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TALLADEGA, Ala. – Alex Bowman had his sights set on a top-10 day at Talladega Superspeedway.

Starting the race in seventh, he earned a top-10 finish in Stage 1 and was knocking on the door of the top 10 with a 13th-place result in Stage 2.

He began the final segment outside of the top 20, but he steadily climbed his way back through the field until he reached seventh place once again.

But with three laps remaining, he was caught in a multiple-car incident that derailed his day.

“We got to racing there and the No. 6 kept blocking the top,” the driver explained. “We were just trying to make something happen there. I drove in the middle and just turned sideways.”

He returned to the track but ultimately took home a 33rd-place result.

Bowman said the cars were hard to handle in the chaotic atmosphere of the Alabama superspeedway, and it played in a role in how his day ended up.

“I was just trying to make something happen there at the end,” he said. “We’ll move on to Kansas.”

The upcoming event at Kansas Speedway is an elimination race at the end of the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Four drivers will see their playoff run come to an end, while eight will advance to the semifinal round.

Bowman’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott will be one of those final eight, having already advanced on the strength of his win at Dover International Speedway.

Bowman is currently 12th in the standings, 68 points behind the eighth-place competitor.

Essentially, that means Bowman will need to win at Kansas to advance to the Round of 8.

But he doesn’t plan to let the pressure get to him.

“We approach races the same way we have approached them all season long,” he said. “I’m just proud of my team and how much I feel like we have been able to step up over the course of the year and how much stronger we have been able to get.”

And if he does find Victory Lane this Sunday, he’s excited for the opportunities that lie ahead in the next round.

“I think if we can make the Round of 8 there are some really great racetracks for us, especially going to Martinsville and Phoenix,” he said. “But we’ve got to get there first.”