Alex Bowman’s strong run takes a bad turn in Dale Jr.’s car

Despite a bad ending for Alex Bowman in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a strong run throughout the event proved that Hendrick Motorsports made the right choice.  

Bowman, who drove the No. 88 Chevrolet after Dale Earnhardt Jr. was forced to sit out with concussion-like symptoms, started 20th and methodically made his way up into the top 10.  

After it looked like Bowman was going to have a strong finish in a one-off race as a replacement driver, his day took a dramatic turn for the worst with 29 laps to go after he abruptly hit the wall.  

But, a 26th-place finish as a result of the incident didn’t stop Bowman from taking positives away from the race.  

"This is the first time I’ve consistently run in the top 10 in a Cup car," added Bowman. "We made a lot of progress this weekend. This is by far my worst race track."  

"To come here with these guys and run that well just shows what a great piece they bring to the race track," said Bowman. "I’ve never really had a great feel for this place, so to be able to run top-10 means a lot and I wish we had the finish, but I think they knew we were here."  

Although he feels New Hampshire is his worst track, Bowman now thinks he finally has the place figured out.  

"I’m one of those guys who just wants to drive the heck out of it and make it go fast and that’s the opposite of Loudon," he said. "I’ve run okay here in the past, just never had a really solid feel in a Cup car. I think I’ve figured it out today, finally."  

Overall, Bowman was appreciative for the opportunity to sub for Earnhardt Jr.  

"It was amazing. I can’t thank Hendrick Motorsports and all these guys enough," Bowman said. I just have to thank Mr. H (Rick Hendrick). I had such an amazing time.  

"Everybody, Greg (Ives, crew chief) and all the guys were so welcoming," he added. "I hate the circumstances and really hope Dale is feeling well, but I had so much fun today."  

Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 was also a way different experience than Bowman has ever had in the past in Sprint Cup — a better one.  

"I don’t think I’ve gotten out of a Cup car with a smile on my face in a while," Bowman said. "It’s just so much fun to be able to run up front like that. I’ve spent two years of my career wondering if I can really do this at the Cup level and today I answered that for myself."  

Bowman even got some major props on Twitter from Earnhardt Jr. for the impressive run.