Alex Bowman‘s 2019 season is finally heading in the right direction.
After a rough start to the year, the sophomore driver is in the best form of his career.
Bowman is riding a streak of three consecutive second-place finishes.
This run began at Talladega, with him trailing teammate Chase Elliott for a Hendrick Motorsports 1-2.
It was also his career-best result, beating out a 3rd place finish at Pocono last year.
He then went for a repeat at Dover, coming home second to winner Martin Truex Jr.
And then another second place result came at Kansas.
Bowman had the lead with under ten laps remaining but was passed by eventual winner Brad Keselowski.
What: Coca-Cola 600
Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC
When: Sunday, May 26th at 6:00 PM EST
How: FS1 (TV) | Motor Racing Network (Web radio)
Alex Bowman had a slightly unusual path to one of the top rides in the Cup Series.
He began his career with a part-time K&N Series ride in 2011.
The rookie impressed with two wins in two ARCA starts the same year.
A full-time move to the ARCA Series followed for 2012.
Bowman finished 4th in points, scoring four wins and six pole-positions.
He moved to the Xfinity Series in 2013, signing for a full season ride with RBM.
His best result was a third-place finish at the Daytona opener, with back-to-back poles at Texas also being a highlight.
A full-time move to the Cup Series came the following year with BK Racing.
It would be his last full season ride for a long time.
Bowman’s break came in 2016 as he did some development work for powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports.
As fan-favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. dealt with concussion-related problems, Alex Bowman got drafted in as a replacement.
He did enough to impress in his limited time with the team, earning a full season ride for 2018.
The season marked a significant decline for Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet.
Bowman had three top 5 and 11 top 10 finishes in 36 starts, narrowly making it to the playoffs.
The highlight of the season was an impressive pole-position for the Daytona 500.
Things weren’t going much better in 2019, with two 11th place finishes being his best results before the streak.
It’s fair to say that Bowman’s All-Star Weekend wasn’t particularly great.
Without a win in 2018 or 2019, he did not meet the requirements to take part in the main event.
This way, Bowman had to transfer through the Monster Energy Open.
He managed to do it last season, taking one of the race’s two stages.
This time around, however, things did not get that well for #88.
He drove around the middle of the pack for most of the race and failed to win a stage.
Bowman crossed the line in third place, which meant that he wasn’t guaranteed to make it.
But he secured the final spot after winning the All-Star popularity vote.
Much like his Hendrick teammates, however, Alex Bowman also struggled during the main event.
He came home a distant eight.
It should be noted, though, that the All-Star performance doesn’t often translate into the Coca-Cola 600.
That being the case, don’t count him out just yet.
The Coca-Cola 600 usually presents some interesting results.
Due to the long distance, fuel-saving finishes are common.
This leaves plenty of room for an upset, including first-time winners.
More important, though, is the fact that both Bowman and Hendrick Motorsports are on the rise.
The team has only missed out on the top 5 twice over the last six races.
Alex Bowman’s maiden win is definitely knocking at the door.
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