The other side of Alex Bowman - Part 2

Over the next several months on Motorsport.com, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Alex Bowman will occasionally share a first-person diary, giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at his life both on the track and off.

The other side of Alex Bowman - Part 2
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide, William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta lead at the start
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta, Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta, Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide pit stop
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide and Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA AUTO PARTS
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide Rick Hendrick
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide
#9: Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA AUTO PARTS, #88: Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide, Rick Hendrick, #24: William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta and #48: Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally celebrate qualifying in the first four positions
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta and Greg Ives
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta
Beck the painting dog

Well, the Daytona 500 went pretty well for most of the race. We had a couple of mistakes on our side. The over-the-wall-too-soon penalty hurt us in the second stage. We were running second to (Denny Hamlin) and I probably shouldn’t have pulled out of line there. But we were having a lot of radio issues because our antenna broke. I couldn’t really hear my spotter. All I heard then was, ‘The run’s up high.’ I got out of line to try to get in front of the top lane and I got up and there was no top lane. I was kind of like, ‘Well, this was a kind of bad decision.’ Later we were running fourth or fifth and (Erik Jones) shut off in front of us and that kind of sunk our ship. We were buried at that point. Then we got caught up in a couple crashes. It was frustrating and I wish it ended a little better. We did a good job of getting it fixed on pit road and still managed to finish 11th. I definitely wanted a lot more, especially with how fast our car was and how well we all worked together at Hendrick Motorsports. It was an interesting race, for sure. It was much less single-file that I expected but I think the drivers put on a good show.

 

I really think the four of us Hendrick drivers worked really well together. We’ve been gaining on that very slowly but I feel that’s the best job we’ve done just between the four of us. I think that’s a big positive. It’s something that you will see a lot more of this year just with the style of racing that we’re going to have in the Cup series.

The week of the 500, we put Grant Reed’s name on the passenger side of my car. Grant was a patient at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He was a huge Ohio State Buckeyes and NASCAR fan. He died the Sunday before the 500 after a seven-year battle with cancer. It’s very humbling to visit the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. I’ve been there a couple times and I’ve been to a number of other children’s hospitals. The Nationwide Children’s Hospital is an amazing place and it’s different than any other place I’ve been. It’s cool to go there, you always feel like you learn something new. If I’m a little spark of hope to one person in there, that’s really neat. It was an honor to have Grant’s name on the car. That was really cool. I wish we could have parked it in Victory Lane for him.

On the morning of the 500, I invited some of our partners from Nationwide over to my motor home and presented them with a donation and a special gift. I’ve spent a lot of time at the Children’s Hospital and they have two therapy dogs up there, one of which is named Beck. Apparently Beck paints. He literally bites the brush and paints. I thought that was very cool. I made a donation toward the classroom in the rehab unit and as part of that I wanted to show my appreciation to all the people at Nationwide that manage the account and work on the NASCAR side on a daily basis. So, we had Beck paint some paintings for them. They have been such a great partner. It’s been a lot of fun and anything I can do to show my appreciation to them and get a dog involved – I’m all for it.

 

Unlike most of the drivers, I stuck around in Daytona after the 500. I was one of three cars to participate in a Goodyear tire test with the new aero package that will be used beginning at Talladega this spring. The best part about staying for Monday and Tuesday’s test was Sunday night in the Daytona infield, for sure. That was pretty interesting. I can’t imagine what Saturday night is like, but Sunday night was still pretty wild. That was fun. We tested 12 to 8 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday. It’s hard to learn a lot with three cars. I hope NASCAR and Goodyear got the info they needed. It was a pretty smooth test. The only difference I could tell from driving my car over Speedweeks, was it gets up to speed faster. With a restrictor-plate, if feels like it takes forever to get up to speed. Now with the tampered spacer and more power, you get up to your max speed faster.

So, at Atlanta this weekend, this is the first time we’ll run most of the new aero package. I’m really interested to see how it’s going to go. I don’t think anybody has a real good idea how it’s going to go. There’s been some tests but none of those cars had to go through tech at the tests and all that. So nobody really knows what they have, I don’t think. We were really optimistic coming in here last year and then the race kind of broke our hearts a little bit. Hopefully, it’s better than that. I think we’ve put a lot of work into these cars in the offseason and made a lot of progress. It’s going to be interesting – nobody really knows how long you’ll run wide-open or how the draft will work here. I think the test here just had three cars, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Read Also:

shares
comments
Almirola beats Stenhouse for Atlanta Cup pole

Previous article

Almirola beats Stenhouse for Atlanta Cup pole

Next article

Clint Bowyer leads final Cup practice, Kyle Busch wrecks

Clint Bowyer leads final Cup practice, Kyle Busch wrecks
Load comments
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
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020