CONCORD, N.C. -- Can Alex Bowman keep the momentum going from his huge Fontana, California, win? That's the plan for the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet as he gears up for his hometown track in Phoenix this Sunday.
Bowman has been riding high after he secured his second career win and first win of the year for Hendrick Motorsports. He said it was amazing to fly straight to his home state of Arizona after his victory to relish it with family and friends.
"It’s obviously been a great week," Bowman said on SiriusXM Radio Friday. "It’s good to get another win and we just got to keep doing it. This is a track that has been hot and cold for us. … Man, it’s been a fun week. (It’s) been really fun to celebrate with friends and family out here in Arizona. Now it’s time to get back to work."
Bowman admitted he wished his win came before an off week so he would have a little more time to enjoy himself. However, he said that's extra fuel for him to win in front of a home crowd and earn back-to-back victories.
"It’s a little hard to switch gears," he said. "I wish we won on an off weekend or something to celebrate it for a whole ‘nother week. But we got to get back to work here. Going to Phoenix, it means a lot to me and I probably want to win here more than anywhere else."
While morale is high for the No. 88 team, Phoenix hasn't always been kind to Bowman. His first race with Hendrick Motorsports at the track in 2016 ended in heartbreak. After leading for 194 laps and 272 laps inside the top two, Bowman was involved in an accident in the final laps that saw him place sixth.
He said it was "really tough" to let that go and called it "the race that got away." But with two wins under his belt, the regret has lessened.
With the new schedule changes this season, Phoenix Raceway will be the sight of the final race of the year. That could give Bowman, who essentially is secured a spot in the playoffs, a chance to test some new tricks at the track Sunday and see what techniques will work on the track later in the year.
"Each and every week, we’re giving 100% and doing everything we can to learn about our race cars and to bring the best race cars to the track as we possibly can," he explained. "Being locked in, we might be able to try some things here and there, but our short-track package had been so poor toward the end of last year. I think (we’ll be) trying some things coming here, anyway. But I think, really, it’s just business as usual."
Should Bowman secure the victory Sunday, the city of Phoenix better watch out. The 26-year-old driver said he wouldn't hold back celebrating.
"If we win here in Phoenix, we may burn this place down," he said. "It would be one heck of a party. We’ve been so close before. We’re going to do our best to make it happen."