By Matt Courson, Staff Writer
MARTINSVILLE, V.A. — Alex Bowman was eliminated from NASCAR Cup Series competition Sunday evening at Martinsville Speedway. Also eliminated in the Round of 8 was Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Kurt Busch.
Bowman entered the race at Martinsville 25 points below the cutline in essentially a must win situation. He ran inside the top-10 for a majority of the race, but ultimately finished sixth and was unable to advance due to a lack of bonus points earned during the regular season.
“Really proud of Chase (Elliott) and making the final four there,” Bowman said post race. “Bummed we aren’t a part of it (Championship 4), but I think we have a solid shot at getting fifth in points. The progress this team has made over the past two months has been incredible. This is something they really deserve.”
“We really struggled through the summer months of the regular season and came on super strong, especially in the last three weeks,” Bowman said. “We need to run better all year long and have more Playoff points.
Although he will not be racing for a championship next weekend at Phoenix Raceway, the 27-year-old will be heading home to the “Valley of the Sun” in Arizona. The event will mark Bowman’s last race in the 88 car before switching to the 48 car in 2021.
“It’s kind of bittersweet being the last race in the 88 car next week,” said Bowman. “It’d be really special to get a win at home with this number, and hopefully we can get that done. Obviously the wins I have in the 88 are really special and getting the 88 back to Victory Lane was really cool. I’m just super proud of the team and glad to have been apart of it. To do that at home next week would be really special to cap it off.”
In 2016, Bowman competed in 10 events for Hendrick as he filled in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. One of those starts ended up in a career day for Bowman at Phoenix. He started on the pole and led 194 laps and finished sixth. Bowman says the performance that day probably landed him in a full time role at Hendrick Motorsports.
“Obviously that was a big day for me and my career. It probably got me the job at Hendrick Motorsports, just wish we could have got the job done. We’ve been pretty awful there ever since then and we struggle to find what we need. ”