Alex Bowman leads Chevy brigade with seventh-place run

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – It was a solid, gratifying day for Alex Bowman, who took over the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet from retired Dale Earnhardt Jr. this season.

No, Bowman wasn’t a contender for the victory in Monday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch settled that issue, with Bowyer coming out on top.

But Bowman improved from a 16th-place starting position to seventh at the finish in a car that improved steadily throughout the day. His car was the highest-finishing Chevrolet in the race.

“I felt like I had some good observations after second practice (on Saturday) on some things I wanted to change, and they seemed to pay off big during the race,” Bowman said. “Or at least be the right direction during the race.

(Crew chief) Greg (Ives) just made really good adjustments. Every stop we got better. We had solid pit stops all day, the pit crew worked really hard – just good decisions on top of the box and a good race car.”

If Bowman had picked a track to produce his first top 10 of the season, Martinsville would have been an unlikely candidate.

“I mean Daytona, and then, if not Daytona, then Atlanta, and then if not Atlanta, Phoenix,” Bowman said. “I mean we’re here to win races every week. To take this long to get a top 10, it’s not what we wanted at all, but glad we are going the right way.”

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.