CONCORD, N.C. – Throughout Sunday’s race, Alex Bowman overcame adversity to earn a second-place finish at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course.
“I was really sick Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Saturday,” Bowman explained after the runner-up result. “Felt a little better today but just really behind on being hydrated and just kind of exhausted. So, not a great feeling inside a race car, but got some fluids and definitely feeling better.”
A 93-degree afternoon and extreme heat inside the car certainly added to the challenging day for the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, who was checked and released from the infield care center after the race.
“I've been doing a pretty good job on the physical side of things this year with a lot of help from Josh Wise and leaning on Jimmie Johnson a lot,” Bowman said. “But when you're sick, it just gets you.”
After Saturday’s practice session saw damage to Bowman’s Chevy, the No. 88 team moved to a backup car, which meant the driver had to work his way through the field after starting from the rear on Sunday.
Then, soon after the green flag waved, Bowman spun heading into the newly added chicane early on in Sunday’s race.
Still, the team was able to turn its day around as the driver raced his way up to second during the final restart of the race, ultimately leading to his best career road-course finish.
"Glad we were able to rebound,” he said, “and the guys obviously gave me a really strong car to come back through the field."
In the series’ two trips to the 2.28-mile Charlotte road course, Bowman has earned a pair of top-five results with an average finish of 3.0.
"Proud of our guys today,” the driver said. “Just really focused on moving forward and being good this weekend."
A second-place finish at the “roval” put Bowman five points above the cut line and allowed him to advance to the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. The next round kicks off at Dover International Speedway, where he finished second earlier this season – part of a stretch of three consecutive runner-up results at the three tracks that just so happen to make up the Round of 12.
“We've just got to focus on going and running well,” Bowman said. “Obviously Dover we finished second in the spring, so our race car is going to be really strong there and we've got to go capitalize on that."