JOLIET, Ill – Alex Bowman was getting tired of finishing runner-up in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The Hendrick Motorsports driver had three consecutive second place finishes in his No. 88 Chevrolet back in late April/early May. Then came four straight races without a top five and only two top 10’s.
He heard the noise and felt like he could potentially be on the hot seat. Then, came Sunday at the Chicagoland Speedway.
Bowman, had a great car. He found his way to the lead on Lap 171 and would stay there for a majority of the rest of Sunday’s rain delayed Camping World 400. Other than pit road sequences, Bowman led 88 of the final 94 laps of the race at the Chicagoland Speedway en route to his first career Cup Series win in his 133rd start.
“I was tired of running second,” said Bowman after securing a guaranteed spot in the postseason via his win. “I didn’t want to do it anymore.”
Bowman, dominated the end but lapped cars were taking his line away. That allowed Kyle Larson to run him down. It was shaping up to be another thrilling finish here in Chicago just as we saw last year.
In 2018, Larson chased down Kyle Busch and had an epic last lap battle. This year, Larson did catch Bowman and even passed him with seven laps-to-go. It looked like Larson would get redemption on 2018 and Bowman would get denied again.
But, Bowman thought of his future and rallied back to pass Larson two laps later and cruise to his fourth top two finish over the last eight races on the season.
“I was worried that Mr. H (Rick Hendrick) would keep me in this car,” Bowman said. “I heard the same thing about silly season too.”
Larson, finished second again in his No. 42 Chevrolet for his third straight top five result in Chicago and fifth top seven in six tries. It was also his second top five finish of the season.
Joey Logano rebounded to a third place finish in his No. 22 Ford for his sixth straight top eight finish in Chicagoland. Jimmie Johnson finished fourth in his No. 48 Chevrolet while two more Penske drivers finished fifth (Brad Keselowski) and sixth (Ryan Blaney) respectively.
The race saw 10 laps completed before heavy rains fell on the track shortly after. We saw a 3-hour, 18-minute red flag before getting back to racing at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The series heads to Daytona next weekend for the midway mark of the season.
Camping World 400 Results
19 Truex Jr.
17 Stenhouse Jr.
37 Buescher -1
8 Hemric R -1
34 McDowell -1
21 Menard -1
18 KyBusch -1
38 Ragan -2
41 Suarez -2
43 Wallace Jr. -3
15 Chastain -3
95 DiBenedetto -3
47 Preece R -3
36 Tifft R -4
32 LaJoie -4
00 Cassill -7
52 Currey -9
53 Bilicki -10
27 Sorenson -18
13 TDillon -28
51 McLeod -29
14 Bowyer OUT
77 Houff OUT