Coming off a 16th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend, Alex Bowman clinched a spot in the Round of 12 for the third consecutive year. Bowman now sits seventh in the NASCAR Cup Series playoff standings going into this weekend’s race in Las Vegas. The Tucson, Arizona, native is 58 markers behind the leader. In the Round of 16, Bowman earned 109 points in three events, which is the sixth-highest number of points earned by playoff drivers. He also earned the fifth-highest amount of stage points with 29 and averaged the fifth-best running position of 9.88.
BOWMAN IN VEGAS: The 27-year-old driver of the No. 88 machine has seven previous starts in the NASCAR Cup Series at the Las Vegas track. Bowman’s best qualifying effort of ninth came in the fall race in 2018 and his best finish of sixth came in the fall event in 2019. Earlier this season, Bowman placed 13th after capturing stage points in each of the two stages. In his lone start at the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Bowman finished eighth after qualifying 18th for the 200-lap event in 2013.
RIDING WITH PA: On Sunday, there will be a new name above the door of the No. 88 LLumar Chevrolet at Las Vegas Motor Speedway thanks to the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation’s “Cancer Hero Program.” Kenneth Chase, a native of Sebago, Maine, lost a nine-year battle with cancer on August 25, 2020. Known to his six grandchildren as “Pa,” Chase was a dedicated NASCAR fan. He and his wife of 54 years, Esther, went annually to New Hampshire Motor Speedway with their grandchildren by their side. On the weekend of what would have been his 77th birthday, Chase will be riding on board the No. 88 machine in Vegas with Bowman.
1.5-MILE STATS: The No. 88 team has four stage wins this season, which is tied for sixth overall in the NASCAR Cup Series. Three of these stage wins came at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The sixth-year Cup Series driver won three out of five total stages at Charlotte in May, which is the most stage wins by one driver at a 1.5-mile facility this season. Bowman has led 221 laps this season on 1.5-mile tracks, which is more than his career total (189) prior to 2020.
ROLLING THE DICE: Greg Ives will call his ninth Cup Series race at Las Vegas this weekend for the first event in the Round of 12. In eight previous events at the 1.5-mile facility, the crew chief has one top-five and three top-10s with a best finish of fourth in 2015 with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ives has two starts in the Xfinity Series at the track, which includes one top-five with Chase Elliott in 2014 and one top-10 with Regan Smith in 2013. From 2006-2012, Ives was a race engineer for the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team. During that time, he was a part of three wins and four top-five finishes at Las Vegas.
LLUMAR IS BACK: LLumar is back on board the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for their final primary event this season. Eastman Performance Films, LLC joined Hendrick Motorsports back in 2018 as a primary sponsor of Alex Bowman and the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE through 2020. The sponsorship features the LLumar brand of window film and paint protection film on board Bowman’s machine. In February, Hendrick Motorsports and LLumar unveiled the 2020 scheme that will run on track this season.