Darlington, the No. 48 Ally team has had a 26th-place result at the South Carolina based track and a 12th-place finish at Richmond Raceway. During these two events, Bowman has collectively captured 38 points.

BOWMAN AT BRISTOL: Bowman has 10 Cup Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway with two top-10 results. His best performance at the half-mile Tennessee venue came in 2018 when he brought home a fifth-place finish after 500 laps in the spring race. Earlier this season, the series visited the track for the first NCS event on dirt where Bowman finished 22nd after rolling off seventh. In 2013, he made two starts at the facility in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, capturing one top-15 finish.

SHORT-TRACK STATS: The driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE has made 32 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 ninth-most points (238) at short tracks in the last eight short-track events since the start of 2020.

TENNESSEE NUMBERS: Greg Ives will call his 13th Cup Series race at Bristol on Saturday night under the lights. In 12 previous events at the half-mile track, the crew chief has two top-five finishes and four top-10s with a best finish of second in 2016 with Dale Earnhardt Jr. In 2013 and 2014, Ives was a crew chief in the Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports where his drivers led 59 laps and claimed one top-five finish and three top-10s in four races at Bristol. As an engineer for driver Jimmie Johnson from 2006-2012, he was part of one win, two pole awards and eight top-10 finishes at the venue.

ON BOARD WITH BOWMAN: During Saturday night’s race at the Tennessee-based track, fans can see how Bowman views the track by watching his in-car camera. The No. 48 Chevrolet will be carrying the Xfinity on-board camera, allowing fans to have a 360-degree view over the shoulder of Bowman for 500 laps.

PIT ROAD STATS: Going into this weekend’s event at Bristol Motor Speedway, the No. 48 pit crew sits fifth on the board for the fastest four-tire pit stop average in the Cup Series with a time of 13.89 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 conclude on Saturday, Sept. 18 with a nationwide adoption event. 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. This Saturday, 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.

ELIMINATION SITUATION: Entering the final event of the opening round of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has won eight of the 28 elimination races held since 2014, including three in 2020: the Charlotte ROVAL, Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway. The team has won at least one elimination race in each of the last three seasons.

BMS SUCCESS: Eleven of Hendrick Motorsports’ 52 NASCAR Cup Series short-track wins (best of active teams) have come at Bristol, where it has secured 12 pole positions and led more than 6,000 laps. The organization holds the BMS track records for top-five finishes (60) and top-10s (109). A record six different drivers have won there for team owner Rick Hendrick.

SWEET 16: Hendrick Motorsports has gone to victory lane in eight of the last 16 Cup Series races (50%). No other organization has won more than three times in that span.

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on how the team is strategizing for Bristol: “I think we need to maximize stage points and hopefully that has us in a good spot at the end of the day. I don’t think we are in a must-win situation by any means, but when you are racing Kurt (Busch) and Kyle (Busch) and guys who are so good at Bristol, it is going to be tough. We are going to go do everything we can to win the race. I don’t think we are going to put ourselves in a situation where we either win or run 30th. We are just going to go maximize the day and do the best we can.”

Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on preparing for the cutoff race at Bristol: “I have been in playoff situations plenty of times to know … you take all of your pennies out and figure out how many points you have. You divide them all up and if you do this and add that and you get this many stage points and finish here, you end up transferring on. Honestly, my thought is that if you go out there and execute, have good pit stops, don’t have any loose wheels, vibrations, great restarts, and keep your car clean, you are probably going to transfer on. That’s our goal and I haven’t been quiet about it either, it all comes down to executing the races and finishing where we should.”

Ives on the No. 48 team’s history at Bristol: “I would say we have performed decent there – capable of top-10s. We haven’t been in the situation where I felt like we could win the race. Alex talks about it a lot, we kind of just focus on trying to get his driving style to match up with the setup I have underneath the car and being able to repeat that. Last time there, we were running between third and seventh most of the day and we had a left-rear tire come unbalanced. We had to pit, went two laps down and never got it back. That’s kind of what I am talking about, is whether we have a top-three car or a top-10 car, it doesn’t matter if you run into issues that you can’t overcome. Adversity is all about overcoming it and Bristol is definitely going to have plenty of opportunities to try and overcome.”

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

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