Tucson’s Alex Bowman Earns Third Career Daytona 500 Pole

No driver in the history of NASCAR has started on the front row of NASCAR’s biggest race than Alex Bowman. The 29-year-old set a blistering pace in Wednesday’s qualifying sessions at Daytona International Speedway to lock himself onto the front row of the Daytona 500 for the sixth consecutive season, a NASCAR record. Bowman’s speed was good enough to earn his third career pole in the Great American Race.

“It says way more about my race team than it does about me,” Bowman said. “Just fortunate to be the guy who holds the steering wheel and thankful for the opportunity.”

This is Bowman’s sixth season part of the Hendrick Motorsports stable and hope to visit Phoenix Raceway in November with a chance to win a championship. Fellow Arizonan and the 2021 Daytona 500 Champion, Michael McDowell qualified 24th and will start 13th in Duel #1 on Thursday to set his starting position for Sunday’s race.

Bowman attended Ironwood Ridge High School in Tucson and raced both pavement and dirt open-wheel cars, including in the final night of legendary Phoenix race track, Manzanita Speedway. Bowman became the first-ever Arizonan to claim a Cup Series win at Chicagoland in June of 2019.

A Daytona 500 win would make him the 42nd driver to hoist the Daytona 500 trophy, following fellow Arizonan, Michael McDowell and his 500 win last February. A win would also lock Bowman into the 2023 NASCAR Playoffs earning him an opportunity to race his way to the NASCAR championship at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 5.

Bowman succeeded seven-time champion, Jimmie Johnson, following his retirement at the conclusion of the 2020 season. The Tucson native would lead the team back to a sense of its former glory, claiming four victories in 2021. The No. 48 was unable to continue that success in 2022 though only finding Victory Lane once and also missed playoff races due to concussion symptoms following a wreck at Texas Motor Speedway.

After the retirement of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bowman was called to take the seat of the No. 88 and scored the 2018 Daytona 500 pole in his first full season with the team. Bowman finished 17th in the Daytona 500 that year and led 13 laps, the most laps Bowman has led in a single Daytona race. The best career Daytona 500 finish for the Tucson-native was 11th place in 2019.


Be sure to keep up with Sports360AZ for all of our coverage from the 65th Daytona 500 to kick off the 75th year of NASCAR en route to Championship Weekend at Phoenix Raceway Nov. 3-5. Bowman leads the field to the green flag on Sunday to kick of NASCAR’s 75th season on Sunday in the Daytona 500 at 12:30 p.m. MST on FOX.