The 2021 season had been a breakout one for Bowman, after taking up the long-lasting No. 48 Chevrolet at Hendrick Motorsports this season made well-known by seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and amassed a career-best three wins within the 26-race common season.
That allowed him to start out the 16-driver playoffs because the sixth seed, simply six factors behind reigning Cup champion and teammate Chase Elliott.
However Bowman had endured an equally powerful begin to the primary two rounds of the playoffs – he was 26th within the Spherical 1 opener at Darlington and 22nd within the Spherical 2 opener at Las Vegas.
“I really feel like final 12 months we had a extremely nice playoff run. This 12 months we’ve type of had the alternative of what we had final 12 months. It’s undoubtedly been slightly irritating,” Bowman mentioned.
“I do know now we have the instruments we have to get the job executed, and I’m assured we’ll have quick race vehicles. However I used to be actually assured earlier than we went to Las Vegas as nicely, and clearly that didn’t work out very nicely for us.”
Bowman was capable of claw his approach again within the first spherical with finishes of 12th at Richmond, and fifth at Bristol that allowed him to outlive the elimination of the primary 4 drivers from additional title rivalry.
Final Sunday’s race at Las Vegas has him going through an identical battle forward to advance out of Spherical 2, however the races remaining – Sunday at Talladega and the next weekend on the Charlotte Roval are ripe with unpredictability.
Whereas Hendrick vehicles are sometimes among the many quickest on NASCAR’s superspeedways of late, Bowman has crashed out in two of the three superspeedway races this season and completed seventh within the different.
“The most important stress level for me is like making an attempt to make the best choices to make it to the tip of the race (on Sunday). It’s actually troublesome to do, irrespective of how good of a speedway racer you’re,” he mentioned.
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally
Photograph by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images
“Simply making an attempt to make the best choices there and the best calls. Hopefully we’ll find yourself in the direction of the entrance there on the finish of the day. It’s undoubtedly fairly powerful.”
The 10 October race on the Charlotte Roval – among the many most troublesome of the seven street programs on the schedule this 12 months – gained’t be any much less difficult.
“I might simply say that it actually doesn’t have any room for error. It’s a tricky place to get round,” Bowman mentioned of the Roval. “When you begin pushing, when you make any errors, they have a tendency to chunk you fairly arduous. I’ve been responsible of that there.
“It’s simply very easy to get your self in hassle and overdrive a nook and tear one thing up. So, I really feel like that’s what actually makes it a wild card. You could have loads of errors from individuals that you could be not usually see.”
Amassing sufficient factors within the subsequent two races to outlive and subsequent spherical of eliminations might be powerful for Bowman, however a win in both one locks him into the semifinal spherical no matter his factors place.
“I’m actually assured that we’re going to have a extremely quick race automotive. We all the time do. The fellows do an amazing job on our superspeedway vehicles, and we present that each 12 months,” Bowman mentioned.
“Not tremendous assured that my 39 finest pals are going to make the very best choices all day to place me in an amazing spot, however on the similar time, we’re all in the identical state of affairs and simply go race and do what we will.
“So, I’m going to do my finest to place myself in the very best place I can. I really feel like we must be aggressive all day and go attempt to win the factor, in order that’s what I’m going to attempt to do.”