Alex Bowman makes strong case to stay driver of 88 car at Fontana

Alex Bowman

If there’s one thing Alex Bowman has consistently done in his time with Hendrick Motorsports, it’s proving those who doubted him wrong.

He did it with his breakout performance at Phoenix Raceway in November of 2016. He did it last June at Chicagoland Speedway, when he scored his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory.

Alex Bowman makes strong case to stay driver of 88 car at Fontana

After last Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Sunday at Auto Club Speedway, he’s making a strong case that he deserves to remain in the seat of the No. 88 Chevrolet.

Bowman led a race high of 110 laps (the second-most he’s led in a race) and won the first stage. He maintained the best average running position (1.76) of anyone in the field and never ran worse than seventh, according to NASCAR’s post-race loop data.

He also finished with a 149.3 driver rating, seven-tenths short of a perfect rating.

“I’m just so proud of this team, Hendrick Motorsports, Hendrick horsepower under the hood, the whole shop back home,” Bowman said. “They work their butts off. We put a lot of effort into this new car, and it’s obviously working well.”

Furthermore, Bowman did as crew chief Greg Ives instructed and managed his tires like a veteran, even as they corded over long runs.

“Thanks to Greg, all the guys,” Bowman said. “He made good calls all day and we were up front when it counted.

Though he didn’t learn that until after the race, when he overheard Ives tell Claire B. Lang on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. He then poured some liquid down his back.

“That’s for not telling me the tires were going flat,” Bowman said.

He’s one of less than 150 drivers in NASCAR Cup Series history who’ve ever won more than one race.

“We’ve been so good to start this season,” Bowman said. “We started the season very poorly really over the last two years, and it just means the world to show up at the racetrack and have the first run on the racetrack really be almost perfect and just be able to really fine tune the race car.”

Bowman leaves Fontana third in points, 12 back of Ryan Blaney.

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to the track at Phoenix next Sunday. For more auto racing news and updates, follow our department on Twitter at @RacingVault.