Tucson’s Alex Bowman Earns Surprise Victory at Pocono

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Make it three wins in 2021 for Tucson’s Alex Bowman in a breakout season for the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 team.

The Tucson-native lead the field at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania near the end of the race when his HMS teammate, Kyle Larson, took the lead away coming to three laps to go. As it appeared Larson was en route to his fourth straight Cup Series points victory, a cut tire deflated on Larson’s No. 5 Chevy Camaro heading into the final corner. As Larson’s car slid up the track into the fence, Bowman was there to strike and claim his fifth career NASCAR Cup Series victory. 

“I don’t even know what to think,” Bowman exclaimed as he exited his Chevrolet. “I hate to win one that way but hell yeah, I’ll take it. We didn’t run that good all day, so I’m kind of in shock, I don’t know what to tell you guys. 


The three-turned 2.5-mile superspeedway is the only offical triangle-shaped track on the NASCAR circuit. The win comes only eight days after announcing a two-year contract extension to stay at Hendrick Motorsports with team sponsor, Ally Bank.

With the victory, Bowman is now tied for the second most wins this season, only trailing Larson.

Bowman also teamed up with Best Friends Animal Society in 2021. Both Ally and Bowman are donating $1,000 a piece to a local animal shelter in each city that hosts an NASCAR race, along with an extra $10,000 from Ally at every site that Bowman wins at. The duo have now donated $66,000 to local shelters this season.

The former Ironwood Ridge High School student earned the Daytona 500 pole to open the 2021 season, a race where fellow Arizona native, Michael McDowell, won his first career Cup Series race. The two State 48 natives are 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 third victory of the season after moving to the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48, formerly driven by seven-time NASCAR champion, Jimmie Johnson, claiming victories at Richmond and Dover. 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.

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 will battle for his first career championship at his home track of Phoenix Raceway.

NASCAR’s will stay at Pocono for a race tomorrow to conclude a double header weekend at the Tricky Triangle. Bowman will start Sunday’s race in the 20th position. 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.