Analysis: Alex Bowman’s career summer stretch at Hendrick

Alex Bowman perhaps feels the heat of the summer more than anyone else in the NASCAR Cup Series garage.

Ever since Bowman joined Hendrick Motorsports full-time in 2018, he has raced in 52 events in June, July and August to date. Across the five seasons – the fifth of which is currently in the works – he has averaged a 14.52 finish in summer races. Specifics there will follow, but for now, the focus will be on the ongoing 2022.

“Summers have been rough on us over the last couple years, and everybody’s really quick to point that out,” Bowman told NASCAR.com. “So, we’re trying to do our best to get through the summer better but also not put all our focus on that and forget about the playoffs. Just got to be strong the en

Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

tire rest of the year and try to bring race cars to the race track that are capable of winning each and every week. ”

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With 10 races remaining before the postseason begins, Bowman has won once through 16 regular-season races – in Race 3 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – and therefore secured a provisional playoff berth. Overall, he has three top-five and nine top-10 finishes. His most recent, best finish was 10th at Charlotte Motor Speedway, three races ago. That was also the last race weekend in May, queuing up the summer stretch Bowman doesn’t favor.

In the first two summer races at World Wide Technology and Sonoma Raceway, Bowman finished 13th and 16th, respectively. Up next is Nashville Superspeedway on Sunday (5 pm ET on NBC / NBC Sports App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Bowman placed 14th there last year in the Cup Series’ debut. BetMGM lists Bowman at 18-1 odds to win the Ally 400, as of Thursday afternoon.

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“Gateway wasn’t great for us, wasn’t great for HMS as a whole,” Bowman said. “Sonoma we were OK and then got crashed there on that last restart. We should have never finished 16th; we should have been way better than that.

“But I think we’re in an OK, spot. We’ve been a little more consistent than normal this year. I wish we had a little more raw speed than we’ve had, but just kind of keep working on it. ”

And keep the consistency up through the summer.

Now back to the bigger picture. Below is a complete breakdown of Bowman’s June-August results since 2018.

Screen Shot 2022 06 23 At 3.14.27 Pm

BOWMAN: Career highlights through the years | All of his Cup Series wins

Bowman has seven career wins in total. Two came in June (2019 and 2021) and it ties March (2020 and 2022) for most in a month. April, May and October each had one apiece then, all in 2021. So, even with all the summer shade, it’s actually Victory Lane season for Bowman, along with spring.

Not-so-minor details like that tend to be forgotten where Bowman is concerned. Like last year, the fact Bowman had the second-most wins (four) was rarely mentioned. Better yet, from the start of the 2021 season to present day, Bowman has the second-most wins (five), period.

“That’s just part of my life,” Bowman said, as Roscoe or Finn barked in the background. “Even my dog’s mad about it, apparently. So, it is what it is. Just kinda not much I can do to change it other than continue to win races. ”

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