Alex Bowman was a terror on restarts Monday.
From the first laps of the Food City 500, he served notice he was going to make the most of a fast No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, passing cars around the top of the track.
Bowman started eighth and finished fifth, the best result of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.
“It’s been a lot of fun finally getting some good runs going our way,” Bowman said. “It’s been cool. To run fifth, it’s not a great day, but it’s better than what we started the year doing. We’re making progress, making steps in the right direction and just got to keep doing that.
“I think by our self we had maybe even a faster race car than that. I just couldn’t be consistent with it. We were really loose in (into the corners) and my car was really sensitive to traffic. If anybody got within a half a car length of me, it just turned sideways getting in the corner every time.
“If I could break that gap and get away from them I would drive away, but with them right there I couldn’t do anything. It was interesting trying to fight through that, but glad we finished top five.”