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Alex Bowman 'Bummed' After Finishing Fourth at Circuit of The Americas

After finishing top-four in three consecutive years at the Austin, Texas road course, Alex Bowman was bummed to not be standing in Victory Lane on Sunday.


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Although it may have taken slightly longer than anticipated, Alex Bowman has returned to form in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Bowman, a native of Tucson, Arizona, brought his No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro home fourth place in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series event at Circuit of The Americas, marking his third top-five result in the opening six races of 2024 -- more than any of his Hendrick Motorsports teammates.

It's another amazing start to a season for Bowman, who similarly shot out of a cannon at the start of last season before a sprint car accident fractured his T-3 vertebra and sidelined him for three NASCAR Cup Series events, pausing the momentum built with then-new crew chief Blake Harris.

Since a 12th-place result in his return to competition at the Coca-Cola 600 last May, Bowman and the No. 48 Chevrolet have been in a funk, picking up a single top-five and four top-10 finishes in the remaining 23 events of last season.

But, since unloading at Daytona in February, the narrative has completely changed.

Bowman started the season with a close call, narrowly losing out to Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron in the Daytona 500, and having to settle for a runner-up finish. Then, four weeks later, the 30-year-old driver saved his tires perfectly and recorded a fourth-place result at Bristol Motor Speedway by pitting later than most of the leaders.

The momentum was welcomed by Bowman, as the series traveled to Austin, Texas to visit Circuit of The Americas, one of the best tracks on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit for the seven-time winner.

Starting from 17th, the driver of the historic No. 48 worked throughout the afternoon to climb up the NASCAR Cup Series running order, doing so without the aid of cautions, aside from the two previously scheduled stage breaks.

By the time things cycled around at the start of the race's final stage, Bowman was sitting just outside the top five with a shot at gaining some track position and competing for the victory against teammate William Byron and Ty Gibbs, amongst others.

Late in the going, as the battle for the lead was ongoing between Byron, Gibbs, and Ross Chastain, Bowman sat fourth, taking massive chunks out of the interval to the race leader. So, crew chief Blake Harris called him down pit road, in an attempt to gain time on fresh tires.

Once the cycle of green-flag stops was completed, Bowman had jumped Gibbs and Chastain and been put into the runner-up position, with the RaptorTough.com Chevrolet Camaro being the only target left in front of him.

And, while the No. 48 was fast enough to close the gap on Byron, he wasn't quick enough to keep second - or third place - in the race's final laps, getting passed by Ty Gibbs with eight laps to go, and then a hard-charging Christopher Bell just one lap later.

When the checkered flag was displayed, Bowman would hold off a hard-charging Tyler Reddick for fourth place, albeit nearly 13 seconds behind Byron, the race's eventual winner, despite being inside of three seconds behind less than 10 laps prior.

"I wouldn't say I am worn out; I am just bummed," Bowman said after the race. "Probably just got stuck out in traffic after our last pit stop. It was a bad spot that I had to run too hard on low air and beat the rear tires up. Kind of inched in on William [Byron] for a bit, but then the rear tires just went away. Yeah, definitely had to manage it some. Definitely some tire fall off here."

After the series' fourth trip to Circuit of The Americas this weekend, Bowman has still yet to finish outside the top-10 at the 3.41-mile road course, after scoring finishes of second, third, and now fourth over the last three years.

"We had a good Ally Camaro, we just needed to hold on to rear grip longer," Bowman added. "It’s been the same since we unloaded and we definitely made it better, but still kind of fighting the same thing. Blake and the guys called a good race. We had a good day, just sucks to come up a couple short again.”

While it's always disappointing to miss out on a victory in the NASCAR Cup Series, or any series for that matter, there's a great deal of positive energy that emerges from another top-five run for the No. 48 team.

For the first time since October 2020, more than 100 races ago, Bowman has recorded back-to-back finishes inside the top five in the NASCAR Cup Series. In that nearly four-year period, Bowman has won five races and had two separate injuries sideline him from competition -- a concussion in 2022 and a fractured vertebra in 2023.

Needless to say, the performance of the No. 48 is welcomed, as Bowman works toward putting the No. 48 back on the map as a contender for victories every week in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Photo by Andrew Coppley, HHP, Chevy Racing

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