LAS VEGAS — For the second straight year, Alex Bowman is a NASCAR playoff driver. Though not everything is the same, as Bowman enters the final 10-race stretch with something he did not have a season ago.
A race win.
That, along with four top-five’s and seven top-10’s during the regular season have the driver of the No. 88 is feeling good heading into the playoffs.
“I think I definitely feel more confident,” Bowman told POPULAR SPEED. “I think a lot of it just comes from the speed that we’ve shown throughout the year and even lately we’ve had great speed, we just haven’t really had much to show for it. So, I think we have as good of a shot at anybody or as anybody going and winning a couple of races here and making a big statement in the playoffs.”
He will look to improve upon his first playoff appearance, where he was eliminated in the Round of 12, and a 29th at Homestead-Miami Speedway resulted in him finishing 16th in the final standings.
In order to improve, Bowman will need to find his early-season momentum back, as since the Arizona-native’s win at Chicagoland Speedway, he has only had one top-10 in the nine races that have followed.
However, this weekend may provide a good chance for a breakthrough, as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will compete at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a race that is expected to transition from day to night.
These are the types of races that Bowman has excelled at, with a second-place finish at Kansas Speedway, seventh at the Coca-Cola 600, and his previously mentioned win at Chicagoland.
With his recent history, it’s more than understandable why he is excited about this weekend’s race.
“This is a race we’ve had circled regardless of the playoff situation and I think we can be really strong,” Bowman said. “We were strong here in the spring and knocked the right rear off of it, kind of had to fight back from that. So, I think our mile and a half program’s really good and that same car we were in Chicago with. I’m really confident.”
A strong finish this weekend for the 88 team would be huge, as he only starts the playoffs as the ninth seed with only a four-point cushion over 13th.
With all the being said, it will be interesting to see if Bowman can take a season that has already been his best, and make it even better.
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