CONCORD, N.C. – Alex Bowman and the No. 48 team have found their stride over the last four races of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season. 

A pair of fourth-place finishes at Bristol Motor Speedway and Circuit of The Americas and a top-10 finish in Hendrick Motorsports' 40th anniversary race at Martinsville Speedway placed the team 10th in the driver points standings. Over that stretch, Bowman has the fourth-best average finish (8.25), scored the sixth-most points (128 and more than a two-time winner in that span, Hendrick Motorsports teammate, William Byron), is one of six drivers with multiple top fives and one of eight with three top 10s. 

It's a return to form for Bowman and crew chief Blake Harris, reminiscent of their fast start to the 2023 season. In the first seven races of that season, they hit the ground running with three top-five results and six top-10s before an injury sidelined the driver and the team struggled to regain its mojo when Bowman returned a month later.  

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"I felt like the last month we have gotten back into the form of what we had at the beginning of the year (in 2023)," Harris, who is in his second year atop the No. 48 Ally Racing pit box, said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio this week. "The one week we didn't get a top 10 or top five was Richmond (Raceway) and we got caught on that weird pit cycle when the caution came out and we fought all day trying to get all that back. We've unloaded with fast race cars and we've had the pace. We've had some improvements in qualifying and our pit crew has been doing a really good job. Your pit selection and track position to start the day is a big portion of what we do now. I'm excited about what the team has been able to put together lately."

The last two weekends have seen Bowman and the No. 48 team qualify in the top 10, with a season-best starting spot of fourth coming at Richmond Raceway. Harris said the team's qualifying efforts have been an area of increased focus this year across the whole team. 

"It's the whole group having everything where it needs to be for Alex to hit his first laps and be comfortable," Harris said. "It sets the tone for the entire weekend. We've been in Group A for the last couple of weeks and are in Group A again this week, so we are one of the first cars to hit the track. I think that grip level for us is a lot closer to qualifying than sometimes what Group B is and we feel like we've been able to use that to our advantage. Each week, there are new obstacles, new tracks and new things that we are trying. Alex has done a really good job. Looking forward to hopefully carrying some of the momentum into Texas."

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Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway will also be a home race for Harris, a native of Maypearl, Texas, about an hour from the track. In three starts as a crew chief, Harris' drivers have one top-five finish and 66 laps led. Bowman has a pair of fifth-place finishes in 14 starts at the 1.5-mile track. In his career, the 30-year-old driver has a pair of wins on 1.5-mile tracks (Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2022 and Chicagoland Speedway in 2019). 

The race at the Fort Worth, Texas, facility is the second 1.5-mile race of the season, with two more coming up next month at Kansas Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. After an 18th-place result at Las Vegas last month, Harris is eager to see how the team performs on intermediates after a run of races on short tracks and a road course. 

"We didn't have our best day in Vegas (in March), so Texas has been circled for a couple of weeks. We got to put a good weekend together here. We get into Dover (Motor Speedway), Kansas (Speedway) and some of these tracks that are in Alex's wheelhouse, so I want to get a good, solid weekend marked off here and keep our season rolling."