Bowman focused on top performance at Dover, not Bubba Wallace

DOVER, DELAWARE - OCTOBER 04: Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Cincinnati Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway on October 04, 2019 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Last weekend Alex Bowman earned headlines for his determined work behind the wheel of his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet – rallying to a dramatic runner-up finish at the Charlotte ROVAL to earn a spot in the second round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, which begins with Sunday’s Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

But he’s also getting plenty of attention for an incident on pit road after the race. And Bowman showed up at Dover, fully expecting questions about it.

On Sunday, an exhausted Bowman climbed out of his car at the Charlotte ROVAL and sat on the ground leaning against the car having been ill much of the week. While a medical worker and members of his team kneeled down by him to see how he was feeling, Cup driver Bubba Wallace approached. The two drivers exchanged words and Wallace splashed his drink at Bowman as he walked away.

Wallace was angry with the way Bowman raced him. And vice versa.

“I’m just focused on running well this weekend,’’ Bowman said Friday. “I’m focused on my race car, trying to give the best feedback I can throughout practice and being strong today and Sunday.’’

When asked if he expected any on-track retaliation from Wallace, Bowman deferred.

“I think that’s more of a question for those guys than it is for me,’’ he said. “All I can do is go out there and do my job. I don’t know, you’ll have to ask them.’’

Bowman said he and Wallace have not spoken since their heated discussion on pit road at Charlotte.

“I feel like he said what he had to say after the race,’’ Bowman said. “I’ve just been kind of moving forward since then. I don’t think we need to talk before Sunday. I think it is what it is.’’

Certainly for Bowman, it has been a positive start to the Dover weekend. He was fifth fastest in opening practice.

Greg Engle