"I think I proved that I could do it," says Earnhardt sub Alex Bowman

Alex Bowman’s 26th-place finish in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in no way captures everything he gained from filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"I think I proved that I could do it," says Earnhardt sub Alex Bowman
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Bowman had worked his way into the Top 10 late in the race when a cut left-rear tire sent him into the Turn 1 wall on Lap 273 of 301. He was able to continue after extensive repairs on pit road and was the last car on the lead lap at the finish.

Bowman, who drives a partial schedule in the Xfinity Series with Earnhardt’s JR Motorsports team, has competed in the Cup series previously, but this race in Hendrick Motorsports equipment offered him an excellent chance to put his talent on display.

A bittersweet day

When doctors told Earnhardt he should sit out this weekend while suffering “concussion-like symptoms,” HMS tapped the 23-year-old as his replacement.

“There’s a lot of disappointment, but at the same time, for two years I’ve wondered if I could do this at the Cup level and today I think I proved that I can,” Bowman told Motorsport.com. “I was thankful to get the call from the guys at Hendrick Motorsports and Mr. (Rick) Hendrick to let me jump in.

“I hated the circumstances but I think I proved that I could do it.”

Bowman struggled some in practice on Friday and qualified 20th. He spoke with Earnhardt on Friday night for some pre-race advice and it all seemed to pay off in Sunday’s race.

“This is the first time I’ve consistently run in the Top 10 in a Cup car,” he said. “We made a lot of progress this weekend. This is by far my worst race track. To come here and run that well with these guys just shows what a great piece they bring to the race track.”

Easy to work with

Bowman said crew chief Greg Ives and the team were “especially welcoming” to him.

“I have a lot of friends on the No. 88 crew, so it was being a part of a big family,” Bowman said. “I don’t think I’ve gotten out of a Cup car with a smile on my face for a while.

“It’s just so much fun to be able to run up front like that. I’ve raced around those guys for like two or three years now but I’ve never been able to race with them. Today I was finally able to do that.”

 
 
shares
comments
Tony Stewart: "I think they know we’re here and we mean business"
Previous article

Tony Stewart: "I think they know we’re here and we mean business"

Next article

Bad luck bites Martin Truex Jr. yet again

Bad luck bites Martin Truex Jr. yet again
Load comments
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
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021