By Summer Bedgood, Managing Editor
Alex Bowman was just a couple of corners away from earning his eighth career NASCAR Cup Series victory and second win of 2022 on Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.
Instead Bowman fell just short of the win, finishing in the second position after some last lap beating and banging moved the driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet from third, to first, and ultimately back to the runner-up spot.
The 28-year-old driver started the race in the fifth position and spent much of the race inside the top 10. His pit crew gained him three positions on the final stop of the day, putting the No. 48 car inside the top five and allowing Bowman to challenge frontrunners Ross Chastain and AJ Allmendinger.
On the final lap, Allmendinger and Chastain were racing for the lead, with Chastain holding the advantage. Allmendinger got into Chastain’s bumper and moved him out of the way, taking the lead.
Bowman, who was right behind them, was able to sneak to the right of both the No. 16 of Allmendinger and the No. 1 of Chastain to briefly take the top spot. Chastain, not to be denied, then got into the back of Allmendinger. As a result of the contact, Allmendinger slid into the left side of Bowman’s car, sending them both off-track.
While Allmendinger spun out, Bowman was able to recover for a second-place finish, 1.331 seconds behind Chastain, who went on to earn his first career victory and the first ever win for Trackhouse Racing.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) March 27, 2022
“We had a really fast Ally Camaro,” said Bowman post race. “I’ve been trying to do a better job as a race car driver at these road courses, and I felt like from where we started the weekend, I accomplished that. So proud of Greg (Ives, crew chief) and all the guys.
“Hate that we can’t come away with a win, but happy for Ross getting his first win,” Bowman continued. “It’s been a crap weekend, so I’m ready to get home and see the dogs and move on to next weekend. Glad to come away with a second-place finish.”
When talking about the last lap skirmish between Allmendinger and Chastain that ultimately cost Bowman the victory, Bowman said, “I would have done the same thing if I were Ross.”
“Going for your first win at a hard place to win like a road course … he may have been a pain in the ass to race with and we may have been on the wrong end of that deal but I’m proud of him. I train with him during the week and am genuinely, extremely happy for him.”
P2 at COTA. Proud of our run and super happy for Ross getting his first win. Almost had it but on to the next one. pic.twitter.com/HJmGratAFK
— Alex Bowman (@Alex_Bowman) March 28, 2022
The runner-up result was Bowman’s second top five of the season.
The Cup Series heads to Richmond Raceway next for the Toyota Owners 400 on Sunday, April 3rd. The race begins at 3:30PM ET with coverage on FOX and MRN.
Photo Credit: Rachel Schuoler