Bowman Is In “Must Win Status”

48 Alex Bowman

Age: 28 (April 25, 1993)

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Resides: Concord, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Greg Ives

Standings: 12th

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No. 48 Ally/Charlotte FC Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

RECAPPING ‘DEGA: In the rain delayed Talladega event on Monday, Alex Bowman and the No. 48 Ally team rolled off 11th. The driver finished the first stage in 10th place under a yellow flag, earning the team a stage point. Bowman was up to second on lap 90 while running in the top lane. Unfortunately, seven laps later while leading the field, Bowman was turned and made contact with the outside wall on the backstretch. The Ally team was scored with a 38th-place result at the conclusion of the event and Bowman now sits 12th in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, 52 markers out of the eighth spot.

NEW LOOK FOR THE 48: On Sunday, Bowman will pilot an updated look on the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet. Last week, Ally unveiled a new paint scheme for the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL event that features the new Charlotte Major League Soccer team. Ally partnered with Charlotte FC in 2019 and on Sunday it will be featured on the No. 48 machine. Last month, Bowman and Charlotte FC defender Christian Fuchs got together at Hendrick Motorsports to film Ally’s “Unexpected Allies” series. Members of the No. 48 pit crew got to practice some soccer drills with Fuchs as their instructor and Bowman got to try his hand as a goalie. To view the final episode of the series and to get a glimpse of the dual scheme, click here.

TURNING LEFT AND RIGHT: Bowman will make his fourth start on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL this weekend in the final race in the Round of 12. The Tucson, Arizona, native has the second-best average finish (4.67) among all Cup Series drivers in three starts at the 2.28-mile facility and has captured 107 points at the ROVAL, which is fourth-best among active drivers. Last season, Bowman finished eighth, marking his third top-10 finish at the venue. The team’s eighth-place result locked Bowman into the Round of 8 in 2020.

ROAD COURSE STATS: In the Cup Series, Bowman has 17 starts at road courses with two top-five finishes and six top-10s. Both of the Ally driver’s top-five results came on the ROVAL after finishing fourth in 2018 and second in 2019. Bowman’s best tracks based on average finishes are all road course facilities. The 28-year-old driver has an average finish of 4.67 at the ROVAL, 8.0 at Circuit of The Americas and 11.0 at the DAYTONA Road Course. In 2021, Bowman has the 10th-best average finish (14.33) on road courses.

IVES AT THE ROVAL: No. 48 team crew chief Greg Ives will call the shots for the fourth time at the 2.28-mile road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday. The Bark River, Michigan, native has two top-five results and three top-10s at the track since 2018.

PIT PERFORMANCE: Going into the final race in the Round of 12 this weekend, the No. 48 pit crew sits sixth on the charts for the fastest average four-tire stop time of 13.91. The team includes fueler Jacob Conley, tire carrier Allen Stallings, jackman Dustin Lineback and tire changers Scott Brzozowski and Devin DelRicco.

HOME TRACK MAGIC: Since its inception in 2018, Hendrick Motorsports has won two of the three NASCAR Cup Series races held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course known as the ROVAL. Overall, the team has 35 Cup-level wins at the CMS facility, including 21 points-paying victories on the 1.5-mile oval and 12 non-points wins – eight in the NASCAR All-Star Race and four in the All-Star Open. Based in Concord, North Carolina, Hendrick Motorsports is located less than 1 mile from the racetrack.

THRIVING UNDER PRESSURE: Hendrick Motorsports has won four consecutive Cup Series playoff elimination races dating back to last season. In 2020, Chase Elliott won the final three cutoff events – held at the ROVAL, Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway – en route to winning the Cup Series championship. This year, Kyle Larson won at Bristol Motor Speedway, which hosted the first elimination race of the 2021 playoffs.

THE ROAD AHEAD: The three drivers who have led the most laps at the Charlotte ROVAL all drive for Hendrick Motorsports: Elliott (62 laps led), Larson (52) and William Byron (50). While he has led just two ROVAL laps, teammate Alex Bowman has never finished outside the top 10 at the track and boasts a 4.7 average finish there, which trails only two-time winner Elliott (2.7).

TRUTH BOMB: Since 2018, Hendrick Motorsports has won nine of the 14 Cup Series points-paying events held on road courses, including eight of the last 10. This season, the team has won four of six road races, including three sweeps of the top-two finishing positions. Hendrick Motorsports holds the all-time NASCAR Cup Series records for road-course wins (24), different drivers with a road-course victory (seven) and road-course stage wins (11).

NOTHING BUT NET: For Sunday’s ROVAL event, all four Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE race cars of Hendrick Motorsports will feature pink window nets in support of the “Window of Hope” initiative that will raise money to support breast cancer awareness and treatment. Following the race, the nets will be autographed by each driver and auctioned for charity at NASCARfoundation.org/pinknets.

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on expectations at the ROVAL this weekend: “We are going into this weekend’s race at the ROVAL knowing that we most likely need to find victory lane in order to advance. We have finished well here before, so we really need to focus on what we can control. The Ally team has been working hard on this road course Chevrolet and I know we will have a shot at it on Sunday.”

Bowman on running the Ally/Charlotte FC scheme at the ROVAL: “Getting Ally into the playoffs was one of our goals this season, and I really want to get them as far as we can in the playoffs. Having the Charlotte FC program on the car this weekend will be really special for everyone involved and I am pumped to show Christian (Fuchs) what race day looks like for this 48 team. This Chevrolet has a lot of meaning to the city of Charlotte, so ending up in victory lane Sunday would be huge.”

Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, on how their success at the ROVAL gives them confidence: “When you look at the finishing position, it doesn’t really tell you the tale of the race, either. I think one time we did some alternate strategies to try and get there. Another time we had to go to a backup car and Alex wrecked on the first lap and we were able to come back strong and finish well. There’s a lot of adversity in those finishes that I feel like will bide us well for what we have to do on Sunday. Going out there and winning is key, that’s the number one goal no matter what situation you are in, and here it is definitely dire to make that happen to transfer on to the next round. I feel like we are up to the challenge and I feel like Alex has a tendency to find that little bit more or that extra percentage that we need to get it done. I am excited for the team; I am excited for us to get that opportunity and see what we have to show for it.”

Ives on having Charlotte FC on the car: “That’s really cool. To have another premier sport in Charlotte is not only great for the city but also for the competitive spirit that everybody has around here. Maybe that is the help and the support that we need to pull this one off and to come in a little bit of an underdog. Since Charlotte FC is a new team to MLS, somebody probably thinks they are an underdog now, too. Hopefully, we can go out there and combine to have a great race and come out of there with a win as well as have a good season for them.”

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

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