CONCORD, N.C. – This season, the No. 88 Nationwide team has set its sights on Victory Lane every chance it could. With the fifth race of the season coming up on Sunday, Alex Bowman's approach certainly isn't changing at Auto Club Speedway.
So far in 2019, Bowman has started two races inside the top 10, including the Daytona 500 on the outside pole, and finished inside the top 15 three times. But he has only one goal in mind.
“I feel like I need to win every week -- that is why I get paid to be here,” he said. “Last year there were positives making the playoffs and everything, but that is not how we expect to run and I’m not OK with it. I’m not going to be happy until we are winning races.”
Through hard work, a thought-out approach and the support of his fans, he believes the No. 88 team has what it takes to race the Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to Victory Lane.
“I’m always trying to be better and always trying to better myself,” Bowman said. “We have been close to winning, but that doesn’t count.”
The next opportunity comes this weekend at Auto Club Speedway, where the driver had a few insights to how he would handle the track.
“I think all the California races are pretty wild on restarts and stuff,” Bowman said. “The grip is so low there I feel like it will be somewhat like Atlanta where we got pretty spread out and it was a pretty normal race, but I could be totally wrong about that. We all thought we were going to pack race last weekend and there were going to be all these big crashes and we were going to tear up so much stuff and there wasn’t a single caution. It’s so hard. We think we have an idea of what is going to happen. We think we have an idea of how we need to approach things, but we don’t really know.”
Through all of his efforts to grab his first NASCAR Cup Series win, Bowman has appreciated all the fans of the No. 88 team that have had his back along the way. It hasn't gone unnoticed that some fans of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who previously drove the No. 88 Nationwide Chevy, have continued their support with Bowman behind the wheel.
“All the No. 88 fans that have stuck around from when Dale was running, that is really cool,” the driver said. “Obviously, I wouldn’t be here without Dale’s help and support. That is really neat. We want to give them something to cheer for.”
The next shot he has at Victory Lane will come this weekend in Fontana, California, as Hendrick Motorsports takes on Auto Club Speedway on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX.