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CONCORD, N.C. – Rolling off the grid 16th, Alex Bowman never stopped battling from the drop of the green flag Monday at Martinsville Speedway.

After finishing Stage 1 in 18th, he improved to 15th in Stage 2 and continued to push forward as the final segment got underway.

“(No. 88 team crew chief) Greg (Ives) just made really good adjustments,” Bowman said. “Every stop we got better. We had solid pit stops all day, the pit crew worked really hard, just good decisions on top of the box and a good race car.”

When all was said and done, Bowman crossed the finish line seventh, capturing his first top-10 of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season.  

“It’s frustrating to say we are looking for a seventh, but much better than we have been the last couple of weeks and just happy for all my guys,” the driver said. “They have worked really hard all off season and all year. We haven’t had the results we wanted, so to come here and finish stronger is definitely a step in the right direction. We’ve got a long way to go, but we are headed the right way.”

It was one of two top-10 results for Hendrick Motorsports at Martinsville – Chase Elliott joined Bowman in the top 10 with a ninth-place finish.

Both teammates acknowledged there is plenty of work to be done, but Bowman pointed out just how much confidence they have in the group working behind the scenes to ensure more success comes sooner rather than later.

“Everybody is just real motivated and working harder,” he said. “It’s a lot of guys that have won a lot of races and they want to get back to that winning feeling. So, they are all working really hard and we’ve got the best in the business back at the shop working to get better.”