The 2021 season had been a breakout one for Bowman, after taking on the enduring 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 twenty sixth within the Spherical 1 opener at Darlington and twenty second within the Spherical 2 opener at Las Vegas.
“I really feel like final yr we had a extremely nice playoff run. This yr we’ve sort of had the other of what we had final yr. It’s undoubtedly been a little bit irritating,” Bowman stated.
“I do know we’ve got the instruments we have to get the job completed, and I’m assured we’ll have quick race automobiles. However I used to be actually assured earlier than we went to Las Vegas as properly, and clearly that didn’t work out very properly for us.”
Bowman was capable of claw his approach again within the first spherical with finishes of twelfth at Richmond, and fifth at Bristol that allowed him to outlive the elimination of the primary 4 drivers from additional title competition.
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 automobiles 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 attempting to make the precise selections to make it to the tip of the race (on Sunday). It’s actually troublesome to do, regardless of how good of a speedway racer you’re,” he stated.
Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally
Picture by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images
“Simply attempting to make the precise selections there and the precise 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 ten October race on the Charlotte Roval – among the many most troublesome of the seven highway programs on the schedule this yr – 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 stated of the Roval. “When you begin pushing, for those who make any errors, they have a tendency to chew you fairly onerous. 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’ve got numerous errors from folks that you could be not usually see.”
Amassing sufficient factors within the subsequent two races to outlive and subsequent spherical of eliminations shall 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 automobile. We all the time do. The blokes do an awesome job on our superspeedway automobiles, and we present that every yr,” Bowman stated.
“Not tremendous assured that my 39 greatest buddies are going to make the very best selections all day to place me in an awesome 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 greatest to place myself in the very best place I can. I really feel like we have to be aggressive all day and go try to win the factor, in order that’s what I’m going to attempt to do.”