Bowman Daytona Preview

48 ALEX BOWMAN

Age: 30 (April 25, 1993)

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Resides: Concord, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Blake Harris

Standings: 20th (2023)

No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to members of the media in the drivers’ meeting room at the Daytona International Speedway media center on Wednesday, Feb. 14, from 2:50-3:20 p.m. local time.

FRONT OF THE FIELD: Last year at Daytona International Speedway, Alex Bowman and the No. 48 Ally Racing team won the pole position for the DAYTONA 500. Bowman reigned from the front of the field for the start of the 2023 edition of “The Great American Race” with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson by his side. In an overtime finish, Bowman took the checkered flag fifth, becoming the first driver in 22 years to score a top-five finish from the pole.

RECORD HOLDER: The Tucson, Arizona, native is the only driver to start on the front row in six straight DAYTONA 500s (2018-2023) and is the only driver to start on the front row six times in the history of the crown jewel race. This sets him ahead of the five-way tie of drivers with five front-row starts each, a list that includes Jeff Gordon. Bowman has won the pole three times (2018, 2021 and 2023) and scored the outside starting position three times (2019, 2020 and 2022).

DETERMINED IN DAYTONA: This year, Bowman will compete for his fourth pole position and seventh front-row start in the DAYTONA 500. His success at this 2.5-mile superspeedway has helped contribute to Hendrick Motorsports’ claim of eight of the last nine pole positions for the season-opening points race and 11 straight poles by manufacturer Chevrolet.

FIRST 500: Collin Hoeffner, the No. 48 team’s new tire specialist, will approach Daytona this weekend to compete in his first DAYTONA 500 and points-paying race with the Ally Racing team. Hoeffner worked his first Cup Series race in April of 2023 at Richmond Raceway and joined the No. 48 team just ahead of 2024.

OUR ALLY: The No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 returns to the track looking pretty in purple. In 2024, the online banking company is affiliated with Hendrick Motorsports for a sixth season, driver Bowman for a fourth season and serves as the Official Consumer Bank of NASCAR for a second year.

SEE IT WITH YOUR OWN EYES: Want a closer look at the new 2024 Ally Racing “digital camo” paint scheme? Visit the Ally Fan Zone Stage at Daytona to lay eyes on this year’s primary scheme, doubling as F1 graphic designer, Sean Bull’s, first NASCAR masterpiece. Not at the track this weekend? Check out the updated “digital camo” primary paint scheme here.

LIVE FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT: This Sunday, Bowman fans can ride along and #Rally48 from the driver’s seat by tuning into NASCAR’s in-car camera on the No. 48 Chevy. Visit nascar.com/drive to experience the driver’s perspective during this prestigious race.

N.G.W.S.D: National Girls and Women in Sports Day (N.G.W.S.D) was on Feb. 7, 2024. The annual day is designed to honor the achievements of girls and women in sports and break gender stereotypes built around the sports industry. The No. 48’s primary partner, Ally Financial, has several influential women in leadership who help make the racing program a success including Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer Andrea Brimmer, Executive Director of Marketing Bridget Sponsky and Ally Racing’s Brand & Partnerships Manager Jessica Stroupe. At the 2022 espnW Women + Sports Summit, Ally announced a pledge to achieve equal spending in paid advertising across women’s and men’s sports programming over the next five years. Additionally, Ally launched Watch the Game, Change the Game – a new national advocacy initiative spanning broadcast, digital and social media channels aimed at rallying viewership of women’s competitions. In May of 2023, Ally reached the 1-year milestone of their 50/50 pledge and was ahead of schedule nearing a 60/40 split in its sports paid media spending across men’s and women’s sports.

FABULOUS 40: In 2024, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Among the categories that the Rick Hendrick-owned organization holds the NASCAR Cup Series record for are all-time wins (301), poles (246), laps led (79,757) and championships (14). The organization has won at least one race in each of the last 38 seasons. In addition, the team has at least three victories in each of the past 30 seasons, the longest streak by a team in the Cup Series.

MEET THE TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports is hosting a media event on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 3 p.m. ET, at the Chevrolet Experience Center in the Daytona International Speedway infield. The team will make several special announcements related to its 40th anniversary in NASCAR. Team owner Rick Hendrick, vice chairman Jeff Gordon, drivers Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, William Byron and Alex Bowman, plus crew chiefs Cliff Daniels, Alan Gustafson, Rudy Fugle and Blake Harris will be on hand.

LAST YEAR LOOK BACK: Last season, Hendrick Motorsports notched a series-best 10 wins and placed two drivers – Byron and Larson – in the Championship 4. Larson won four races as well as the non-points All-Star Race and finished second in the final standings. Byron won a best-in-series six times and placed third in the final standings. Elliott and Bowman each missed time with injuries and Elliott led the No. 9 team to the Round of 8 in the owner’s playoffs. The season saw the organization earn its 300th Cup Series victory (Byron at Texas Motor Speedway) and the engine department earn its 500th national series win (Larson at Darlington Raceway). The four-car team led the Cup Series in wins (10), top-five finishes (42), top-10s (67) and stage wins (19).

SETTING THE FIELD: The starting lineup for the DAYTONA 500 is set in a very different manner than any other race. Wednesday’s single-car, two-round qualifying will only set the front row for the DAYTONA 500. The remaining order of qualifying will determine the field for the two 60-lap Duel at Daytona races on Thursday night. The rest of the starting ineup for the 40-car field in the DAYTONA 500 will be set by the results of twin 150s. The duel qualifiers also represent the first chance for drivers to earn points in 2024 with the top-10 finishers in each race earning as many as 10 points (for the win) all the way down to one point (for 10th).

POLE POWER: With 16 poles for the DAYTONA 500, Hendrick Motorsports leads all Cup Series organizations by a wide margin (the next closest team has six). Those 16 poles account for 40% of the poles for DAYTONA 500s that Hendrick Motorsports has competed in. Nine drivers have combined for the 16 poles: Bowman (three), Ken Schrader (three), Elliott (two), Gordon (two), Jimmie Johnson (two), Byron (one), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (one), Larson (one) and Mark Martin (one). The organization has won eight of the last nine poles for “The Great American Race” with all four active drivers securing at least one pole position in that stretch. On top of that, Hendrick Motorsports engines have won nine straight DAYTONA 500 poles.

OPPOSITE ENDS: Elliott’s 2016 pole position still stands as the youngest pole winner in the event’s history at 20 years, two months and 17 days. In fact, Hendrick Motorsports has five of the six youngest pole winners in DAYTONA 500 history. At the other end of the spectrum, Martin’s 2010 pole at 51 years old has held as the oldest pole winner in the crown jewel race’s storied past.

FRONT ROW FOCUS: There have been nine instances of a front row sweep for the Rick Hendrick-owned team at the DAYTONA 500. Six of those have occurred in the last nine years (2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023) including four of the last five. Last year, Bowman (first) and Larson (second) held the top two starting spots. In addition, the organization has had at least one car start on the front row in each of the last nine DAYTONA 500s.

DUEL DOMINATION: Hendrick Motorsports’ 16 wins in the Duel at Daytona races are tied for most among all teams in the Cup Series. Gordon leads the way with five victories followed by Earnhardt Jr.’s three. Elliott and Johnson each have two wins. Byron, Schrader, Benny Parsons and Darrell Waltrip each have tallied one win. The 2015 wins by Earnhardt Jr. and Johnson mark the organization’s lone sweep of the qualifying races.

GREAT AMERICAN VICTORIES: The eight wins for the Concord, North Carolina, based team in the prestigious season-opening event are the second-most by all teams and the most among active teams. Gordon’s three wins (1997, 1999 and 2005) are the most for the organization. Johnson has two wins (2006 and 2013), while Geoff Bodine (1986), Earnhardt Jr. (2014) and Waltrip (1989) each picked up one apiece for the squad. The five different drivers to win for one team in the DAYTONA 500 are tied for the most.

HIGH FIVE: With a win in Sunday’s DAYTONA 500, Hendrick Motorsports would become the first organization to win the race in five different decades. Currently, it is one of two organizations – Petty Enterprises is the other – to win the DAYTONA 500 in four different decades.

OVAL-WHELMING SUCCESS: The Daytona oval has been the site of much success for the 14-time championship-winning Cup Series organization. Their 42 wins at the 2.5-mile superspeedway have come in the following ways: the Duel at Daytona (16), DAYTONA 500 (eight), Clash (seven), Coke Zero 400 (seven) and NASCAR Xfinity Series races (four). In addition, Elliott won at the Daytona Road Course in 2020.

Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on building off his career-best finish in last year’s DAYTONA 500: “I feel like I learned a lot last year at (super) speedways in general. The DAYTONA 500 is tough. It’s a long day. There are a lot of ways to crash and I feel like I’ve shown a lot of those ways to crash. Last year, obviously we finished well (fifth) and had a good day with a good result. We’re hoping to improve on that just a little bit and continue to learn, execute and have a good day. I want to put myself in the right position and know what moves I need to make – and not make – so that our No. 48 Ally team can be in contention there for a win at the end. I’m looking forward to getting back to it at Daytona (International Speedway).”

Blake Harris, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on the team’s preparation for the DAYTONA 500: “I think we prepare for qualifying the same way we did last year – by going all in as a company. It’s a big deal to Alex (Bowman), Ally and Mr. (Rick) Hendrick to put that Chevy on the front row, so we are going to put all effort forward into that. At the same time, above that, is being able to go and contend for the win. We had a good shot there last year at the end of the race. We put ourselves in contention to win at a couple of superspeedway races in 2023. Statistically, superspeedways were strong for Alex last year. We’re certainly putting an emphasis on the importance of winning the DAYTONA 500 but approaching it as a byproduct of our processes and preparation.”

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

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