Alex Bowman put together a career year in 2019 that included his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win.
Along with the victory, Bowman recorded personal bests in top fives (7), top 10s (12) and average finish (14.4). He also finished 12th in the standings, his best in four full-time seasons in Cup.
Bowman made the playoffs for the second consecutive season driving the No. 88 Chevrolet full-time for Hendrick Motorsports, reaching the Round of 12 for the first time. Five of his 12 top 10s came in the 10-race postseason.
"It was a year full of ups and downs," Bowman said. "We either ran somewhere in the top five or we had a bad day. We weren’t very consistent. That’s really what we needed to work on all year and just weren’t able to really find it. We wanted a lot more and wanted to make it further than that in the playoffs, but stuff happens."
As for grading his season, Bowman gave the following: "I would give us a B," he said. "We went and won a race, which was really important to us. We were in contention to win quite a few times. It still wasn’t a bad year for us."
After scoring three consecutive runner-up finishes at Talladega Superspeedway, Dover International Speedway and Kansas Speedway in the spring, Bowman was able to break through in the win column a month later at Chicagoland Speedway in June. He led 88 laps and battled Kyle Larson in the end before leading the final six circuits en route to the checkered flag.
"It’s really satisfying," Bowman said when asked about the win during Champion’s Week in Nashville. "It feels like it was forever ago at this point…since we won a race. It was really neat to be a part of. The way that race played out to have such a close race with Kyle there at the end was really neat. I have a lot of respect for Kyle."
Bowman made the Round of 12 when he scored an eventful second-place finish at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. He entered the elimination race two points below the cut off and was the final driver to advance by five points over Aric Almirola.
This season, Bowman posted a 20.3 average finish at the six races held at tracks less than a mile in length. His best finish in those races came at Martinsville Speedway in the spring, 14th.
"Our short track program struggled this year which really hurt us," Bowman said. "Our intermediate stuff was good all year. We needed more consistency was really all there was to it."
2019 Driver Season Reviews