Alex Bowman was the center of attention in NASCAR for much of the past two weeks for incidents he has with Austin Dillon and Bubba Wallace. But he hasn’t been distracted at all and finished third at Dover International Speedway on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 6).
“Everybody wants that monster, but I think our cars have come a long way,” Bowman said. “And we’ll continue to move in that direction.”
Bowman started the race in 12th and worked his way up to sixth. He held his ground there through each of the first two stages, scoring him 10 points. Bowman then took to the high side and worked his way up to third.
“I think we had a really good car there to start, it’s just really hard to pass and it took a while for the track to widen out,” Bowman said. “Made up some track position and then had an issue on a pit stop that put us back behind some of the guys we had just passed and had to keep working on it.
“Obviously, the [Nos.] 42 and 19 were way out there, but we had a really good race car, and I’m proud of my guys.”
Bowman said he could’ve had something for the leaders had there been a late caution.
“Maybe but you never know how that’s going to work out,” Bowman said. “I felt like our car wasn’t very good on the short run. The middle part of the run, the car was really, really good. So I’m not sure how a late caution would’ve ended up, but congrats to the [No.] 42 guys. Kyle’s [Larson] been working his butt off this year, so it’s cool to see him get a win.”
The finish comes two weeks after a wreck between Bowman and Dillon that left both parties angered and one week after Bowman intentionally wrecked Wallace for repeatedly giving him the middle finger. The altercation with Wallace led to the driver of the No. 43 angrily throwing a bottle of Powerade into the face of Bowman while he was getting medical attention for being sick.
Those two incidents could have served as a distraction for the No. 88 team, but Bowman finished second last week to advance to the Round of 12 and started the round with a third. Bowman shrugged off that there was any noise he had to block out.
“You guys like to make a whole lot of noise when possible,” Bowman said. “I just try to ignore you guys, to be perfectly honest with you. The media people around me weren’t making any noise. I just kind of stuck to myself, did my own thing. I have a really good group around me and I’m appreciative of all their help and support and helping me keep my head in the right spot for sure.”
The last two races in the Round of 12 are Talladega Superspeedway next week and Kansas Speedway the week after.
“We got two more weeks to go get it done,” Bowman said.