Alex Bowman has finished in 2-43 in his 129 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series starts. The one position he has never finished in is first. He almost checked that off the list Saturday night at Kansas Speedway.
Bowman led 63 laps the most he’s led all year. He was leading with 10 laps to go, but in lapped traffic was passed by eventual race winner Brad Keselowski. A caution with just 4 laps to go gave him one more shot for the win, but the more experienced Keselowski was able to pull away for victory as Bowman and Erik Jones fought for second.
“We had a really good car, I just made bad decisions going through lap traffic on lane choice,” Bowman said. “They stayed where I needed to run. I should have gone high and I shouldn’t have picked the middle like I did. I just had to lift and let the 2 (Keselowski) and the 20 (Jones) drive right around me. I’m pretty frustrated with myself. There was no way around that, that was a bad mistake on my part.”
Three of the four Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets finished in the top 10 and Bowman tried to console himself with that fact.
“It’s absolutely a good day for everyone at Hendrick Motorsports,” he said. “We all had really competitive cars and we really appreciate everyone’s hard work to continue to build our cars and continue to get better like we have. It was a really good day. My family is from here, so it would have been pretty cool. Probably the two closest times I have been to winning was my hometown and my dad’s hometown, so it’s just frustrating. We will get one soon.”
The runner-up spot marked the third consecutive second place finish for Bowman who said he did at least learn something.
“Just stick to what you know and don’t overthink it,” he said. “When you’re out there running wide open, it’s all about lane choice.”
Winner Keselowski praised Bowman after it was over.
“The 88 (Bowman) the last two weeks has looked very, very strong,” Keselowski said. “He looked when I was behind him here today, very, very strong. I think they’re definitely starting to hit their stride, for sure, and we can’t let our guard down.”