Alex Bowman on Season – “I would give our team a B+ or A-“

By: Ashley McCubbin

When many people were putting together their predicted brackets for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, a lot of people had Alex Bowman out of the picture in the first two rounds. That has not been the case, as he is still one of the competitors eligible in the Round of 8.

“Right now, I think we’re running great,” Bowman told POPULAR SPEED of his season. “The last two months or so have been really, really good for us.”

Through the first seven races of the playoffs, the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet has only placed outside of the top-10 twice, highlighted by a pair of top-five’s including a third last weekend at Kansas Speedway. While certainly not the most flashy statistics, it’s much better than the summer where he only posted one top-10 through nine events.

“The summer was really rough and the beginning of the year was amazing,” he continued. “So, we’ve definitely had our fair share of ups and downs. But I would give our team a B+ or A-, just based on how well they’ve worked together. I think that’s a huge positive.

“Obviously, kind of falling off through the summer was painful for us all. But to see the guys buckle down and continue to work together in such a good way is really positive. I think how it’s improved lately- that’s been great. We still need to get a little better. Last week, we were right there, but not quite good enough. We need a little bit more to try to win these things. But the guys are doing a great job and we’re continuing to improve each and every week.”

Prior to the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 getting stopped due to rain, Bowman had shown speed and feels optimistic about his team’s chances once the race gets back underway. A victory could do wonders considering he is currently sixth in the standings, 27 points behind Brad Keselowski for the final spot in the Championship 4.

“I’m really confident in our race car for when we get back going,” he commented. “Obviously, we got the lead there and drove away from the field a little bit, so I know we have a really fast car. So, I’m really looking forward to that. Obviously, we’re buried a little bit on the track position now, but I’m just ready to go. I don’t know – I really haven’t done anything abnormal or different, besides kind of sit around and just work from my computer and work from inside the bus. Just trying to control the things I can control and the weather is not one of them, unfortunately.”

Though if he wants to be there when it counts at the checkered flag, he will need to stay out of trouble, and that may be tough to do. Prior to the event, Texas Motor Speedway laid down the PJ1 traction compound all the way around the speedway.

“It needs heat to get going, but the biggest problem is how treacherous it is at this race track before it gets going. And the way they laid it all the way to the wall, the first guy that gets up in it is probably going to crash,” Bowman explained. “So, it’s going to be really treacherous and eventually, as it comes in, it will be the place to be again. It kind of got that way as we got rolling. But it’s going to be treacherous. I feel like out of the PJ1 was just a little freer than in the PJ1. So, probably everybody will be a little looser trying to run the bottom.
“Hopefully it gets moved up quick, but yeah, it’s going to be treacherous. Hard to navigate that because obviously it’s not a visual thing, it’s a feel thing, and you kind of just have to work it in. You want to wait for other people to do it. It’s pretty tough. Hopefully we’re on the good side of it.”

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