Alex Bowman came in to the race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL with his eyes set on staying out of trouble and making it to the Round of 12.
Well, one out of two isn’t bad.
Bowman found trouble aplenty on Sunday (Sept. 29), but the Hendrick Motorsports driver bounced back from multiple issues to finish runner-up to his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott.
Even that nearly wasn’t enough, but the driver he was trailing in the points, Ryan Newman, missed the chicane on the backstretch with three laps to go. The mistake earned Newman a pass through penalty and Bowman a playoff berth into the next round.
It wasn’t the only drama that Bowman found himself tangled up in. The No. 88 Chevrolet got into the chicane too fast on the opening lap and spun. Then, he got into a mid-race scuffle with Bubba Wallace after the No. 43 driver apparently gave Bowman an obscene gesture. Bowman then hooked the right rear corner of Wallace’s car and spun him out coming out of the backstretch chicane.
After the race on pit road, Wallace approached Bowman, who was being treated for dehydration by medical personnel. Wallace threw the contents of his drink bottle in Bowman’s face and stormed off.
— Jerry Jordan (@JerryJordan_KTT) September 29, 2019
Afterward, Bowman was taken to the infield care center for dehydration. Upon his release from the care center, he talked about his up and down day.
“Yeah right there at the end of the race I was about done from a physical standpoint so I just tried to keep digging,” he said. “Obviously I tried to give it away on lap one. It started wheel hopping and kinda got away from me.
“I don’t know if he was mad about the first lap or what. I got flipped off every single straightaway on the race track for like three laps. I got flipped off by him for like three laps at Richmond. So I’m just over it. I gotta stand up for myself at some point. Probably wouldn’t have got wrecked if he had his finger back in the car.”
Asked if he was concerned about the feud becoming an issue in his playoff quest, dodged the answer.
“We just gotta focus on going forward and running well,” he explained. “Obviously, Dover, we finished second in the spring so our race car is gonna be really strong there and we just gotta go capitalize on that.”
Not only did Bowman finish second at Dover, but rather all three tracks that make up the Round of 12 (Dover, Talladega and Kansas).