Alex Bowman: "It felt good to be able to pass cars"

There was no win, but Alex Bowman had an incident-free race Sunday at Atlanta and that was good enough for a season’s-best finish of third.

Alex Bowman: "It felt good to be able to pass cars"

Entering Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bowman was the only Hendrick Motorsports driver outside the top-10 in the series standings.

He had shown the speed of his three teammates but got caught up in a wreck in the season-opening Daytona 500 and was running well late in the Las Vegas race but was forced to pit under green for a flat tire.

While Bowman’s No. 48 Chevrolet wasn’t the best on long runs, it remained competitive the entire race and he came home third – his first top-five finish of the 2021 season.

“We’ve struggled in some areas this year that have been pretty frustrating. I feel like we really struggled in dirty air, maneuverability in traffic, restarts and stuff,” Bowman said. “Worked really hard at bringing something to the race track that I could be aggressive with, could drive hard.

“It felt good to have that – to be able to pass cars. My pit crew did a great job keeping us up front, as well. It definitely feels good to be closer to the front. We want to be a couple spots better.

“After the last couple weeks, this definitely feels pretty good.”

Falling behind HMS teammates

Since the season began, Bowman has seen his teammates William Byron and Kyle Larson both win races, and Larson was again in contention to win Sunday, leading 269 of the 325 laps before being passed by Ryan Blaney with eight laps to go.

Bowman said he feels his team has “been a little behind” Byron and Larson’s teams but having fast teammates to turn to for help is only a positive.

“Every day walking into HMS for me is a dream come true. Still enjoying every minute of it. I feel like this is the strongest start to the season the company overall has had,” he said. “I feel like as a race team we were a little better the beginning of last year than we are the beginning of this year.

“I feel like us specifically, last year we could have won Las Vegas. We did win Fontana. Came back after the break pretty strong. This year, I feel like we’re a little behind.

“But (Larson and Byron), specifically, are super-fast each and every week. It always is good to be able to learn from them. We have a lot of really smart people working really hard back at the shop. It’s paying off.”

Read Also:

With his best finish of the season in hand, Bowman said he is looking forward to next weekend’s Cup Series race on the retooled Bristol Dirt Track, which will be the series’ first race on dirt in more than 50 years.

“I love new and different things. I think going somewhere completely different than what we’ve done in the Cup Series for forever is pretty awesome,” he said. “Who knows if it’s going to be amazing, not great, what the race track is going to do or wha’'s going to happen.

“I think the fact that it’s new, different and exciting, is really cool to be a part of.”

shares
comments

Related video

Larson's "tires were gone" by the time Blaney caught him
Previous article

Larson's "tires were gone" by the time Blaney caught him

Next article

Daniel Suarez: Strong Atlanta performance one "to build on"

Daniel Suarez: Strong Atlanta performance one "to build on"
Load comments
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Prime

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

NASCAR Cup
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Prime

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR Cup
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Prime

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his teammate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Prime

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR Cup
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival Prime

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major engine overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021