Bowman, Wallace cool-down lap contact

Alex Bowman‘s victory on the Chicago streets sealed his spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and snapped a winless drought that lasted 80 races.

However, this feat did not come without some rain and drama. On Lap 25, Bowman found himself tangled up with the No. 23 Toyota of Bubba Wallace, clipping the side and sending him spinning into the wall. 

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The driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet said his redirected focus caused this incident. 

“The restart was chaotic,” Bowman said after the conclusion of the race. “I just made every wrong decision I possibly could, and I was fighting with my windshield wiper switch trying to get the thing working and I couldn‘t get it working. I was focused on that, missed the corner and cleaned him out. I locked all four tires up and slid right into him. I just messed up and absolutely ruined his day.”

Before the on-track contact, Wallace was having a notable run in Sunday‘s race. He started in the sixth position, right behind inaugural Chicago Street Race winner, Shane van Gisbergen, who wrecked out after the Stage 2 restart. 

On the cool-down lap, Wallace showed Bowman his frustration after a 13th-place run for the 23XI Racing driver still looking to secure a postseason spot. Wallace’s No. 23 Toyota door slammed into the side of Bowman’s car as he celebrated his win. 

The Arizona native validated Wallace‘s post-race actions, saying it was warranted and did not deserve to be penalized. 

“He barely hit me,” Bowman said. “It was fine, and it was plenty deserved.”

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However, a NASCAR spokesperson confirmed officials will look into the incident to determine whether further action is needed.

As for making amends? Well, parking the No. 48 Chevrolet in Victory Lane may have created a harsher sting for Wallace. Bowman said there were not many avenues he could go down to make it up to him. 

He has every right to be mad; I‘d be mad, too,” Bowman said. “I tried to call him during the rain delay and I shot him a text. Nothing I can do to make it better, and I‘m sure us winning probably only makes it worse … I just messed up and ruined his day, so I hate that.”

Wallace politely declined comment when approached by after the event.