It’s an unspoken opinion among many NASCAR pundits and competitors: Alex Bowman is a talented, capable driver. Granted, there’s been an absence of trophies in his record, with a 13th-place at Daytona in 2014 being his career-best finish. But with the right equipment, Bowman could very well pull off some strong performances.
Case in point, Sunday at Loudon. Subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bowman posted a 20th-place qualifying effort and marched his way steadily to the front. Before tangling with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott, Bowman had reached the top-10 in the No. 88 and was in position to take a top-five spot at race’s end. The record books will show a 26th-place finish, which is pretty standard for Bowman’s Sprint Cup efforts. What the record books won’t show is how well he was performing beforehand.
Bowman has had a NASCAR career built around subpar equipment and lesser-funded teams. So by driving the No. 88 for JR Motorsports in the XFINITY Series, Bowman’s talents have been on full display in 2016, as he has scored a pole, two top-fives and five top-10s in five starts. It hasn’t been a fluke at all; Bowman is an excellent driver in need of a full-time ride, especially with JRM. If that’s accomplished, then wins and title runs would be within grasp for that organization.
So look more into Bowman’s performance on Sunday. He ran better than he ever had in his Sprint Cup career and was on pace for a career-best day. Even with the accident, his race was something for other team owners to look at and see that Bowman holds a lot of untapped potential. His XFINITY efforts this season have backed that up.
Bowman can put a car in the top-10 if he has the right equipment. He’s very good about taking care of his equipment and has the right amount of discipline to not get himself into a situation that he can’t get out of. Put him on a good car with a team that can be built around him. He’ll be a contender in no time.