In a duel against Miles the Monster in Dover Delaware, Tucson native, Alex Bowman, not only set fire to the one-mile oval but also defeated his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Kyle Larson, who dominated the majority of the race.
It was a historic day for Hendrick Motorsports, with all four team drivers finish in the top four positions, a feat only accomplished a handful of times since NASCAR’s inception in 1949. After leading 263 laps in the 400 lap race, Larson’s reign came to a conclusion following the final caution of the race with 96 laps to go. Bowman’s pit crew conducted their fastest pit stop of the season en route to moving their HMS No. 48 out front off of pit road.
After inheriting the led, Bowman wouldn’t relinquish it, leading every lap to the conclusion earning his fourth career victory in the NASCAR Cup Series. With his second victory of the season, Bowman becomes just the second driver of the year to claim multiple wins this year.
“We won Richmond and then had a really rough couple of weeks there,” Bowman told FOX postrace. “Went to some really good race tracks for us and struggled. I told the guys last week, ‘We’re still the same team that did it at Richmond.’ This is another really good place for us. I’m just some pumped for Ally. It feels right to put the 48 back in victory lane here, after how many races this car has won here.”
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) May 16, 2021
Alex Bowman is on a one-year contract with Hendrick Motorsports, the second-winningest team in NASCAR history. In a postrace press conference, team owner, Rick Hendrick, stated that a multi-year contract to extends Bowman’s tenure at HMS was nearly complete.
“We’ve already started [on a contract extension]. We should have it done soon. It’s, at this point, a formality.”
The former Ironwood Ridge High School student earned the Daytona 500 pole to open the 2021 season, a race that fellow Arizona native, Michael McDowell won his first career Cup race. The two State 48 natives are now locked into the NASCAR Playoffs if 16 drivers or less win in the 2021 regular season. The 2021 campaign marks the first NASCAR season where two different drivers from Arizona won a NASCAR Cup Series race.
This is Bowman’s second victory of the season after moving to the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48, formerly driven by seven-time NASCAR champion, Jimmie Johnson, the first victory coming four weeks ago at Richmond. Bowman was formerly racing the No. 88 for Team Hendrick directly following the retirement of Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Bowman became the first-ever Arizonan to claim a Cup Series win at Chicagoland in June of 2019. The rest of 2019 wouldn’t be as kind to Bowman, only picking up three more top-fives and was eliminated from the NASCAR Playoffs in the Round of 12. Learn more about Bowman from when he joined “The Inside Lane” prior to the 2021 Phoenix race in March.
To the No. 48 pit crew …
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) May 16, 2021
Bowman grew up in Tucson racing locally in dirt midgets, becoming a USAC National Focus Midget Champion in 2008 and the USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year in 2009. After a life-threatening crash in Las Vegas in 2010, Bowman stepped away from dirt racing and move to North Carolina to pursue a career in stock car racing.
The 28-year-old has successfully clinched his way into the NASCAR Playoffs, an elimination bracket-style postseason that takes place in the final ten races of the season. If he can advance the championship, he’ll battle for his first career championship at his home track of Phoenix Raceway.
NASCAR’s next stop will be a first, taking over the only Formula 1 track in the United States, Circuit of the Americas, in Texas on May 23. The next time NASCAR visits Phoenix, they’ll be crowning four champions during Championship Weekend at Phoenix Raceway, with the Cup Series championship race on November 7.
— Alex Bowman (@Alex_Bowman) May 16, 2021