Alex Bowman did what some thought was impossible Sunday at Charlotte. After crashing his primary car with 30 seconds left in final practice Saturday, Bowman was forced to a backup car and had to give up his second place starting spot and start in the back of the field.
Sunday his chances at staving off elimination in NASCAR’s Playoffs looked pretty slim. While trying to charge his way through the field Bowman had two on-track incidents with Bubba Wallace. The first issue came on the first lap when Bowman spun then on lap 42, Bowman spun Wallace near the exit of the backstretch chicane. Over his radio he noted that the incident came after several laps of Wallace giving him the middle finger.
Bowman would claw his way to a second-place finish. And more importantly, is moving on to the Round of 12 in NASCAR’s Playoffs.
Sunday high temperatures were near records in the Charlotte area hovering in the mid-90s, combine that with the fact that Bowman has been under the weather and his feat was made even more impressive.
It also left Bubba Wallace fuming.
After the race Bowman sat outside his car on pit road.
Wallace marched down pit road, vent over and had a few words with Bowman then threw water in his face before walking away.
“He don’t like to race. He just runs over everybody,” Wallace told NASCAR.com. “He gets to Lap 1 and he runs over me and the 3 (Austin Dillon) into the back chicane. We’re back there in the trunk, man. Just take it easy for a lap. He had a fast car and he just run over us. Shoot us through the chicane and then we get a penalty for it. Every time he gets to me, he just runs over me.
“Smooth move of playing the sick card so I couldn’t bust him in his mouth.”
Severely dehydrated, Bowman was taken to the infield care center and after he was released tried to explain the exchange.
“I don’t know if he was mad about the first lap or what but obviously, that was just a mistake,” Bowman said. “Then I got flipped over for every single straightaway for three laps. I got flipped off by him for three or four laps in Richmond so I was just over it. I gotta stand up for myself at some point, right? Probably wouldn’t have gotten wrecked if he had his finger back in the car.”
As for the post-race splash: “I probably shouldn’t repeat what he said to me, but nothing classy by any means. I mean, I get it, I’d be mad, too, but he put himself in that spot.”