CONCORD, N.C. – At Bristol Motor Speedway, Alex Bowman took the checkered flag in fifth to take home his first career NASCAR Cup Series top-five finish and his best overall Cup Series result.
After starting the event in eighth, he finished Stage 1 in 16th and was running 12th when the race was postponed on Sunday after 204 laps due to rain.
When the race resumed Monday, Bowman fought back and gained five positions to return to the top 10 and finish Stage 2 in seventh. He remained inside the top 10 for most of the final segment, and with quick work from the No. 88 team out of a caution late in the race, jumped into the top five to take home the fifth-place result.
“We got a good start there for once and had some good track position,” Bowman said. “Just thankful driving for Hendrick Motorsports. It’s been a lot of fun finally getting some good runs going our way.”
Though pleased with the result and the progress the No. 88 team has made already this season, Bowman had his eyes on even more success.
“I think by ourselves we had maybe even a faster race car than that,” Bowman said. “I just couldn’t be consistent with it. We were really loose in and my car was really sensitive to traffic. If anybody got within a half car length of me behind me, it just turned sideways getting in the corner every time. If I could break that gap and get away from them I would drive away, but with them right there I couldn’t do anything. It was interesting trying to fight through that, but glad we finished top-five.”
Bowman became the 23rd different driver to earn a top-five finish with Hendrick Motorsports, and he’s one of only five drivers with top-10 finishes in both short track races in the Cup Series this year – previously finishing in seventh at Martinsville Speedway.
He’ll look for more short track success this weekend when the Cup Series heads to Richmond Raceway.
“We are making progress, making steps in the right direction,” he said, “and just got to keep doing that.”