Bowman taken out in early wreck

CONCORD, N.C. — A great qualifying effort for Alex Bowman turned bad early in the going in the Queen City.

The driver of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, substituting for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr., posted the fastest lap in the second round of qualifying before posting a time fast enough to start second. He was also running either second or third for the first 60 laps.

On the 62nd circuit, however, Bowman suffered a right-front tire blowout going into turn 3 and slammed into the outside wall. He also collected Casey Mears in the process and brought out the second caution of the race.

After being released from the infield care center, he was asked what happened.

“Blew a tire I guess,” Bowman said. It’s really unfortunate. I hate it for these Axalta guys. Everybody at Hendrick Motorsports worked so hard. They brought a great race car here, brand new and destroyed it. Really unfortunate, but it’s not anybody’s fault. We didn’t hit anything we just must have run over something.

He was told that his tire looked like it was going down. When asked why, he said he “didn’t hit anything and it’s nobody’s fault. We just must have run something over. It’s unfortunate and I hate it for all the guys. Everyone at Hendrick Motorsports brought a great car to the race track. Again, it’s unfortunate and we are going to try and get back out there and salvage some spots.”

When asked what he saw, Mears said he didn’t know what happened to the 88.

“I just was going into the corner and I saw him come up all of a sudden,” he said. “I don’t know. It’s too bad he didn’t put us out of our misery there. We were having a rough start of it. We were just kind of hanging on and actually those guys were going by us. They either blew a right-front (tire) or had something come loose or something and came up into us.”

Both drivers left Charlotte. occupying the bottom two spots in the finishing order, with Mears taking the 40th spot.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2024, I'm on my ninth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Blazing Saddles" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."


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