CONCORD, N.C. -- Alex Bowman becoming just the second driver this season to win multiple races was the cherry on top of Hendrick Motorsports' day at Dover International Speedway on Sunday.
Following Bowman, Kyle Larson placed second, Chase Elliott was third and William Byron finished fourth, marking the first time in Hendrick Motorsports history that all four drivers swept a race.
For Bowman, the sweep goes deeper than just taking home the 2021 “Miles the Monster” trophy. Team owner Rick Hendrick seeing him win live was momentous and the feat brought the No. 48 team closer than ever.
“We won Richmond (Raceway) and then had a really rough couple of weeks there,” Bowman said. “We went to some really good racetracks for us and struggled. I told the guys last week, ‘We’re still the same team that did it at Richmond.’ This is another really good place for us. I’m just so pumped for Ally. It feels right to put the 48 back in victory lane here after how many races that this car has won here.”
Larson led the majority of the race before a four-tire pit stop during Stage 3 allowed Bowman to overtake him on pit road. Larson said he was proud of the effort from his team and conceded it was Bowman’s stellar pit stop that put him ahead.
“I just felt like all of us (Hendrick Motorsports) guys were pretty equal, so I felt like whoever got out to the lead was going to be hard to beat,” Larson said. “Their team (No. 48 Chevy) just did a really good job on that pit stop and gained control of the race. I never really had a shot after that. That one restart, I got to his bumper and got him loose, but the 4 (Kevin Harvick) was coming so we just had to let each other go.
“Hard to be disappointed with a second, because like I said, I felt like I did everything I could. We led a lot of laps and won both stages there, so it was good points, but we would have liked to be one spot better.”
Elliott started from the rear of Sunday’s race and similar to his championship run at Phoenix last November, quickly worked his way to the front. Elliott was riding in the top five less than halfway through the race and was evenly matched with his teammates, which made it difficult for him to edge ahead.
“I really felt like we were pretty close, balance-wise,” he said “It was just kind of a matter of how your restart went and where you fell in line, unfortunately for us. But I’m happy for Hendrick Motorsports. I don’t know when the last time that finish has happened. It’s probably been a while for any team.”
The last time an organization recorded a 1-2-3-4 finish was in 2005, when Roush Fenway Racing did so at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Before that, Peter Depaolo Racing accomplished the feat in both 1956 and 1957. Hendrick Motorsports is only the fourth organization to record a sweep like this.
Byron, who rounded out the group, also posted his own individual accomplishment. In his best season in the NASCAR Cup Series so far, he’s posted 11 top-10 finishes, making him the youngest driver to have such a long string of top-10 results. Byron is itching to make the next top-10 finish a winning one, he said the No. 24 team is “close” to making that happen.
“For us to finish 1-2-3-4 is just a credit to a lot of great people at the shop, Chevrolet, Axalta, and all the people that support us to get us the resources; and then our teams, the crew chiefs, drivers and pit crews executing really good races. For us, it’s been going for a while. We’ve just got to get a little bit (more).”
Byron now is second in the standings, which is the best of his young Cup career. In fact, all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers are in the top 16 of the standings, which has them all in the playoffs. The organization will have chance to pad the drivers’ standings this Sunday when the Cup Series takes on Circuit of the Americas. The race will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET on FS1.