DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – Alex Bowman did what he needed to do last weekend at the Chicagoland Speedway in bringing his No. 88 Chevrolet home with a 10th place finish. The week prior, he came away with a ninth place run in Sonoma. After a 10th place run in Saturday night’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at the Daytona International Speedway, Bowman is not only showing that he’s finding his stride, but he’s also showing that he’s doing just enough to keep his playoff advantage going.
Heading into tonight’s race, Bowman narrowly led Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the 16th and final playoff spot for this Fall’s 10 race postseason. With Stenhouse winning two restrictor plate races last year, including this very race in Daytona, Bowman needed to do anything in his power to try to minimize the damage.
Stenhouse, won both stages on Saturday night, scoring a max in stage points with 20. That alone could put Stenhouse ahead of Bowman in the standings when the checkered flag flew. But, Bowman scored nine stage points of his own, ending up 10th in the first stage and third in the second one to keep Stenhouse behind him. Then, Stenhouse’s aggression got in his way and forced him to a 17th place run.
Bowman, earned his third straight top 10 finish and leads Stenhouse by 19 points with just eight races left in the regular season. With how this year has gone and only one real wildcard race left before the 26 race regular season comes to an end, it appears that this three race stretch could propel Bowman to a playoff berth come September.
He can circle back to tonight’s race as to why.