Bowman Talladega Notes

48 Alex Bowman

Age: 29 (April 25, 1993)

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Resides: Concord, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Greg Ives

Standings: 12th

No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

BACK ON THE BOULEVARD: Last time Alex Bowman was at Talladega Superspeedway, he crossed the finish line in ninth. The driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 finished the first stage in ninth and the second stage in fifth en route to his top-10 finish – a part of Hendrick Motorsports’ fourth event at the Alabama venue where at least three of its drivers finished in the top 10.

OH, SO CLOSE: Bowman is one of four active drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series to finish second at Talladega but have yet to win at the sport’s biggest oval. The Tucson, Arizona, native took home a runner-up result in April 2019, finishing second to teammate Chase Elliott. Since then, he has two top-10 finishes in six appearances at the Alabama venue.

RUNNING IN THE SHADOWS: Since the start of the 2021 Cup Series season, Bowman has five victories – third-most of all active drivers in that span. Only teammates Kyle Larson and Elliott have more wins, with 12 and five, respectively.

PACING THE FIELD: Bowman is one of seven drivers to have led at least 100 laps in the 2022 Cup Series playoffs. He has the sixth-most circuits completed as the leader with 107 laps, trailing Chris Buescher (169), Christopher Bell (155), Kyle Busch (155), Brad Keselowski (151), and Tyler Reddick (108).

POINT MADE: The 29-year-old is one of five active playoff drivers to have added to his playoff point total this postseason. Bowman’s stage win at Kansas Speedway is one of three stage wins for Hendrick Motorsports in this year’s playoffs. He enters this race 30 points behind the cutoff line with two races left in the Round of 12.

SHOT CALLER: Crew chief Greg Ives has a storied career of success at superspeedways as a crew chief in the Cup Series. Through his 31 superspeedway starts in NASCAR’s premier level, Ives has tallied four pole positions (including the 2018 and 2021 DAYTONA 500 poles with Bowman), two points-paying wins (Talladega and Daytona International Speedway in 2015 with Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and two victories in the Daytona Duel qualifying races (2015 and 2016 with Earnhardt Jr.). He also led Regan Smith to a NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Talladega in 2013.

LEADING THE WAY: With nine wins through the 30 NASCAR Cup Series races in 2022, Hendrick Motorsports has earned the most victories so far this season. It is the only four-car team to see all of its drivers win a race this season. The organization is also the only one to have multiple drivers with at least two wins – Chase Elliott (four), Kyle Larson (two) and William Byron (two). On top of that, Elliott and Byron rank 1-2 in laps led this year.

ALL IN: For the second straight season and third time in nine seasons, all four drivers for the 14-time Cup Series championship organization are in the Round of 12 of the NASCAR playoffs. The quartet of Alex Bowman, Byron, Elliott and Larson also did this in 2021. In the first year of the elimination-style playoff – 2014 – the foursome of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne each advanced to the second round of the playoffs.

SUCCESS ON SUPERSPEEDWAYS: With 28 wins on superspeedways, Hendrick Motorsports has the most victories on that track type in Cup Series history. Thirteen of those victories have come at Talladega Superspeedway, while 15 have come at Daytona International Speedway.

VICTORY FORMATION: Gordon’s six wins at the Alabama venue top the board for the organization followed by Johnson’s two triumphs. Earnhardt Jr., Elliott, Terry Labonte, Ken Schrader and Brian Vickers each have one victory for the Rick Hendrick-owned team. The seven drivers to win at the 2.66-mile track are the most for one team.

SPRING SUMMARY: In the spring race at the sport’s biggest oval, Hendrick Motorsports led 70 of the 188 laps (37%). Byron paced the field for a race-high 38 circuits and won stage two, while Larson held the point position for 32 laps. Larson (4.77), Byron (4.87) and Elliott (7.84) had three of the four best average running positions in the race. The team spent 44% of their laps running in the top five and 72% percent of their laps in the top 10. At the end of the day, three of its drivers finished in the top 10 with Larson finishing fourth, Elliott placing seventh and Bowman taking ninth.

FACTOID FOUR YOU: In four races at Talladega in the team’s storied history, the organization has placed at least three drivers in the top 10. This year’s spring race was the most recent occurrence. The first came in April 1998 with Labonte placing fourth, Gordon in fifth and Randy LaJoie earning a 10th-place showing. In October 2007, Gordon and Johnson placed one-two while Casey Mears came in sixth. In April 2011, Johnson won, Gordon took third, Earnhardt Jr. came in fourth and Mark Martin placed eighth.

DRAFTING DARLINGS: In the season’s five drafting races with the 2022 superspeedway rules package – two at Daytona, one at Talladega and two at Atlanta Motor Speedway – Hendrick Motorsports has won twice. Byron and Elliott earned wins at Atlanta in March and July, respectively. In fact, Byron (192 laps led) and Elliott (156 laps led) rank first and second in laps led on drafting tracks this season.

RECORD SETTERS: Hendrick Motorsports has posted a series-best 53 wins in the playoffs – 20 more than the next closest organization. Johnson has the most wins with 29. Among the current driver lineup, Elliott tops the board with six wins, followed by Larson with five and Bowman has one. Nine different drivers have won a playoff race for the team, which is the most in the Cup Series ranks. Entering this year’s playoffs, the company has won a race in the postseason in 17 seasons and that mark is also the most among all Cup Series teams.

lex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his approach to the next two races in the Round of 12: “Texas (Motor Speedway) put us behind in points, so our work is cut out for us heading to Talladega (Superspeedway) and the (Charlotte Motor Speedway) ROVAL. Our team has a lot of motivation right now and when our backs are against the wall, the crew steps up and goes the extra mile to put ourselves in the best position possible. Obviously, anything can happen at a superspeedway, so we just have to be smart and make the right moves to stay out of other’s messes. We will take it one race at a time like we always do and go compete this Sunday.”

Greg Ives, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on his approach to Talladega: “This race is always challenging and being in the playoffs, there’s more at risk. We obviously aren’t where we want to be in points, but a win locks us into the next round and takes all the pressure off for the (Charlotte Motor Speedway) ROVAL. Our focus right now is maximizing on every opportunity we get and having a clean race at Talladega (Superspeedway) is our first priority. Alex (Bowman) is doing his homework to make sure he is ready to compete, and the crew is putting in the time to get the No. 48 Ally Chevy setup for him. We just need to stay focused on maximizing this Sunday.”

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

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