|Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will be available to the media on Friday, May 10, at 4:25 p.m. local time in the media center at Kansas Speedway.
DOVER REWIND: Alex Bowman is coming off another career-best weekend after Monday’s race in Dover. The Nationwide team finished second when the field took the checkered flag after 400 laps, made even more impressive by the fact that Bowman raced from starting the race at the tail end of the field. The 26-year-old driver finished Stage 1 in the seventh position after driving through the field in the first 120 laps. During Stage 2, Bowman remained inside the top five and raced his way to the front, taking the lead with 15 laps to go in the segment. The Nationwide machine ultimately crossed the line second in the stage, as the No. 19 car passed Bowman on the final lap. During the final segment, Bowman settled into the third position as cars raced single-file. With 45 laps to go, the No. 88 Camaro ZL1 was scored second and would ultimately cross the line in that position as the remainder of the event ran caution-free. It marked Bowman’s second weekend in a row with a second-place finish.
MULTIPLE TOP-10 FINISHES: Bowman has finished inside the top 10 twice at four tracks on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit. The Arizona native has finished 10th or better at Bristol, Chicago, Kansas, and Talladega. Bowman has finished in the top 10 in two out of three races at Kansas Speedway.
BOWMAN AT KANSAS: Bowman will make his eighth start in the NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas Speedway this weekend. Last spring, the No. 88 Nationwide team finished 18th at the track after starting 19th. The 26-year-old driver started in the 10th position in the fall at the Kansas-based track and finished ninth. Back in 2016, Bowman ran the No. 88 machine for Hendrick Motorsports in the fall event and captured his first top-10 finish at the track by crossing the line seventh. The Tucson, Arizona, native has one start at the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he qualified and finished in the 11th position. Bowman has a stellar record at the 1.5-mile facility in the ARCA Series with two front-row starting positions including a pole position in 2012, and he captured the victory in both events. The driver led a total of 70 laps at the track in the series.
RUNNING NEAR THE FRONT: Since 2016, Bowman has run 515 laps inside the top two positions on three different tracks. The driver ran 128 laps inside the top two last weekend in Dover and 56 laps the weekend prior in Talladega. Coincidentally, Bowman ran inside the top two at the same two tracks in 2018, running 31 laps inside the top two at Talladega and 28 in Dover. In 2016, the No. 88 team ran 272 laps inside the top two, 194 of which were run in the lead.
IVES AT KANSAS: Crew chief Greg Ives will call the shots for the ninth time for the No. 88 team in Kansas this weekend. The Michigan native has one top-five finish and four top-10s at the track. Ives’ drivers have an average start of 17.5 and an average finish of 12.5 at the track. The crew chief’s resume includes one top-five finish and two top-10s at the venue in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In 2013, Ives’ driver led 81 laps en route to a third-place finish at the facility. Ives was a race engineer for the No. 48 team at Hendrick Motorsports from 2006 until 2012. During that time, he was a part of two wins, two pole awards and eight top-10 finishes at Kansas.
WELCOME BACK, AXALTA: This weekend marks the third of 12 events in which the Axalta primary colors will adorn the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Axalta will be on board the No. 88 machine this weekend in Kansas and next weekend at Charlotte for the All-Star Race. Last year, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Axalta signed a four-year contract extension that will take the partnership through 2022. The leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings unveiled a new Axalta Racing website last year that includes plenty of behind-the-scenes content, photos, and videos. Check out Bowman’s page here.
PITCH TO WIN BIG: Small Business Week runs from May 5-11 and recognizes small businesses everywhere. Nationwide and BlueVine are teaming up to give away up to $100,000 to one small business to help it grow. From now until the end of June, small business owners can visit www.pitchtowinbig.com to enter for a chance to win funds to achieve their business goals. Nationwide and BlueVine will select the contest finalists, who will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Nationwide’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, to pitch business leaders in-person during a live “Pitch to Win” event. The winning pitch will win the $100,000 prize, with second place receiving $20,000 and third place taking home $10,000.
HOME-TRACK FEELS: The fueler for the No. 88 Axalta team, Jacob Conley, grew up approximately 204 miles from Kansas Speedway in Omaha, Nebraska. The new father to a baby girl went to Doane University in Crete, Nebraska, and graduated with a degree in sociology in 2012. While at the university, Conley played offensive tackle for the Tigers and was a starter during all four years of college.