CONCORD, N.C. – In the closing laps of Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway, Alex Bowman was running eighth and looked to be on the way to his 11th top-10 finish of the year.
But with fewer than 10 laps to go, the driver was caught on the wrong end of a multiple-car incident, and the resulting damage to the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 ultimately ended his day.
“The No. 2 (Brad Keselowski) got tagged and started wrecking,” Bowman said. “I thought he was going to get to the bottom of the racetrack faster than he did. Dover is typically so self-cleaning, but he slid a little longer than I thought he would and I kind of just center-punched him.”
Instead of a top-10 finish, Bowman was scored 28th, but looking back at the incident, the driver said there’s not a lot he could have done differently.
“Watching the replay, there was really nowhere to go,” he said. “I wish I would have at least tried to go left.”
After 15th- and 14th-place finishes in the opening stages of last Sunday’s race, Bowman began to gain ground in the final segment. Following a cycle of green-flag pit stops with fewer than 80 laps remaining, the driver climbed into the top 10 in 10th. When the incident occurred in the final laps, he had moved as high as eighth.
Though the No. 88 team didn’t come home with the result it had hoped for, Bowman was quick to commend his team for the strong performance prior to the incident and for their continued hard work on making steady improvements to his No. 88 ride.
“(No. 88 team crew chief) Greg (Ives) and the guys got the No. 88 Axalta Hendrick Motorsports Camaro way better,” the driver said. “We were probably going to come away with a fifth-to-seventh-place finish there at the least. Just a bummer it all ended up this way.”
Bowman is currently 12th in the NASCAR Cup Series playoff standings, 34 points behind the eighth-place driver with two races remaining before the Round of 8 is set.