CONCORD, N.C. – The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season saw Alex Bowman extend two streaks. The 29-year-old scored a race win for the fourth consecutive season. He also made the playoffs for the fifth straight season – a run that has covered all of his full-time seasons at Hendrick Motorsports.
Bowman started strong with a win in the third race of 2022, besting teammate Kyle Larson in a NASCAR Overtime finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A two-tire call by crew chief Greg Ives put his driver in position to get to victory lane and he capitalized. That win highlighted a solid start to the season for the driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 as Bowman earned nine top-10 finishes in the opening 14 races.
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In an effort to gain more seat time on road courses, he made two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts and earned a runner-up finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.
Bowman’s 1.5-mile strength came to play in the Round of 16 with a race-high 107 laps led at Kansas Speedway. That fourth-place performance helped advance him on to the Round of 12 for the fifth straight season. Unfortunately, a concussion resulting from an accident at Texas Motor Speedway in the Round of 12 opener would bring his playoff run to an end. However, Bowman was cleared to return for the season finale at Phoenix Raceway.
The 2022 season marked the end of an era for the pairing of Ives and Bowman, who had been together for 185 races, as Ives retired from the pit box at season’s end. Ives and Bowman first were paired up when the Tucson, Arizona, native filled in for a sidelined Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2016 and then the two were together from 2018 to 2022. The Bark River, Michigan, native is the only crew chief Bowman has known during his time at Hendrick Motorsports. That partnership resulted in seven wins, the sixth-most among active driver/crew chief pairings that were in place for this season.
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Off the track, Bowman and primary partner Ally continued to team up to donate $4,800 to a Best Friends Animal Society network partner in each race market they visited. For the 2022 season, Bowman and Ally donated $182,800 – including a $10,000 donation following his Las Vegas win. On Dec. 7, Bowman’s animal advocacy work was recognized in Florida at the FurBall Gala when he received the Halifax Humane Society Humanitarian of the Year Award.
2022 SEASON STATS
Top fives: 4
Top 10s: 12
Laps led: 137
Average finish: 16.7
Standings position: 16th
PHOTOS: All of Bowman's wins at Hendrick Motorsports
UP ON THE FRONT ROW: For the fifth straight season, Bowman started on the front row for the DAYTONA 500. The second-place starting spot marked the third time in the last five years he lined up second in the prestigious race.
WINNING AT LAS VEGAS: Bowman wasted no time reaching victory lane in 2022, notching the win in the third points-paying race of the year. A key two-tire call by Ives ahead of the NASCAR Overtime finish put Bowman in position to restart on the front row. From there, he held off Larson for the victory.
CLOSE CALL AT COTA: A day after nearly scoring the win in his first Truck Series start in five years, Bowman came oh-so-close to hitting paydirt in the Cup Series race at Circuit of The Americas. In a three-way battle with Ross Chastain and AJ Allmendinger, some paint was traded in the closing corners and Bowman came home second as he continued to search for his first road course win in the Cup ranks.
STRONG RUN AT KANSAS: A summer swoon left Bowman overlooked in playoff projections but a big run in the middle race of the Round of 16 at Kansas set him up to advance to the Round of 12 for the fifth straight year. Following up a 10th-place finish to open the postseason at Darlington Raceway, Bowman led a race-high 107 laps en route to a fourth-place finish at the 1.5-mile track.
RISING AT PHOENIX: After missing five races due to a concussion from an incident at Texas in the Round of 12 opener, Bowman returned for the final race of the season at Phoenix. The race marked the final time that he had Ives atop the box.
Bowman will enter the 2023 season with a new voice on the pit box as Blake Harris takes the reins from Ives. While this will be the first time that Bowman has had a different crew chief at Hendrick Motorsports, new pairings have hit the ground running at the 14-time championship-winning organization in recent years. Kyle Larson and Cliff Daniels won their fourth points-paying race together in 2021, while William Byron and Rudy Fugle did that in their third race together in 2021.
In year one of the Next Gen era, Harris guided Michael McDowell to a career-best mark in top-10 finishes at Front Row Motorsports. He brings a wealth of championship experience from his time as part of Martin Truex Jr.’s teams at both Furniture Row Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. Bowman will be looking to extend both his consecutive-winning seasons streak and playoff streaks to five and six seasons, respectively. His knack for getting to victory lane should enable that as he looks to move past the Round of 12 for the second time in his career.