Alex Bowman holds off LaJoie and Preece in a close finish at virtual Talladega

Alex Bowman and his No. 88 would find victory lane at virtual Talladega Superspeedway after a late race restart. At the end it was a race down to the wire as he held off drivers Corey LaJoie and Ryan Preece.

“Right place, right time,” Bowman said. “I felt like the bottom wasn’t the place to be so I let Ty have the bottom on the restart and just tried to keep the runs tied well. Gotta thank Preece for pushing me because that’s what made the difference. At that point when you’re that lead car it’s really the guy behind you making the difference.”

LaJoie obtained the pole, with Landon Cassill on his outside.

As the field took the green flag, there were already differing strategies on the track. Many tried to stay near the front, while others played it safe and would run near the back to avoid trouble.

A close skirmish between Erik Jones and Denny Hamlin would nearly bring out the first yellow, but Jones would hold onto his No. 20 Toyota, and would keep going.

Ty Dillon would take over the lead with help from brother Austin Dillon. Brennan Poole and Brad Keselowski would have their share of the lead as well.

The big one would strike on Lap 16 when Ricky Stenhouse would get turned by Ty Dillon on the backstretch. Jeff Gordon, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, Bowman, and several others would be swept up in the crash. Gordon’s car would go flying into the Turn 3 catch-fence as the carnage unraveled.

As the green waved again, Poole and Keselowski would lead on the restart, but Keselowski’s No. 2 would be the one to lead the field.

Cars would begin to formulate an outside line. William Byron would lead the top groove, Poole would try and join the outside line. However, a bump from Byron would cause Poole and Keselowski to nearly crash. The two drivers would save it and no caution would fly. Byron would take the lead as a result.

Jimmie Johnson would spin off the bumper of Keselowski, sending the No. 48 for a spin in the Tri-oval. No caution would fly.

Clint Bowyer would take the lead, but his car would blow up, giving the lead to John Hunter Nemechek.

As the race winded down, green flag pit stops would begin. Denny Hamlin would miss his stall trying to get down pit lane, costing him time. At the end of the cycle, Nemechek would lead with Byron right behind him.

With 14 laps to go, Gordon would crash off of Turn 2. Elliott would get turned by Poole, clipping Gordon’s No. 24, sending him into the outside wall.

Under caution Aric Almirola would miss a shift trying to take the wave-around, and teammate Bowyer would be collected in the incident as a result.

Nemechek would lead with nine laps to go. Byron would try and get help on the outside line, but would be left out to dry by Ty Dillon. The No. 13 would take the lead away, but Garrett Smithley would challenge for the lead and he himself would inherit the top spot.

As soon as Smithley took over the lead, Preece would shove Bowman to the lead on the outside line.

The racing would continue to pick up, Joey Gase would attempt to go three wide, but would get no help, putting the No. 53 towards the back of the pack.

Smithley would challenge Bowman for the lead, and Preece would continue to push the No. 51.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. would nearly crash off of Turn 2, but everybody would keep it clean.

Joey Logano would get turned with three laps to go on the frontstretch, collecting Ryan Blaney, Gase, Keselowski, and several more. Blaney’s car would take a wild ride as his car would hit the Turn 1 wall, sending his car flying down the track.

Bowman would lead on the restart, but Ty Dillon would pull a crossover by passing Bowman to the inside line. Johnson in the back would crash, but no yellow would fly.

On the white flag, Bowman would get help on the top side and would be neck and neck with the No. 13. A crash off of Turn 2 involving Bobby Labonte and Elliott would ensue, but no caution would fly. Coming towards the final stretch, Ty Dillon would get spun, and Bowman would fend off the rest of the main pack to claim victory at Talladega in a close finish against LaJoie and Preece.

Bowman’s win marks another victory for the Hendrick Motorsports drivers in the eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series.

Race Results:

  1. Alex Bowman
  2. Corey LaJoie
  3. Ryan Preece
  4. Garrett Smithley
  5. Landon Cassill
  6. William Byron
  7. Brennan Poole
  8. Kyle Busch
  9. Kurt Busch
  10. Daniel Suarez
  11. Timmy Hill
  12. Kevin Harvick
  13. Christopher Bell
  14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  15. J.J. Yeley
  16. Parker Kligerman
  17. Ryan Blaney
  18. Aric Almirola
  19. Brad Keselowski
  20. Joey Gase
  21. Chad Finchum
  22. Tyler Reddick
  23. Ty Dillon
  24. Austin Dillon
  25. John Hunter Nemechek
  26. Cole Custer
  27. Chris Buescher
  28. Chase Elliott
  29. Ross Chastain
  30. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  31. Bobby Labonte
  32. Jimmie Johnson
  33. Clint Bowyer
  34. Michael McDowell
  35. Matt DiBenedetto
  36. Joey Logano – Disconnected
  37. Erik Jones – Disconnected
  38. Jeff Gordon
  39. Denny Hamlin – Disconnected


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

Gavyn Do
Aspiring motorsports journalist, a simple man that loves cars going fast.

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