48 Alex Bowman
Age: 28 (April 25, 1993)
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Resides: Concord, North Carolina
Crew Chief: Greg Ives
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No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
TOP FIVE IN BRISTOL: Saturday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway ended with a top-five finish for the No. 48 Ally team after 500 laps. Alex Bowman rolled off 11th under the lights and battled through both loose and tight conditions throughout the evening. At the end of stage one, Bowman was 14th and, following a four-tire stop under the lap 220 caution, he reported that his balance felt better. With 30 laps remaining, he entered the top five and crossed the finish line in the same spot. Following his seventh top-five result of the 2021 season, Bowman advanced into the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
ROLLING THE DICE: Bowman has nine Las Vegas Motor Speedway appearances in the Cup Series. Earlier this season, the 28-year-old driver finished inside the top 10 in both stages but suffered a flat left-rear tire, which resulted in a 27th-place result. Bowman’s average running position during the 2020 playoff event at Las Vegas was 5.5, which was the third-best of all drivers. In his lone start at the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Bowman finished eighth after qualifying 18th for the 200-lap event in 2013.
1.5-MILE STATS: In six Cup Series starts on 1.5-mile tracks this season, Bowman has four top-10 results, including three top-fives. He has the eighth-best average finish (11th) at these venues in 2021. In the last 10 races on 1.5-mile tracks, the Tucson, Arizona, native has eight top-10 results, the third-best on the charts. He is second only to Kyle Busch with six top-five finishes in the last 10 races at these tracks. In nine events with the 550HP package this year, Bowman is ranked seventh in regard to his average finish (10th).
IVES’ VEGAS STATS: Crew chief Greg Ives will call his 11th Las Vegas Cup Series race this weekend. In his 10 previous starts at the 1.5-mile facility, the No. 48 crew chief has two top-five results and four top-10s with a best finish of fourth coming in 2015 with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ives also has two starts there in the Xfinity Series, including one top-five finish with Chase Elliott in 2014 and one top-10 with Regan Smith in 2013. From 2006-2012, Ives was a race engineer for the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team with seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. During that time, he was part of three wins and four top-five finishes at Las Vegas.
BOWMAN VISITS NEON GARAGE: On Sunday, Sept. 26, Bowman will visit the fan stage inside the Neon Garage at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a question-and-answer session. The Ally driver will be on stage starting at 1:15 p.m. local time.
PIT ROAD STATS: Following the Bristol event last weekend, 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).
NO. 275: Kyle Larson’s performance Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway represented the record-extending 275th points-paying NASCAR Cup Series victory for Hendrick Motorsports. Earlier this season, the organization broke the all-time team record of 268 Cup Series wins held by the legendary Petty Enterprises.
PLAYOFF PAYOFF: For the first time since 2014, all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers remain in contention for the Cup Series championship following the first playoff elimination race. At least two of the team’s drivers have advanced to the Round of 12 each year since 2014, including three in 2019.
THRIVING UNDER PRESSURE: With Larson’s Bristol victory, Hendrick Motorsports has won the last four Cup Series playoff elimination races, including teammate Chase Elliott sweeping the final three last season en route to the 2020 championship. Elliott won the Charlotte ROVAL in the Round of 12, at Martinsville Speedway in the Round of 8 and in the season finale at Phoenix Raceway to clinch the title.
A ONE AND A TWO: Larson’s Bristol win was Hendrick Motorsports’ 25th top-two finish of 2021, which is tied for the second-most all-time through 29 races (Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019). In 1956, Carl Kiekhafer Racing recorded a record 34 top-two finishes in the first 29 Cup Series events. This year, Hendrick Motorsports has 12 victories and 13 runner-up finishes.
GOOD COMPANY: On Saturday night, Larson became the eighth Hendrick Motorsports driver to record a race win during the Cup Series playoffs. Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Elliott and Mark Martin won as active playoff contenders, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers recorded victories as non-playoff spoilers. The organization has won a race during the playoffs in a record 17 of the 18 seasons since the format was established in 2004.
WIN CITY: Hendrick Motorsports has six Cup Series victories at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, including Larson’s triumph in March. Going into Sunday’s playoff race there, the organization holds the track records for top-five finishes (24), top-10s (43) and laps led (1,695). Its four Las Vegas stage wins are tied for the most of any team.
Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on moving on to the Round of 12: “Advancing to the Round of 12 was exactly what we needed to do going into the Bristol race. It is obvious we struggled in the first two races in the playoffs, but we went into Bristol with a strategy and Greg (Ives) and the team did a great job with adjustments throughout the race. We fought hard and coming out with a fifth-place finish was big for this Ally team. We want to take Ally as far as we can in these playoffs and putting races together like last weekend will do just that for us.”
Bowman on returning to Las Vegas for a playoff race: “Going to Vegas this weekend, it is a good track for the 48 team. We have seen success there in the past, and earlier this season we had a top-10, if not a top-five run going before we had a tire go down. Our mile-and-a-half program is strong and this Ally team has been working hard on our Chevrolets. This round of the playoffs has a lot of good tracks for us, so we are looking to have strong runs in the next three weeks.”
Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on moving on to Las Vegas with momentum: “Whether it’s a great week or a bad week, you try to look at each week as a new start and have realistic goals in mind. A realistic goal for us at Las Vegas is a win. There are some places you go and try to get top five in stages and then come out with a good finish. With Vegas, I feel like we got great race cars capable of going out there and scoring a lot of stage points and getting the win. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we have teammates who have the same thing. We just got to go out there and execute to the best of our abilities and take advantage when we can. Whether it’s a restart or on pit road or short runs or long runs. We just got to stay focused on that. I feel like we’re capable of winning at any racetrack, but there’s a lot of confidence going back to Vegas.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!