After racing his way into Round of 12 on a tiebreaker, Alex Bowman knew he had to have a solid opening race at Dover if he wanted to move forward to the Round of 8 which begins at Martinsville Speedway later this month.
After Bowman had been in the news all week with the Bubba Wallace controversy following the Charlotte Roval, he was looking to putting that behind him and having a strong finish this weekend at Dover International Speedway.
The Tucson, Arizona native qualified his No. 88 Nationwide Insurance Chevy 12th in Saturday’s qualifying session. Knowing Dover is a track where it is tough to pass, Bowman would have to have a good car early to stay up front and avoid going a lap down early. The Hendrick Motorsports driver finished sixth in both stages.
Despite making adjustments during his pit stops, Bowman had to settle for a strong third-place finish after finishing in second previously at Charlotte Roval.
“Yeah, we had a solid day,” Bowman said to MRN Radio. “Really thankful for Cincinnati, it’s their first time on the car as a primary, so it’s neat to have a good day with them. We would like to be two spots better, but we overcame some things. We had a couple of pit stops, where we had some issues and had to drive back through. It’s so hard to pass here, it’s tough. Just need to be a little better, but pretty happy how we ended up.”
The third-place finish was Bowman’s sixth top five of the season. He heads to Talladega seventh in the playoff points standings, +17 above the cut line.