CONCORD, N.C. – Alex Bowman’s day ended early at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Sunday’s Bank of America 500, after he blew a left-front tire on lap 62.
The tire went down two-thirds of the way down the back straight and sent the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet into the outside retaining wall.
Casey Mears’ No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet was also collected in the crash after he was caught on the outside of Bowman’s careening machine.
“I blew a tire, I guess,” said a dejected Bowman outside of the infield care center. “It’s really unfortunate – I hate it for these Axalta guys. Everybody at Hendrick Motorsports worked so hard to bring a great race car here. It was a brand new car and we destroyed it. It’s unfortunate, but it’s not anybody’s fault. We didn’t hit anything, we just must have run over something.”
The part-time driver for JR Motorsports in the XFINITY Series was tapped by Hendrick Motorsports to substitute for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in select races for the remainder for the 2016 season, after Earnhardt Jr. announced that he would miss the remainder of 2016 recovering from a concussion.
Bowman had put together a strong Thursday at Charlotte, running second to Kevin Harvick in both of the practice sessions for the Sprint Cup Series and in that evening’s qualifying session for today’s race. He was on pace to have his best weekend since the August race at Michigan.
There, Bowman qualified sixth and was running towards the front of the field before he was forced to pull behind the wall with motor issues.
Bowman did try to take some positives from the speed that he and the team had shown leading up to the race.
“They knew we were here, and that’s all that matters,” he said. “There’s nothing more we can do, there’s nothing more anybody on the race team can do. They all did a great job. They did everything right.”
Bowman will look to rebound in next Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway (Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM).
About the Writer
James Pike is a multi-faceted reporter for Race Chaser Online and an analyst on the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
He is the lead correspondent for Race Chaser Online’s coverage of Australian Supercars and also covers regional touring series events in the Carolinas. He is a graduate of the Motorsports Management program at Belmont Abbey College and currently resides in Winston-Salem, N.C.
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