Bubble boys Alex Bowman, William Byron still working together

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 27: Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Nationwide Retirement Plans Chevrolet, during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on September 27, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Entering Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series elimination race at the Charlotte Roval, William Byron is 12th in the standings, two points above the cut line for the second round of the Playoffs.

Alex Bowman, Byron’s teammate at Hendrick Motorsports is 13th, two points behind Byron in the race for the final spot in the Round of 12. But, according to Bowman, the competition between the teammates hasn’t affected their working relationship.

“I think that’s a big strength for Hendrick Motorsports, just in how well everybody shares everything,” Bowman said. “Whether it’s rough situations or times where you get racing teammates really hard, I feel like we’re still all able to sit down and do a really good job sharing and helping each other. Sometimes you can give little tips away that you might want to keep to yourself, but at the same time, when the whole company is running better, it’s better for everybody involved.

“I think we do a really good job of that and always have, whether it’s William or Chase (Elliott) or Jimmie (Johnson) or a combination of them. So I think, obviously, we’re racing each other for that last spot, but hopefully we can both get in and not have to worry about it.”

If the cooperation won’t change because of the close competition, neither will the actual racing, according to Byron.

“As far as racing him (Bowman), I race him the same way every week, so I don’t think it will really change for this race,” Byron said. “I think we just race each other hard, clean and just try to go for as many points as possible.”

Both Byron and Bowman put themselves in ideal position to do just that. Byron won his fifth pole of the year in Friday’s time trials, and Bowman will start beside him on the front row in Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

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